Dean M. Becker

Resilience is an enormous concept. It plays out in all domains of our lives, and until the work of Drs. Andrew Shatté and Karen Reivich, co-authors of The Resilience Factor, resilience was seen only as a single competency. Their research has shown that resilience is actually made up of 7 factors, or inner strengths – Emotion Regulation, Impulse Control, Causal Analysis, Self-efficacy, Realistic Optimism, Empathy, and Reaching Out. In particular, resilient people tend to be good problem solvers: they can comprehensively and accurately determine the causes of problems they encounter, and then focus their resources on those causes which are relatively changeable. They possess a strong sense of mastery, based on having achieved positive results through effective problem solving. They are optimistic, within the bounds of reality; they see the future as being relatively bright. Resilient people certainly experience so-called negative emotions – sadness, anxiety, frustration, and anger, to name several – when facing setbacks, but they are good at reining in their emotions in order to remain goal-focused. So now we know exactly what qualities are needed to bounce back from adversity.

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