6 Important Questions to Assess Your Level of Grit and Resiliency


“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”  ― Nelson Mandela

Doesn’t it seem like certain people are just made to handle adversity? They face whatever is in their path with courage and boldness, and they make the best out of a difficult situation.

Terry Fox is a wonderful example of this grit and determination. He turned cancer and an amputated leg into hundreds of millions of dollars in cancer research.

We won’t all be like Terry Fox, but we all have the ability to bounce back from upset and become a stronger person because of it. It won’t be for the same reason or for the same level of adversity, but we can all learn to handle to the ups and downs of life with greater resiliency.

So, how do you adapt and respond to challenging situations? What we make out of these challenging moments is what matters most, right?

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” ― Steve Maraboli

To help you gauge and grow your level of resilience, here are six questions to answer and reflect on.

Do you keep a positive attitude during difficult situations?

Maintaining a positive attitude and staying poised during difficult situations is the foundation of resilience and grit. Part of having this ability is being aware that challenges will arise and that we have a choice in how we respond to them. Learn to see challenges as opportunities to grow and learn. Believe that you are in control of your destiny.

Do you have skills to help you relax and manage stress?

No matter who we are, if we’re over-saturated with stress when challenges appear we will breakdown. Having the skills to relax our mind and body on a consistent basis is crucial to be able to bounce back from difficulties. When you start experiencing stress how do you deal with it? Using breathing techniques, imagery, yoga, or prayer can all be wonderful ways to manage stress.

Do you have a network of people who offer you support?

Is there a support group for this? This day in age there seems to be a support group for nearly anything. I remember an old co-worker of mine telling me about a UFO abduction support group. I’m not poking fun here, because I know, just like anyone who connects with a support group, that we can’t do everything on our own.

We need help, emotional support, and understanding. So, having a network of supportive individuals is clearly a powerful tool for overcoming challenges. Who do you have that can help you reach your goals? What resources do you need and how can you obtain these?

Do you take good care of yourself and stick to routines?

I have found that when life gets a little hectic, the more organized and well prepared I am the easier it is to handle. When things get stressful and tough it’s important to keep taking care of ourselves, to keep exercising, eating right, and getting ample sleep.

Sadly, our health and well-being seem to be one the first things to go when we are in crisis mode. If we are faced with adversity there is nothing more important that prioritizing our well-being to help us deal with this added stress.

Do you know what your priorities are and take action to achieve them?

In the face of adversity, it can be easy to get derailed. Despite any progress we have made, when things don’t go as planned to can feel lost and unsure of what to do and who we are. That’s why having a strong personal foundation built for our life is so important. This foundation is based on our purpose, vision, mission, and values.

I think it is Roy Disney, Walt’s brother, who said something to the effect of, “When our values and vision are clear, decision making become easier.” Don’t let stress or set-backs distract you from what’s important. Keep living aligned with your values and convictions.

Do you keep your eyes on the big picture even in challenging situations?

Resiliency comes from staying focused on the big-picture when things get tough. It can be easy to get sidetracked and assume our current bad chapter is the end of the story. When moments of disappointment occur remember to keep perspective. Focus on the big-picture and realize that the current challenge isn’t the end of the road. Keep your eye on the ball and the goal at the same time.

Resilient people will possess many of these traits. We all have strengths and weaknesses in these areas, so no one will possess all of these qualities. Learning what our strengths are, and understanding where we can develop improvements can help give us directions to build resiliency.

“No industry is immune and no occupation is safe. All of us need to begin to think in terms of our own inner strengths, our resilience and resourcefulness, our capacity to adapt and to rely upon ourselves and our families.” – Steven Pressfield