Resilience is a skill we can all learn

Three ways you can build resilience for yourself, with your team, or your organisation


 “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf”

Jon Kabat-Zinn 


Some people believe that those who are very resilient were born that way, or that there has been some good fortune bestowed upon them which means they can move through life with ease. This is a topic we explore on our Building Resilience workshops, and when we get deep into discussion about real-life role models, participants make the connection that the people who come to mind have in fact faced significant adversity and grown through their experiences.


Richard Davidson P.h.D. is a neuroscientist who was one of the key people involved in finding evidence of neuroplasticity – proving that the brain structure and function changes over time when it’s ‘trained’ to be more resilient. The Center for Healthy Minds describe this as being a bit like learning to play a musical instrument, and it stands to reason that the more you practise the more your ‘performance’ improves!


Even in traumatic circumstances, there is a significant opportunity to learn and develop. In this article about trauma, Sharon Begley describes the theory and real-life examples of post-traumatic growth. In the long term, this type of learning has been shown to increase personal strength, improve relationships, and build a greater appreciation of life.


”The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”

Brene Brown


Here are three ways you can develop resilience capability for yourself, your team, and organisation:

Building resilience workshops

The mental health agenda has never been more important or urgent to address, and we are finding that our Building Resilience workshops are in-demand because of increased sickness absence through mental health challenges and because people in the organisation are asking for training and support.

For a highly effective and insightful self-facilitated option, we have just launched our Building Resilience Game which gets visible results in less than two hours because it’s been designed with the scientific rigour of best global learning and NLP (neuro linguistic programming) practice.


It’s a discussion-based game which helps players to appreciate their own and others’ existing qualities, strengths, and capabilities. Find out more here.


“People are three times more likely to learn and retain knowledge through playing games.”

Alvin Toffler, futurologist


Practice meditation and mindfulness

Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention, in the present moment, on purpose, without judgement”. Yet how often do our minds wander off onto other things? Actually it’s 47% of the time, on average, as studied by the Center for Healthy Minds!

Meditation practice and learning to be more mindful and focused are both proven methods which bring results with regular commitment. Experience it for yourself by taking our 3 minutes’ breathing space


And there are other effective ways to learn about resilience, for example reading books. Two of our favourites are:

  • ’59 seconds’ by Prof Richard Wiseman, which encourages us to “think a little, change a lot”. It will make you think, laugh, and act.
  • ‘NLP at Work’ by Sue Knight to understand the ‘essence of excellence’ and use neuro linguistic programming as a way of living life with resilience and greater awareness of yourself and others.

What books, articles, or resources have helped you and your team to build resilience?

We’d love to hear from you, and if you’d like to find out more about how the Building Resilience Game could benefit you and your organisation, click here to get in touch.


”You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.”

Marcus Aurelius