Work inspiration

When setbacks get you down, it’s time to bounce forward, not back

- May 2, 2022 3 MIN READ
Two children bouncing on rubber balls outdoors

Faced with such unprecedented adversity in recent years, it’s no wonder business owners are struggling to feel resilient. Motivational speaker and productivity expert Chelsea Pottenger says resilience can be built just like a muscle, and that we should focus on bouncing forward, not back.

You’ve most likely heard of the phrase ‘bounce back.’

The Cambridge definition describes bouncing back as: “Starting to be successful again after a difficult period, such as failure, loss of confidence, illness, or unhappiness.”

At EQ Minds, we prefer to use ‘bounce forward.’

When you go through failure, change or adversity, you experience new challenges that teach you new lessons and ultimately shape the person you become. As a result, you learn new things about yourself, understand your capabilities and build new wisdom, making you different from before.

All of these things are essential to building resilience.

Resilience is just like a muscle – it can be built

So what’s the best way to bounce forward when faced with challenges?

As some people are born with more athletic ability than others; some people are born with more innate resilience. But you want to know the cool part? You can build and strengthen your resilience the same way you train to get more muscle.

Neuroscience shows that it only takes ten minutes per day of intentional cognitive training, like a gratitude practice and reflective journaling, to make healthy changes to your brain. All it takes is consistency and determination.

Tips to build resilience

Green plant shoot sprouting from road or footpath

  • 1. Build your connections

Prioritise relationships; reach out to those in your life who you trust and who validate your feelings. Make plans with those closest to you, whether that’s a weekly date night with your partner or lunch with a friend.

Prioritise genuinely connecting with people who care about you.

  • 2. Listen to your body

We’ve heard it before and we’ll hear it again, but that’s because it works!

Practising positive lifestyle factors like proper nutrition, ample sleep, hydration, and regular exercise can strengthen your body to adapt to stress and reduce the toll of emotions like anxiety or depression.

Feeling healthy is the first step to resilience.

  • 3. Practice healthy thoughts

Just like exercising your body, you also have to exercise your mind. Try to identify areas of irrational thinking, such as a tendency to catastrophise or assuming the world is out to get you, and adopt a more balanced and realistic thinking pattern.

For instance, if you feel overwhelmed by a challenge, remind yourself that what happened to you isn’t an indicator of how your future will go and that you’re not helpless.

Dealing with negative emotions and failures

I need to emphasise that it’s okay to feel angry and sad when you experience a setback.

Brené Brown talks a lot about toxic positivity and how Instagram culture has put pressure on us to push our negative feelings aside and just meditate, yoga or infrared-sauna our problems away.

Without negative feelings, we would not have positive feelings. They’re what make us human.

Reminders when you feel negative emotions:

  • Grief can show us that we need someone’s help or support.
  • Anger can show us that we care passionately about something.
  • Sadness can show us what we truly value.
  • Apathy can show us what we don’t truly value.
  • Fear can show us just how powerful our imaginations can be.

Through practice and consistency, it’s possible to build resilience the same way you build muscle.

Focus on your relationships, listen to your body and practice reframing negative thoughts to help take back your power and bounce forward.

Chelsea’s first book will be released on May 31. You can pre-order The Mindful High Performer here.


This post originally appeared on Kochie’s Business Builders, read the original here.

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