The 5 Traps That Will Steal Your Resilience

To become more resilient requires building skills and mindsets that support resilience. It also requires the ability to avoid the things that make resilience difficult. Too often, people believe that they don’t have the ability to be resilient, when in fact, the problem is that they are sabotaging themselves before they even begin.

I want you to have clear path to a more resilient life, without getting in your own way. To do so you must avoid these 5 traps..

  1. Pollyanna Complex:
    I’m all for positive thinking. A good attitude, and learning how to find positives in negative situations, are great tools to have at your disposal. However, some people falsely assume that this requires you to be an unabashed idealist. Not so. In fact, if you start from a place of believing that everything will always work out perfectly, you are setting yourself up for failure.

    Instead, strive for positive realism. By all means hope for, and work toward, the best. But also be prepared for things going wrong. Understand that things rarely go exactly as planned, and that sometimes, we are grateful for the detours and challenge life throws at us. When you approach life with this mindset, you avoid many disappointments, and handle setbacks with less stress.


  1. Negative Nancy Syndrome:
    The opposite of Pollyanna Complex is ‘Negative Nancy Syndrome’. Those who subscribe to this philosophy, assume the worst in everything and everyone. They assume that if they have no expectations, they will never be disappointed. While that may be true, they will also never inspire greatness in themselves, or anyone else, and will spend their lives imagining worst-case scenarios. You can be realistic without being negative.

  1. Flying Solo:
    We live in a very individualistic culture. It’s easy to fall for the lie that you are in this on your own, and that everything depends on you. The truth however, is that those who try to do everything on their own, usually fail. I cannot name a single successful person who has achieved what they have, alone. Why would you be the first? Surround yourself with people who support, encourage, and challenge you. We can always achieve more together than we can on our own.
  2. Doing Too much, Too soon:
    Many people fail not because they don’t have the ability or the drive, but because they lack patience. We live in a culture of instant gratification. We have grown accustomed to having what we want when we want it, and we don’t like having to wait for anything. The problem, of course, is that anything worth achieving, takes time to achieve.

    I see people who start exercise programs fall into this trap all the time. They try to go from couch -potato to fitness-freak in a week. The results? They get hurt, get discouraged and quit. When you try to go too fast, too soon, you are setting yourself up for failure. Every time I read the story, the tortoise wins the race.

  3. Fatigue/Burnout:
    Connected with going too fast, too soon, comes fatigue and burnout. Resilience requires you to play long game. Day by day, you may not see results. That’s okay. The key is not to quit when you don’t get the feedback you were hoping for. Stick with the plan. Be consistent. Take breaks when needed. This allows you to endure to the end and celebrate the victory.

Do you see your experience in any of these descriptions? Have you fallen for any of these traps? Don’t be discouraged, we all have. The point is to learn from it and strive not to fall for the same trap again.

What is your biggest challenge when trying to be resilient? Share it in the comments below.