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Extreme Resilience : Six Steps In Overcoming Tough Times

You won’t find resilience without struggle.

Whether it’s as small as a break up with your significant other, to as big as the death of a loved one, here are six steps I immediately take and adhere to.

While these guidelines won’t be an end-all for any situation, remember that you can only come out stronger after such situations.

Extreme resilience is one of the keys to becoming successful because no matter how much abundance you attract, or how prepared you are, life will always bring down a hammer to put you in check.

When your life feels like it’s falling apart immediately do the following:

Image result for break glass in case of emergency picture


After the dot-com era crash, I was laid off my job in 2001. I was prepared financially, but the impact was on my emotion, purpose, and self confidence.

It wasn’t the finances that brought me down though I did struggle. Rather, it was the deepening depression which set in, when the life which I built up, came crashing down in front of me.

Going to the Gym and lifting every morning during those times helped me re – calibrate and get my head straight.

When you go to the Gym and lift everyday in the morning, the rest of the day becomes a whole lot easier.

As your muscles and physique grows, you realize that you are still growing as the future becomes the present.

By overcoming the morning challenge of the day you will be more empowered to beat the daily giants in your life.

Action: Go to the GYM Tomorrow Morning, and every morning thereafter.

There is nothing more effective which will build your resilience.

2. Stop Checking Phone and Social Media

Do whatever you need to do, even going as far as buying a flip phone and leaving your smartphone at home.

While in the dotcom crash, social media was non existent, the distractions of the time was to watch Television or rent movies at BlockBuster.

During hard emotional times, your mind becomes weak and susceptible to exploitation, procrastination, and negative thoughts. Your mind becomes a soup of dark thoughts and self limiting and destructive emotions.

Because of this fragile state, your depression grows when looking at images and videos of other people.

Your vulnerable mind starts to compare yourself to others and you start asking self-destructive “What if?” questions full of regret.

There are no regrets or “Things you should’ve done”. The future only goes one way: forward.

     Always fail forward.

When you put yourself in thoughtful solitude, you regain the strength to overcome things which affect only you. Avoid comparing your circumstances to other people — who themselves have problems of their own.

The best way to move forward is with a clean slate — the distractions in your life only serve to muddle it.

Action: Don’t check phone, social media, or watch TV. Be digitally clean for at least 2-3 weeks. Strive for in person interactions. Avoid external distractions.

3. Talk to Somebody

Realize that you alone aren’t enough to overcome your giants.  The thoughts in your head swirl around and your emotions are irrational.

You will hastily try to find shallow solutions to deep problems, and put oil in the fire.

Successful leaders who overcome challenges never do it on their own. They always have a support group or a trusted advisor — a right hand man. Take some time to take a best friend out for lunch to discuss your problems.

This also serves as a litmus test for their own friendship. Showing emotional vulnerability to trusted people is an attractive trait of outcome independence and an abundant mindset.

Those who help you today, will be willing to help you in the future. This also means that you will be called upon to help them. In turn, they will include you in their life — opening up future opportunities.

For example, a friend today who helps you a tough time, may ask you to help him / her out in starting a business. Or they may ask you to work for them. The trust built often waives professional requirements and they will hire you and become a business connection.

4. Establish A Morning Routine and Reward Mechanisms

To help with Step 1 – Going to the Gym, I suggest that you establish a consistent morning routine.

Fighting depression, or emotional downturn / life challenge is hard. You will find yourself sleeping in bed late.

As you go through hard times, you will wake up later and later, staying in bed alone with dark permeating thoughts.

Don’t let the struggles of life overtake your resilience and destroy healthy habits.

Kill this destructive habit by establishing a boring but effective morning routine with a reward mechanism. Do this routine everyday so that you don’t even think about it, and can get up in a moment’s notice.

Here is my immediate and boring morning routine:

  1. Toilet
  2. Brush teeth
  3. Boil water
  4. Grind Coffee

After the few initial mindless steps, you find yourself awake and ready to take on the day. After step 4, I finish making coffee, and eventually eat breakfast.

However the first 4 steps are always the same, monotonous, and leads to the reward : A fresh and hot cup of coffee. Anything after this is arbitrary.

With this simple, easy, and effective routine, I can get up at 5:15 AM each day to go to the gym before work.

5. Find an Inner Distraction

Whatever challenge comes your way, it won’t be solved in the immediate time frame. Your mind will race to find an ineffective solution to alter your inner emotions.

For example, in a tough break up, your significant other might want to get back with you. You know that this is a bad idea and destructive for your life, but you do it anyway to alleviate immediate emotional stress.

Image result for getting stabbed

Another example: When people get stabbed, their immediate thought is to pull the knife out of the wound because it looks disgusting. However, if done so, you will bleed out to death.

Leaving the knife in will cause your blood to clot faster and maximize chances of survival.

These two examples go to show how the immediate knee-jerk solution which your brain concocts during emotional distress is not the correct one.

Find an inner distraction like focusing on a new hobby, or reading a book. Something physical is preferable (like the gym), but the more you keep yourself productively active, the less pain you will feel during hard times.

Get your rational and logical brain back in the game to solve the problem which caused the hardship. Forbid the emotional animal brain from acting.

6. Realize That Time is the Great Healer

Even though we may have solved the problems and overcome the giant which seeks to destroy, we are always left with emotional scars.

When you realize that time is the great healer, you will be comforted as you look forward to the future.

The only way to move forward is to look and go. Dwelling in the past only harms.

Allow yourself time to think and grow. Patience is the only way to truly overcome extreme hardship. By realizing that time is the great healer, the challenges and emotions that you face will seem like a small blip in the sea of opportunity and future success which awaits.


These six strategies have helped me countless times through financial, emotional, and life crises. Strive for extreme resilience. As iron sharpens iron, your resilience will be the keystone to forging success in a world filled with adversity.

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Comment below: What was an extreme hardship which you overcame and what was a small thing you did that helped you cope?

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