Clean Thinking, Personal effectiveness

Resilience isn’t about “bouncing back”

One key aspect of resilience is applying an intellectual curiosity to what happened. It can be super hard to bounce back after what feels like a disaster.

But what if you relieved yourself of the obligation to “bounce back” and just noodled on what happened and what you can take from it?


Resilience isn’t just bouncing back. Without evaluation of what went wrong and why, and how you might approach it differently next time, you are destined to repeat history. What good is bouncing back if you just make the same error again and again? What a nightmare.

So if resilience isn’t about bouncing back, then what is it about?

Resilience is really about a super simple concept: doing better next time.

  1. There has to be a next time. Though it might seem like the mess you’re in represents an opportunity you’ll never get again, the reality is that there will be similar situations that will present themselves in the future.
  2. You will have to try again. In order to do better, you must take another stab at it when the next opportunity comes around. Don’t pass on it out of uncertainty or fear.

In order to be ready for the next opportunity and doing better when it comes around, you have to ask yourself (and others) about the past mess. You have to ask questions to learn from it.

(Pro tip: if you’re doing it right, the questions will be uncomfortable.)

Come on! Tell us what you're thinking.