Building Resilience

How do you intentionally build resilience in yourself?

I’m not looking to apply for new jobs for the opportunity to be rejected. But I am interested in how people put themselves out there in smaller ways that afford the opportunity to cope with rejection.

When I was having trouble with that, I had some other issues and took an antidepressant for a while. That made an enormous difference in my resilience. Later, when I hit menopause I because rather fragile, but that cleared up when I started taking estrogen.

So… drugs?


mock speed dating?

I don’t know that I’m fragile per se. But I find myself avoiding situations I don’t believe I’ll succeed at. Post-college, I’ve never interviewed for a job I didn’t get. But, I’ve only interviewed for six jobs in almost fifteen years.

I think I could handle rejection alright, but I don’t put myself in many situations to really experience it. And that’s the problem, I think. I need to be willing to “put myself out there” so to speak. But, I’m content with my job and am not looking to apply for anything there. I’ve applied for two work committees in the last few months, and was accepted to both of them.

So, what next? I want to be comfortable doing something knowing full well it could fail, and I need to practice that. If life were more in person, I think I would experiment with things like: doing an exercise class in the front row, dancing at a wedding, joining toastmasters…things with low stakes but high chance of getting my hopes up and then crushed. I want my hopes crushed!

Dating would be a great idea, and exactly the kind of thing I’m looking for, but my husband is probably going to put the kibosh on that one, the wet blanket that he is.


:laughing: it could be a game, if possibly slightly mean to the other people… where you both go speed dating (I’ve never done this just imagining the 40 year old virgin scene) for fun and at the end you just leave with eachother (but obviously pretend you don’t know each other during).

1 Like

I can never remember the ISO codes

1 Like

Nice humblebrag about being done with exams…

Good point about exams. I failed the crap out of those (>50% fail rate FTW). But I didn’t see that as rejection, as I never put in my best effort because reasons. Or maybe that’s just what I told myself to shield myself from having to feel rejection.

Yes, it sounds like you’re so good at coping, you don’t even know you’re doing it. :wink:

I have failed hundreds of job applications and dozens of interviews. There’s almost always an excuse that it’s not really my fault because _________.

1 Like

Anyway there’s lots of hard things in the world.

Some things to try:
Lose weight.
Win a competition.
Publish some art.
Beat a hard videogame.

There has to be the element of people knowing if I fail, I think. Losing weight…who’s going to know if I don’t? I don’t play videogames.

But publishing art and winning a competition…those are good. I have recently started getting back into writing fiction and could try to do more of that. Just have to prioritize the time.

The goal is to NOT win the competition (but want to, and have losing be ok albeit hard).

Two things I note when I’m pushing against something I don’t want to do or am not inclined to do.
First, I was forced to overcome a hurdle years ago, something I did not want to do, but did anyway and came out the other side very successfully. When things get tough, I look at that and pretty much everything else looks small in comparison.

Other stuff, I take the attitude that life’s just a series of youtube moments. If you take away social stigma’s and end up with ‘well, worst case is I have a story for my grandkids’, then I’m inclined to do it. Admittedly that’s left me with everything from fractured vertebrae to looking at 100 pumpkin pies and not knowing what I’m going to do with them, but still worth it.

Basically,nobody has confidence, and nobody ever likes doing the tough stuff. You do it anyway. I can public speak confidently, but like every other person who can public speak, nobody likes it and you still get the butterflies beforehand. But, you do it anyway. Eventually the confidence follows - it doesn’t come first.


I want to know more about the pumpkin pies.


Yeah, that’s not the kind of thing you can just mention and walk away from.

So the local board of trade wants to get a farmers market going. I don’t do farmers market stuff but want to help. And, my so makes a mean apple pie. And I want to teach my kids how to be entrepreneurs. So I volunteer to run a stand at the market, my so will make the pies and my kids will sell them. One of my better ideas, right?

Two minor bumps in that plan. My so’s response was ‘lol, I am not making 50 apple pies’. My kids response was about the same.

That means it’s just me, and I’ve got to find some pies. So I went to a local pie shop and preordered 100 pies at wholesale rates. The morning of the market, I’m driving to the pie shop, and it’s raining so hard traffic stops, everyone pulls over because you can’t see. That’s not gonna be good, considering it’s an outside stall.

Anyway, I get set up, and it’s freezing, miserable rain all day. I sell three pies. The market closes, and I have 97 pies I’ve paid for. What in heck do you do with 97 pies? Think about it, it’s a bigger problem than you’d expect at first glance. We’ve got freezer room for six, neighbours will take 3 each, etc. No matter how I worked it out, I had dozens of pies with nowhere to go.

In the end, I called the pie shop and they bought them all back from me. So nothing lost, and I have a story to tell my grandkids. Or more likely, my so has another story about the time I was an idiot again.

1 Like

I find it appalling you don’t know more people who love pumpkin pie. It’s the best pie!

That’s nice of the pie shop to buy them back, very pre-COVID


I play golf. There are many failures each round. Every time you fail you also have to recover from that failure. It also takes years to get really good at it and you may never get there. Any progress you do make is a 2 steps forward one step backward type of deal as well. To make it a social affair you have to get used to being out there playing like a dog turd in front of people you know and love which presents a heaping serving of humility. There are a lot of great life lessons in the game of golf.

1 Like

Yes, I meant things to try. You try to get in shape. You try to publish a story. You try to win a competition. You try to win at a game.

If you are actually able to succeed at these things, then you need to up your goals. There’s a level where you will fail.

1 Like