Can you imagine how different our world would look today if Thomas Edison gave up after the thousands of failed attempts at making a working lightbulb?

Or if Beethoven quit making music once he’d gone deaf?

The truth is, if you’re on the path to mastery, adversity is unavoidable. To do anything of value is to open yourself up to challenges, doubts and pain.

How do we deal with the fact that life will always throw us these curveballs?

We can A),

Stop aiming high. Remain in our comfort zone.

or B),

Learn to become resilient.

If you’re reading this, my guess is that you’re choosing option B.So, if you want to reach the top of your field, here are 4 tips for becoming more resilient.

1. Check your perspective

Setbacks have a way of feeling permanent. We can become convinced that because of this setback, everything else will fail, too. That it’s a sign of future failures, or worse, that you are a failure. Remember everything you’ve tried in life that hasn’t gone to plan. You’re still here, aren’t you? Were any of them that bad?

Remember that success is the exception and not the rule. Even Michael Jordan has missed more field goals than he’s scored.

In his words:

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”


2. Reframe setbacks as opportunities

Without setbacks, we’d never improve. Is this really what you want? A perfect run of things? Not only is it unrealistic, but if things were always perfect, we’d never have the opportunity to improve. Next time we get it wrong, or we’re facing a setback, maybe you should get excited. Think, here is a chance to improve.


3. Understand that you’ll grow back stronger

Think of facing challenges as like lifting weights. With each repetition, you’re becoming a little bit stronger.

Or like how your immune system works. Your body may struggle with an unknown pathogen when it first encounters it, but it will “remember” the pathogen and be able to mount a more effective response, next time. If we choose to frame setbacks as an opportunity for growth, any challenges that come our way become important teachers on our path to success.


4. Stop catastrophizing

If you catch yourself worrying about your predicament, remember that this is normal. But, know what your mind is telling you is probably exaggerated, or even false. Very few setbacks cause us actual harm. With the right mindset, none of them do. Viewed correctly, every challenge we face is about about your growth and will increase your ability to face future challenges head-on.