Tool Box – Building Resilience 3- Tenacity

What is resilience?

  • Resilience is the ability to adapt to difficult situations and or experiences.
  • When a negative experience or “crisis” occurs, it is normal for us to lose some functionality temporarily.
  • This loss or reduction of functionality can be mental, physical or both.
  • Resilience is the ability to ‘bounce back’. A person with high resilience will return to their normal functionality much quicker and more effectively than someone with low resilience.

Domains of resilience

  • There are 5-6 commonly accepted domains or aspects of resilience:
  • Vision
  • Composure
  • Tenacity
  • Reasoning
  • Collaboration
  • Health

The tenacity domain

Tenacity is described as the determination to continue despite obstacles, barriers and setbacks.

To develop tenacity, you may want to focus on the following key attributes:

  • Persistence
  • Realistic optimism and
  • The ability to bounce back


Persistence relates to one’s ability to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult and you might fail.

 A persistent person:

  • Does not rely on external motivation
  • Looks at failure as a learning opportunity
  • Develops discipline
  • Can embrace change and
  • Is willing to look at a situation from a variety of perspectives

Realistic optimism

Realistic optimism is the ability to balance out the negative and positive and move forward with the belief that the future will be better than the past.

Realistic optimism is often associated with another common resilience term:

Self Efficacy: the belief that one’s own efforts can make a difference.

  • Staying positive and
  • Setting realistic goals

can help the development of realistic optimism

Ability to bounce back

One of the most common descriptions of “resilience” you will hear; is that resilience is your ability to “bounce back” after adversity.

In many ways this may seem pretty vague; but to be resilient is to be flexible. There are many different ways to cope, move forward and thrive.

This attribute asks you to recognize your own strengths and weakness then adjust your perspective and/or actions so you can “bounce back”.

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