8 Keys to Building Resiliency in Life and Business


8 Keys to Building Resiliency in Life and Business

In my previous post about The Resilience Reflex by Zaheen Nanji. I briefly mentioned the 8 Keys to Building Resiliency in Life and Business but today Zaheen is going to elaborate on them and how you can start to thrive and grow. The following is a guest post from Zaheen.

Why do some people bounce back from adversity and misfortune while others fall apart? How can some companies and businesses keep up with changes or setbacks, while others have difficulty managing? Resilience is not only a person’s or organization’s ability to bounce back, but it is also about growing and thriving during adversity, challenge and change. These eight keys provide answers on how resilient individuals bounce back in life and business.

Emotional Resilience

The first step to building resilience is understanding how to manage your emotions and release yourself from that feeling of being stuck. Resilient individuals go through three steps to build emotional resilience.

First, they’re very aware of their senses. You want to become sensory intelligent by noticing the images you’re bringing up (visual cues) and the things you say to yourself (auditory cues). Notice what happens inside your head and body when I ask you to think of the last time you had an argument. What images, thoughts, sounds or even smells come up?

Second, our negative emotions have a positive intent. For example, if you’ve been asked to present at the next board meeting, you may start feeling anxious and even scared. Resilient individuals feel that too, but instead of focusing on how they’re feeling, they tend to acknowledge the reason behind those emotions and accept them.

Third, they manage their emotions by parking them to one side and stepping out of that state so they can focus on what they want rather than what they don’t want.


Resilient individuals move forward by re-programming their though patterns so they can find solutions rather than dwell in worry. Most people stay stuck in the worrisome state and think the problem will just go away. A tool that resilient individuals use most often and what I call, Mentor Magic. Pretend you are your mentor and step into your mentor’s shoes and ask yourself, “What would I do to overcome this problem?” Make sure you are seeing life through his/her eyes and listening through his/her ears. You’ll notice that you’ll have solutions right away.


As human beings, we are motivated to take action because we’re in pain or because there’s a reward to be had, but resilient individuals are consistently taking action and completing the task or project. Their action blueprint consists of three critical questions:

a. Why do I want to do this? (Purpose has to be greater than themselves)

b. How am I going to feel after I’m done? (end result has to be a good feeling)

c. What are my consequences of taking or not taking this action? 

Passion and Purpose

Resilient people know they need both passion and purpose to fulfill their goals and you can’t have one without the other.

Passion is about what you like to do? What do enjoy doing so much that you are not watching the clock? I’m not talking about hobbies and playing video games. I’m talking about where you feel fulfilled, where you find you’re making a difference. My husband’s passion is massage therapy, and he’d massage his friends in the past without charging a fee to relieve their pain.

Purpose is why you want to do it? What do you get out of pursuing your passion? My husband’s purpose is to heal and better the health of his clients, and if he can do so, then he has made a difference.


Psychologists define attitude as a learned tendency to evaluate things in a certain way. When resilient individuals approach a difficult situation, they have an attitude of being curious, patient, and optimistic, thereby diminishing fear of change. When I researched resiliency in individuals, I found that positive attitude encompasses the following traits that are guided by values and beliefs:

  • Creative and solution-thinking
  • Hope and gratitude
  • Expectation of some success
  • Lessons from setbacks
  • Belief in their capability
  • Flexibility and fulfillment
  • Networking
  • Sounds similar to a scientist, doesn’t it?

Relationship Skills

Resilient individuals create a supportive network and are apt at handling and reducing conflict because they’ve learned the intricate language and skills of building and maintaining relationships. Think of a leader or manager whom you admire and notice how she interacts with you or with others at all levels in the company. You will notice the following, and the easiest way to remember this is LIMP:

  • Listen: She’s listening for words that indicate the person’s communication style and then communicates back using that style.
  • Intention: She’s listening for the person’s underlying reason.
  • Match and mirror: She subconsciously picks up the opposite person’s body language, tone of voice, and mirrors that.
  • Perspective: She behaves respectfully and shows genuine interest in what’s important to the other person.

When you follow the theory of LIMP and practice the skills, you will create great rapport, be a master at reducing conflict, positively influence others, and have a supportive network around you.


When resilient individuals are faced with challenges, they have two streams of thought running through their minds: one is about finding solutions and the other is about all the things they appreciate in life. It’s as though there’s a subconscious REFRAME button they push whenever their thoughts and emotions turn to worry and fear, because after a short time, they’ve perked up and are more positive and appreciative about what they already have. They were not born with this ability, but they were taught by other influencers; they’ve trained themselves to look at what they already have rather than stewing in worry.


Vlad Dolezal says it best: “A belief is your best explanation of the world, based on your current evidence.” Resilient Individuals are faced with limiting beliefs and they feel fear and doubt as well, but they have a 3-step approach in dealing with a limiting belief so they can squash it:

    1. The find counter evidence that doesn’t support the limiting belief.
    2. They imagine what their mentor or coach would tell them about that limiting belief?
    3. They imagine what sort of behaviours they’d continue to have if they accepted that limiting belief and how it would affect others around them.

About Zaheen Nanji

Zaheen Nanji is a resilience champion and a business owner in Alberta, Canada. Embracing change and fear is Zaheen’s trademark because she overcame her speech impediment, her struggles with weight and learned to live in a new country, at the age of 15, without her parents. Her book, The Resilience Reflex – 8 Keys to Transforming Barriers into Success in Life and Business, became an International Best-Seller on Amazon Kindle. Zaheen teaches people how to make resilience their first reflex using her 3-step system: Release, Re-program and Resolve. She can be reached at http://www.zaheennanji.com

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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