Failure and rejection are inevitable aspects of life, whether you lose a game of golf on the weekend or get laid off from your job on Monday morning. But how you handle those failures, big and small, is a measure of your resiliency, the quality that determines how well you can bounce back and move on. And that quality is the key to happiness and success, said experts interviewed by the Huffington Post.
Think that being happy is the opposite of depression? Wrong. Author of "Against Depression" and "Listening to Prozac: The Landmark Book About Antidepressants and the Remaking of the Self," psychologist Peter Kramer contends that resilience is the opposite of those bad, blue moods.
Long before Prozac, however, Fred Astaire in the film "Swing Time" sang the immortal lyrics of a ditty that expresses it all: "Nothing is impossible I have found; For when my chin is on the ground; I pick myself up, dust myself off; Start all over again. Don't lose your confidence if you slip. Be grateful for a pleasant trip. And pick yourself up, dust yourself off, Start all over again."
So just how do you get that ability to recover and bounce back from failure and rejection? The Huffington Post's experts offered these seven habits of resilient people to help:
- They experience both positive and negative emotions. Example: My bedroom is currently infested with a termite swarm (eek). However, the termite terminator has promised quick relief (yay).
- They're realistically optimistic. Example: I am hopeful that Bobby the Kitten will stop biting my toes when I go barefoot, but I recognize he may not outgrow that habit for awhile.
- They "reject rejection." Example: "Here, kitty, kitty. Bobby? Bobby?" Oh, well, I'll go find him.
- They build strong support systems. Example: After two hours on the phone last night with various friends, I feel confident that I have places to sleep if I have to vacate because of the termites (and Bobby is invited).
- They notice and appreciate the little, positive things. Example: Oh, look, Bobby just put his soggy toy mouse on my pillow.
- They seek out opportunities for growth and learning. Example: I have now memorized the full lyrics to "Pick yourself up."
- They're endlessly grateful. Example: Thank you for reading this!