How To Build Resilience + Why Resilience Can Improve Your Relationships

Before you learn how to build resilience, you need to understand what it means. Simply put, resilience is the ability to bounce back after a setback.

But what does building resilience have to do with co-parenting and blended families?

By the way, if you’re new here, co-parenting is my main focus of this blog, as well as my YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe for more ways to improve your co-parenting and blended family relationships.

We all have two types of relationships: the relationship with ourselves, and the relationships with others. In so many cases, improving the relationship we have with ourselves will have a positive impact on our relationships with others. In other words, the more we get to know ourselves, the better we regulate how we interact with others.

Building resilience is key when it comes to relationships. Since we are all imperfect humans, there will never be a perfect relationship. There will never be a perfect co-parenting relationship. Even great co-parenting relationships are going to have some setbacks. Setbacks and disappointments can also happen when either you or your co-parent begins dating after divorce, after a second marriage, or when we become stepparents–you enter into all of these relationships with high-hopes, wanting to be successful and positive. Maybe you had expectations or a vision of how these relationships would look, but things didn’t go exactly as you hoped. It feels like a setback, a disappointment, and sometimes a failure.

During these difficult situations, resilience is key. You have to be able to move forward, and the more resilient you become, the more effective you become at doing so.

No one wants to stay stuck in a negative situation. Read on for some of my favorite tips for building resilience.

1) Make your WHY more important than your HOW.

Whether we’re talking about co-parenting, step-parenting, your marriage, or your career–one key to building resilience is having a mindset that your WHY is more important than your HOW. Here are my own examples:

-As a MOM: my children’s happiness and setting them up for success in life is more important than the challenges of co-parenting. When I get frustrated with a situation with my co-parent, I stay calm, talk it out, or sometimes just let it go!

-As a WIFE: having a healthy marriage where we compromise and understand each other is more important than having things “my way.”

-As a BLOGGER: promoting positive co-parenting and blended family relationships is more important than my personal blogging “success.”

To build resilience, you have to acknowledge the challenges you face, but remember that the reason you’re going through those challenges is greater than any setbacks you might face. At the end of a particularly stressful day, focusing on your WHY will encourage you to persevere, and that builds resilience.

2) Repeat after me: It’s OKAY to FAIL!

Failure hurts. Let’s just acknowledge that hard truth up front. Depending on the failure, it can be embarrassing, heartbreaking, and at the very least, it feels really discouraging. The easy thing to do is give up after a failure. It’s easier to say “I failed, so I give up” than to ask yourself, “I failed–what can I learn from this?”

When it comes to being a parent, being a co-parent, your job, or your marriage, you can’t afford to throw in the towel at every setback. Instead, take some responsibility for your part of the failure. Ask yourself, “What could I have done differently in this situation?” Or “How can I avoid this situation in the future?” It’s so easy to place the blame on others (especially if it’s an ex, right?!) to avoid the hurt of feeling like we failed. But resilient people accept their failures, take responsibility for their part of the failure, and work on what they could have done differently.

3) Focus on the future.

Especially when things get hard, it’s easy to focus solely on the negative situation that’s right in front of you. You get so wrapped up in what’s happening right now, that you forget to put things in perspective. Having a big, ugly blowup with your co-parent can feel like the co-parenting relationship is ruined and hopeless. It’s so hard to imagine anything positive coming from the relationship again.

But it can. It might take one small step at a time to get there, but you’ve got to stay focused on the big picture of a positive, healthy relationship and work towards it.

4) Evaluate your expectations.

Sometimes, you feel like you’re faced with a setback, it’s simply because you had unrealistic expectations to begin with. This is usually because you had an idea of the way you wanted things to go, but you neglected to factor in the thoughts and feelings of the other people involved.

When you feed into the idea that things have to always go the way you want it to go, it’s setting yourself up for many perceived setbacks. But if you take all the factors into consideration before jumping to conclusions, you can actually reduce the need for resilience altogether. While this tip may not directly help you build resilience, it will help you proactively avoid the need for resilience, which is a win for your relationships as well. It goes along with the common phrase, “Work smarter, not harder.” If you have realistic expectations of others, and don’t expect that things must go “your way” from the beginning, you’ll create less of a need to be resilient. To me, that’s definitely a goal worth striving for!

5) Accept change.

Instead of fearing change or fighting it, a resilient person views change as an opportunity to learn and grow. Especially with divorce and co-parenting, change is so hard. It’s tough to not be with your child every day, and to not be involved in some of the minor daily, decisions that go on when your child is with their other parent.

The one thing that I focused on when these changes were happening, was that if I couldn’t embrace the changes and stay positive, my children wouldn’t be able to either.

No matter how much co-parenting and divorce sucks for the adults, it’s so much harder on the kids.

Repeat that again.

No matter how much co-parenting and divorce sucks for the adults, it’s so much harder on the kids.

To embrace change, you can focus on some of these examples of a resilient mindset:

  • “I’m strong enough to get through this.”
    “I still have a lot of things in life I can be grateful for.”
    “I’m going to take things one day at a time.”
    “I will celebrate small successes.”
    “Change leads to growth.”

I hope putting this advice into practice helps you shift to a more positive mindset, build resilience, and improve your co-parenting and other relationships. If it does (or doesn’t!), I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Be sure to check out previous posts and my YouTube channel or Instagram for more inspiration toward a better co-parenting relationship.

Thanks so much for being here.

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