Resilience is the ability to adapt successfully in the face of stress and adversity, which is also very much linked to the skill of being flexible in the face of stress (Wu et al., 2013). A related term is Angela Duckworth’s conceptualisation of “grit”, which she defines as “passion and perseverance for long-term goals” (Duckworth, 2016). “Grittiness” is associated with a host of positive outcomes, including but not limited to improved academic achievement, increased levels of happiness and higher levels of perseverance. 


Is an “indicator of one’s positive attitude and outlook on life. It involves remaining hopeful and resilient despite occasional setbacks” (MHS, 2011). Resilience is in essence an optimistic attitude that says ”no matter how many times I fall, I’m going to keep getting up”. Teams that are resilient “fail forward”. They are ones that believe that failure is not final but is a step along the way to improving.

Stress Tolerance

Involves “coping with stressful or difficult situations and believing that one can manage or influence situations in a positive manner” (MHS, 2011). There are two key parts to developing this skill, namely having healthy, adaptive coping mechanisms, and an internal locus of control. The first key part, adaptive coping, is doing things that are constructive and have healthy outcomes such as turning to friends for social support, asking for help when we need it, eating healthily, getting proper sleep and exercising. People who choose adaptive coping mechanisms will do well in tolerating stress effectively.  The second part of stress tolerance involves the belief that you can manage or influence situations in a positive manner. This is linked to a high sense of mastery or an internal locus of control, which is the belief that most circumstances in your life are under your personal control. So, in a stressful situation someone would believe they have some control and could act to make things better. 

Reality Testing 

Is the “capacity to remain objective by seeing things as they really are. This capacity involves recognising when emotions or personal bias can cause one to be less objective” (MHS, 2011). This is a key skill in developing resilience as it allows you to depersonalise a situation and gain perspective. Reality testing involves taking a step back, withholding judgment and evaluating the facts of the situation before acting (Fernandez et al., 2012). Resilient teams are ones in which individuals are able to separate the wood from the trees, and see the facts clearly, despite their subjective views and experiences. This gives them the ability to pick up and try again after failure or sustained struggle.