Quickly Build Resilience with the 4 Pillars of Strength

Why do some people bounce back from setbacks, while others trip over every hurdle in life? The answer is resilience. Some people are more resilient than others. The good news is that you can build resilience just like any other skill. Learning and adopting the 4 pillars of strength in your life will increase resilience.

What Does Resilience Mean? (Resilience Definition)

Merriam-Webster defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change.”

Simply put one’s ability to bounce back or recover from adversity.

Adversity is something that affects every one of us at some point in our lives. Your ability to get over that adversity can mean the difference between coming out of a setback stronger or letting adversity beat you and never recovering from a setback. Learn these pillars to build resilience and increase your ability to recover from setbacks.

The 4 Pillars of Strength to Build Resilience and Bounce Back Quicker

Image of pillars representing the four pillars of strength for resiliency.

The four pillars of strength are meant to both help you before, during, and after adversity. Strengthing these four pillars will help you avoid adversity, get through adversity quicker, and move on from adversity when it happens.

Not all hurdles in life are created equally but you eventually recover and make it through all of them. Focusing on the four pillars of strength in your life will help you build resilience and be a much stronger person and a better leader.

Don’t be one of those people that lets even the slightest sign of adversity affect you for years. Those types of people believe they are plagued with bad luck. When often, it is self-induced. I’m a firm believer that you create your luck whether it is good or bad luck. That is called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Physical Pillar of Strength

Physical well being is the first of the 4 pillars of strength. There are two main components to physical strength; diet and exercise. To be at your peak having a balance of a good diet and exercise is important. Not only will physical fitness give you more energy but it is also good at improving brain function. Not to mention the boost to your confidence because you look and feel better. Living a healthy life will help you build resilience and be a happier person in the long run.


Maintaining a well-balanced diet is the biggest thing most people can do for their health. Most people should be eating a diet low in fat, sugar, salt, and high in fiber. The daily recommended amount of calories is 2,000 for the average adult male but that can vary depending on how active you are and your size.

Generally speaking, calories are what your body uses for fuel. If you take in too many calories you will gain weight. If you are at a calorie deficit, meaning you are expending more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. There is a little more that goes into it like where your calories are coming from but that is the basic premise of weight loss.

I recommend avoiding fad diets. Although you typically see very good results initially, fad diets are very hard to sustain and may not be good for your health. Many times you will gain all the weight you lost back and then some, as soon as you stop the diet. It’s better and more sustainable to just start eliminating some of the unhealthy things in your diet and work on portion control. Even small changes will eventually lead to big results.

For more information on eating healthier click here.


Image of man and woman exercising for the four pillars of strength to build resiliency and bounce back.

The other component of physical strength is exercise. Exercise is great for building muscle and burning calories. There is strength training and cardiovascular training. For the best results, you need to do both strength training and cardio training.

Strength training activities like lifting weights are good for putting on muscle. While you don’t burn calories as fast during strength training activities as cardio training, your body does burn additional calories after strength training, rebuilding the muscles you broke down.

Cardio is great for burning more calories and great for your heart health. This is why it’s best to have a good mix of cardio and strength training in your workout routine. Men’s Health or Women’s Health are good sites for more information on exercise, diet, and other useful information.

Mental Pillar of Strength

The mental pillar is all about working on your mental state of mind to maintain focus and be the best version of yourself. There are many things that you can do to strengthen your mental pillar of strength. Having a strong mental pillar is vital to building resilience.


Getting the right amount of sleep is vital in maintaining mental strength. The average adult needs 8 hours of sleep every night. This number might be a little less or a little more depending on the individual but your body will tell you if you get enough sleep or not.

When it comes to sleep having a good sleep routine is very important. Try to go to sleep around the same time every night and try to wake up around the same time. Avoid caffeine and sugary foods close to bedtime. These things can make it difficult to fall asleep. Also avoid or limit screens like television, computers, and cell phones because they produce blue light that can make it much harder for you to shut off your mind at night.

Work Out Your Brain

Image depicting a brain for brain workout to increase resiliency.

Another great way to strengthen your mental pillar and build resilience is by working out your brain. This can be done in many ways.

Reading is a great way to keep your brain working. It doesn’t matter if you enjoy reading blogs, books, or even the newspaper every morning, it all helps keep your brain sharp. Crossword puzzles, Suduko, and other puzzle games are also great for keeping those neurons firing.

Another way to keep your brain working is with apps. There are some great apps out there that can keep your brain healthy. Luminosity is an app that has many brain games focused on improving your memory, reflexes, attention, and problem-solving abilities. The best part is you can enjoy this app for free.

Trying new things and picking up new hobbies can also be a great way to work your brain out. For more ways to keep your brain healthy and become a better person click here.

Emotional Pillar of Strength

Emotional strength does not mean being emotionless or hiding your emotions from everybody. It means knowing how to handle your emotions. It’s perfectly normal to have emotions. At times we all get mad, sad, nervous, excited, or any other emotion you can think of.

Emotional strength is not so much about how something is handled in the short term, it’s more about the long term. For example, let’s say two athletes play basketball. Both of them suffer a season-ending injury. One expresses anger and sadness immediately following his injury. The other expresses very little emotions. Which one is emotionally stronger?

You may think it’s the athlete that was more stoic about the unfortunate event but in reality, it’s too early to tell.

If I tell you the athlete that showed emotions right after getting injured quickly turned his anger and sadness into motivation to come back quicker and better and did just that, becoming better than ever. Whereas the more stoic athlete feared getting injured again and allowed his fear to hold him back, never returning to his old form. Now, which athlete do you think was emotionally stronger?

Motivate yourself with a collection of my thoughts on self-confidence, goal achievement, happiness, and more from BrianTracy.com. Get the E-Book of Motivational Quotes to Live By for FREE.


Image of a note saying develop self awareness for resiliency.

First, you must recognize negative or excessive emotions and determine the cause of these emotions. Sometimes the cause of these emotions is obvious but other times it may not be so obvious. For example, at times some people act agitated and easily get mad when the truth is they are nervous. Determine the true cause of your negative emotion so you can work on fixing it and limiting its negative effects.

Turn Negatives Into Positives

Emotional strength is all about using the negatives that happen in your life as motivation. It’s ok to take some time to grieve or cope with the things that happen but don’t let it take over your life for too long.

Many people in history have come back from huge setbacks and so can you. Milton Hershey failed as a candy maker three times before perfecting his recipe and becoming one of the most infamous candy makers in history. This was not the only person to fail then come back and become a huge success. For more examples click here.


Spiritual strength is not necessarily about religion. It’s about finding your higher purpose in life and keeping your soul while doing it. Know what values and ethics you believe in. Success is not worth losing yourself in the process.


Strength is not something you can buy it’s something that has to be worked on every day. Working on these four pillars of strength to build resilience within yourself will make you an even more amazing person and leader.

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