6 ways FBI agents increase their resilience


The ability to pick ourselves up when life knocks us down is called resilience. In today’s competitive culture, resilience has become a critical skill because it takes more than talent to succeed.

Adversity creates many forms of stress – whether it’s the stress that comes from scaling a business, expanding into a new market or juggling the demands of family. More than talent, more than experience, the ability to bounce back from setbacks determined who will succeed and who will fail. That is true in the classroom, in sports and in the boardroom.

This article by LaRae Quy, a former FBI undercover and counterintelligence agent,  lists 6 ways FBI agents, law enforcement officers and members of the public can increase their resiliency

Here are six ways to increase your resilience:

  • Reinterpret negative results – To reinterpret negative events, FBI agents reappraise the facts of a case to find new clues. As a result, they become wiser and more resilient investigators.
  • Enhance positive emotions – Positive thinkers overpower stress and sticky situations because they are confident they will find a way through the difficulty that lies ahead.
  • Get physically fit – Exercise can lengthen your attention span, strengthen your decision-making abilities, enhance memory, and empower you to handle stress.
  • Stick with your tribe – Friendships can lift you up, provide security, and prevent slip-ups in both business and life.
  • Imitate others – Learn from people who have overcome hardship and stress.
  • Stand up to stress – A resilient individual is not someone who avoids stress; rather, it is someone who learns how to tame it.

From the Article

FBI agents often compare “war stories” with colleagues, and since we all shared these experiences, we treated the experiences as stimulating challenges in our job to be overcome. However, if I shared these same stories with friends or neighbors, they treated them as potential threats to my safety. The difference in response created the tribe mentality and reminded me that my outlook determined whether the experience was an exciting challenge or a threat to be avoided.

Read the entire article here.

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