Resilience #4

Over the past couple months, we’ve looked at what ingredients you need to cook resilience into our lives. Using Positive Psychology, we’ve focused on meaning/purpose, social well-being, and positive emotions. In this final article, we’ll explore how important accomplishments and achievements are in building resilience into our lives, and why it works.

What do we mean by accomplishments and achievements? “Having a sense of accomplishment means that we have worked toward and reached our goals, achieved mastery over an endeavor, and had the self-motivation to complete what we set out to do. Accomplishment contributes to our wellbeing when we are able to look back on our lives with a sense of achievement and say, ‘I did it, and I did it well’ (Seligman, 2011).”

Most of us can look back at a time when we felt this sense of accomplishment. The interesting thing is that one can capture this sense of accomplishment with small or large goals, or short term or long-term goals. For example, “I want to get the dishes done today” would be short-term goal, and “I want to harvest a vegetable garden” would be a long-term goal. Both of these goals and the practice needed to accomplish them require commitment. In other words, you take the risk of wanting them to be accomplished.

In our lives, we can get so discouraged with failed pursuits that the risk of wanting to accomplish or achieve anything can seem too scary to try. This learned helplessness is considered a contributor of depression. So, how do we face the fear of failure? Our answer comes from none other than Michael Jordan, the NBA basketball star, when he said, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Jordan understands one failure doesn’t mean you will always be a failure. Failure can be a great teacher, providing sound advice about changing your course and coming at your goal from a different angle.

When you have a balance of short-term and long-term goals, you can build the confidence in yourself to be able to commit to something again, and then start chipping away at the larger goals, like paying off debts, buying a new car, or getting into better physical shape.

Practice Goal Setting:

1) Set three achievable short-terms goals. Decide when you would like to accomplish them, and how you will measure when your goal is accomplished (for example: I will do a sudoku puzzle in 25 minutes 3x per week).

2) Celebrate your achievements with yourself or others. Consider setting appropriate rewards for accomplishing your goals.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again! If you would like a teammate in this journey or help in setting goals in your life, therapists at the Rapha Centre can help with accountability or support.

Outpatient Addiction and Recovery Community Mental Health

482 Interstate Drive, Suite D 1615 McMinnville Highway

Manchester, TN 37355, Hours: Mon-Fri


P| (931) 444-1000 Manchester, TN 37355, Hours: Mon-Fri 7:15am-5:00pm/Sat,Sun-Closed P| (931) 450-8255


Seligman, M. (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of Happiness and Well-being. New York, Atria Paperback.

Landon Rivas

Landon Rivas

Landon Rivas (M.S. LPC-MHSP) has worked in mental health counseling for seven years in diverse treatment settings. He specializes in treating anxiety, depression, and addiction in adult populations and is especially interested in rural health care.

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