How resilient are you?

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When something goes wrong, do you tend to bounce back or fall apart?

We are familiar with IQ and EQ but what about AQ, the Adversity Quotient? This is a measure of your resilience that tells how well you withstand adversity together with your ability to triumph over it. In fact, researchers have shown that AQ is a better indicator for achieving success than IQ or even EQ (emotional intelligence).

Adversity Quotient (AQ) is how you respond to life–especially the hard stuff. AQ is a measure of our resilience, an indicator of how well we cope in being able to adapt to life’s misfortunes and setbacks.  How you deal with everything from stress at home, to work or the hassles  that come your way on a daily basis will depend on your level of resilience.  A low AQ indicates a tendency to stall or give up in the face of adversity.

How the quotients differ

This table shows the type of intelligence and its function.

Type of Intelligence


IQ: Rational intelligence         

“What I think”

EQ: Emotional Intelligence     

“What I feel”

AQ: Adversity quotient              

“What I do (How I respond to difficulties)”

Five tips to improve your resilience

Being resilient, the ability to handle adversity  makes life more fulfilling.

The more resilient you are, the more constructively and effectively you can respond to and work through life’s difficulties. Here are five tips recommended by the Mayo Clinic to help you become more resilient1:

  • Relationships.  Building strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends can provide you with needed support and acceptance in both good times and bad. Being able to reach out to others for support is a key component of being resilient.
  • Learn from your experiences. Recall how you’ve coped with hardships in the past, either in healthy or unhealthy ways. Build on what helped you through those rough times and don’t repeat actions that didn’t help.
  • Remain hopeful and optimistic. While you can’t change events, look toward the future, even if it’s just a glimmer of how things might improve. Find something in each day that signals a change for the better. Our fear of the future can cause us to forget the blessings of the past.
  • Take care of yourself. Tend to your own needs and feelings, both physically and emotionally. This includes participating in activities and hobbies you enjoy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and eating well.
  • Take action. Don’t just wish your problems would go away or try to ignore them. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan to do it, and then take action.

Becoming resilient is an individual experience. Adapt these tips for your own situation, keeping in mind what has and has not worked for you in the past.


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