Developing Resilience in the Face of Fear

(Developing Resilience in the Face of Fear is the second post in the Featured Resilience Series.
Click here to view the first post in the series: Start with a Strong Foundation.)

Developing Resilience in the Face of FearHow do you build resilience in the face of fear? You’ve just received a diagnosis for a potentially life-threatening disease and you are now rapidly becoming fearful of what the future will bring. In this moment who has time to worry about building resilience – you just want someone to tell you everything will be alright.

Where does your resilience come from in this moment of fear? It comes from your inner strength, which you have cultivated throughout your life, without realizing that your resilience is there. It may be hidden from you in this moment of fear, but it’s there. Somewhere. Because you are strong. You just have to uncover it and cultivate it. That way it will serve you whenever you face a setback in life.

One of the first sources of your resilience is your personal life history. In your childhood your family probably taught you to cope with adversity and not allow it to destroy you. This is part of growing up and learning to be resilient.

Over the course of your childhood, the setbacks may be as simple as dropping your ice cream cone on a hot summer evening. Or, learning to pet a dog that may seem scary. Not getting your chance on your favorite swing at the playground. Or falling while learning how to ride a bike, being unable to swim and developing a fear of the water, or not being very good at throwing or catching a ball.

You may also have experienced the grief and pain of loss of a beloved grandparent, favorite aunt or uncle, parent or others you who help you feel loved. You come to count on them, and then one day they’re gone.

You can also build your resilience from the movies you’ve seen, books you’ve read, bullies you’ve survived. You may have a favorite author, teacher or public figure who you admire for their strength and resilience in the face of fear. Draw on their experiences to help boost your own sense of strength.

Here’s a simple exercise to try:


Resilience Exercise


*Please note, the information provided on this site is purely to provide education and entertainment. I am writing from my personal experience and training as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. I am not a Medical Doctor (MD) and do NOT provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.. For any questions you have about any medical condition, please seek the advice of a qualified physician or other qualified health provider.


Hi, I am

Barbara Spalding MS, RDN, Culinary Dietitian

As a dietitian and world traveler, I love bold flavors — in food and in life. 14 years ago, I fell down the rabbit hole into Breast Cancer Wonderland. Since then, I’ve learned to cook differently while savoring the pleasures of food and companionship. I’ve built a resilient new life and a bold new kitchen. Let me show you the flavors of the world.
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