The Connection Between Insight and Resilience

Resilience is a characteristic that speaks to our ability to recover or bounce back from difficulties we experience in life. Insight is a trait that speaks to our capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing. Insight offers great value when it comes to the pursuit of resilience because insight allows you to see yourself for who you truly are.

This type of self-reflection and self-analysis can show you what personal barriers may exist within yourself that are keeping you from becoming the resilient person you desire to be. It is via insight that you can begin a reflective process that leads to self-improvement which can lead to enhanced resilience.


A 2016 study published in Social Behavior and Personality An International Journal pointed to the link between self-insight and self-reflection, and resilience and stress among competitive South African Tennis players.

Approximately 175 male and 158 female athletes were given the Self-Reflection and Insight Scale, the Resilience Scales for Adults, and the stress items from the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes. The results demonstrated that self-insight and self-reflection were positively correlated with resilience and that self-insight was negatively correlated with stress.

Additionally, multivariate regression analysis revealed that self-insight was the single greatest predictor in mitigating stress and promoting resilience among tennis athletes (Cowden & Meyer-Weitz, 2016).

How to Cultivate the Self-Insight

Developing the ability to intuitively understand yourself is something that can be cultivated. The following outlines some ways to go about cultivating self-insight in your daily life.

Ask Questions

It is important to take the time to ask questions that will allow you to reflect back on things you did, ways you felt, thoughts you had, or decisions you made. This gives you the opportunity to assess those things you did well, and make necessary adjustments in areas where you did not perform so well. By asking reflective questions such as “Why did I choose that course of action? How could I have responded differently?”, you are able to alter those things that will get you closer towards being more resilient and eliminate those things keeping you from reaching that same goal (Minimalism Made Simple, 2019).

Set & Assess Goals

Goals are a great way to gain deeper insight and understanding about yourself. Setting goals and then checking your progress against those specific goals lets you see how effective you actually are given the steps you are taking. Based on what you assess you can then choose to continue replicating those actions that are leading you closer to your desired goals and alter/eliminate those actions that are not producing favorable results (Minimalism Made Simple, 2019).

Input from Colleagues

An important part of gaining insight about yourself is soliciting the input of those around you. Other people experience you in ways and notice things about you that you probably overlook easily. Checking with peers in your inner circle will likely offer you pertinent details and information about yourself that will help you see where you need to improve and what you can continue doing to get you towards your goals.

Assess Your Feelings

Our feelings are great tools for helping us to gain a deeper understanding and awareness about ourselves. Taking the time to check-in with ourselves about how we feel can tell us whether we are harboring emotions that are helping us or hindering us. For instance, if we uncover that we are feeling stressed, anxious, sad, or angry that might reveal emotional barriers keeping us from reaching goals an becoming more resilient. Meanwhile, feelings of calm and satisfaction might indicate we are emotionally stable and well-equipped to be resilient (Kenney, 2020).

As we seek to become more resilient, we should also seek to know ourselves more and on a deeper level. Engaging in thoughtful practices such as those mentioned above will help foster more self-insight which will lead to more understanding of self. This creates a great foundation for resilience to build upon.


Cowden, R., & Meyer-Weitz, A. (2016, August 18). Self-reflection and self-insight predict resilience and stress in competitive tennis. Retrieved from

Kennedy, T. (2020, March 5). How self-reflection gives you a happier and more successful life. Retrieved from

Minimalism Made Simple. (2019, November 10). 15 essential ways to practice self-reflection — Minimalism made simple. Retrieved from

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