Have you ever noticed how some blokes just seem to roll with life’s changes while perhaps you’re struggling a bit to keep up or adjust?


Resourcefulness has a lot to do with it. Let’s talk about it.


Resourcefulness is the ability to feel confident in the prospect that no matter what life throws at you, you have the tools you need to triumph over it. This self-efficacy is a critical component to self-mastery. If you don’t have it, no worries, it’s a skill we can all develop.


There are two different types of resourcefulness that an individual can possess. Personal resourcefulness is the ability to think positively, plan ahead, assign priorities, problem solve, and reframe thoughts and situations into a more constructive or positive light. Social resourcefulness is an individual’s ability to seek help when they need it.


It’s not uncommon for someone to excel in one area of resourcefulness while lacking in the other. Individuals who possess both personal and social resourcefulness report improved health outcomes, increased life satisfaction, and a better overall quality of life.


Self-efficacy influences resourcefulness because a person’s belief about their competency to deal with challenges has a direct correlation on how successful they will become. Individuals with a high self-efficacy often view challenging tasks as something to conquer, not avoid. Because their self-efficacy allows them to be more adaptable to life’s changes, they also experience less anxiety and depression.  


Resourcefulness is linked to intelligence, creativity, confidence, passion, and courage, in addition to people, technology, and money. Resourceful individuals also possess enhanced problem-solving skills, the ability to regulate emotions, increased confidence in one’s coping skills during stressful times, and the decreased need for instant gratification. This is a winning formula!


So how can we improve this area of our lives?


We can boost our personal resourcefulness by becoming more organized, improving our problem-solving skills (one way to do this is by breaking down things into smaller action steps), reframing our thoughts, changing our behaviors, and implementing positive self-talk only (Have you ever listened to your inner dialogue? Is it helping or hindering you?).


We can enhance our social resourcefulness by asking for help or advice from our family, friends, peers or experts when we need it, or by seeking professional help. It’s critical that we realize that there will be times in our lives when we are going to feel some discomfort or inconvenience, and that’s OK. We cannot be successful if we’re unwilling to risk failure or embarrassment while rising to a challenge. If we confront our obstacles and conflicts head on, we are tackling the issue.  


Here are additional ways we can improve our resourcefulness:


Focus on the all the possibilities. Be open-minded, ask questions, think broadly, use critical thinking, and methodically examine your ideas. Try to see the situation as an opportunity.


Practice patience. Allow yourself time to work through the problem utilizing all the tools at your disposal. Don’t be in a hurry to arrive at a resolution. Taking your time will help you achieve long-term goals quicker.


Focus on the desired solution or goal, not the problem.


Share your situation with someone you trust and ask for their input. Learn the value of networking to enhance your social resourcefulness.


Check your self-doubt at the door. Call to mind all your past successes. You’ve made it this far!


Remember, nothing is ever too big to tackle when we’re utilizing all the tricks in our toolkit.


If you feel you or someone you love could use some help in this area, call me at 512-470-6976 for a 20-minute complimentary phone consultation.



Jaclene A. Zauszniewski and Abir K. Bekhet, “Measuring Use of Resourcefulness Skills: Psychometric Testing of a New Scale,” ISRN Nursing, vol. 2011, Article ID 787363, 7 pages, 2011.

Young, J (2012) I Got This. Accessed:

Hermann, K., & Betz, Nancy E. (2005). The Influence of Social Self-efficacy, Self-esteem, and Personality Differences on Loneliness and Depression, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

Erozkan, A., & Deniz, S. (2012). The influence of social self-efficacy and learned resourcefulness on loneliness. The Online Journal of Counseling and Education, 1(2), 58-74.

Luszczynska, A. & Schwarzer, R. (2005). "Social cognitive theory". In M. Conner & P. Norman. Predicting health behaviour (2nd ed. rev. ed.). Buckingham, England: Open University Press. pp. 127–169.

Bandura, A (1977). "Self-efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change". Psychological Review. 84 (2): 191–215. doi:10.1037/0033-295x.84.2.191

Briggs, S (2015) The Ultimate Lesson: Teaching Your Students to Be Resourceful.

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