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I Thought I Was Resilient, Until a Devastating Loss Showed Me Resilience Is Not Something You Just 'Have' It's something you build.

By Mita Mallick

This story appears in the May 2024 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of Mita Mallick

When I began my career in marketing, a mentor told me this: Resilience is key. I nodded at the time, thinking I understood what he meant — that nothing is easy, that the strong-willed survive, and so on. I struggled with confidence during my early career, but over time I grew bolder, well-respected, and accomplished. Wasn't this resiliency? I thought I'd learned my mentor's lesson.

But I did not understand resilience at all. That became clear in 2017, when my father unexpectedly died. He was a stable, inspiring force in my life — and with him gone, I felt in free fall. I started isolating myself. I lost focus at work. My decades of experience and confidence slipped away.

Related: My Company Makes Body Armor for Police Officers. When This Happened, My Whole Business Strategy Changed.

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