How resilient are you?


The Scenario: You are a Sergeant in your organization and find out one of the patrol officers who was involved in a previous use of force complaint is now the subject of a lawsuit. You are the person who oversees defensive tactics in your agency and you responsible for the proper training and development of officers.

An investigation into the use of force is launched and before you know it you are the target of an internal investigation that centers around the training you provide officers. After the dust settles, it is determined that the officer and you are at fault. The officer is at fault for using excessive force and you at fault for not training and developing the officer properly. The officer is written up, assigned remedial training and is placed back on probation. You are written up and stripped of your rank.

Sound familiar?  

So how do you react? Are you angry and disappointed? Do you complain to anyone who will listen? Feel dejected and victimized?

Retired officer: How to turn a negative experience into a positive one


Whatever your initial reaction is, however, your challenge now is to turn a negative experience into a productive one. This means that you need to counter the adversity you face with resilience.

What is resilience? Merriam Webster defines it as “The ability to recover from and adjust easily from misfortune or change.”

This is often harder to do than it sounds for many reasons. Fear and anger can, and often does, cripple us when we face a setback personally, professionally or both. As humans, we tend to blame others for our misfortunes which just compounds the problem and creates inertia. To make matters worse, the people we often turn to for advice, our family and friends, oftentimes give us the wrong advice.

The two biggest ways you can build more resiliency in your life is by accepting responsibility for the roadblocks and obstacles in your life, and by recognizing how you look at adversity in general.

When you take personal responsibility for your mistakes you are taking the power away from someone else who might use your inability to take responsibility against you down the road. Trust me, someone will always use that against you.  After over two decades in law enforcement and after making my fair share of mistakes in my career I always fared better when I took responsibility for my mistakes and errors in judgement.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. Why should I take responsibility if I get into a fender bender and it wasn’t may fault? I am not taking about situations like this, but I am talking about situations where you could have done something better or different, to improve the outcome.

Retired officer: How to turn a negative experience into a positive one


Adversity is nothing to fear, but so many of us do. Most of us don’t realize that in order to grow and learn we must face, and more importantly, overcome adversity. But’s that’s not how most of us were conditioned growing up. I know I wasn’t. We were conditioned that adversity and failure were to be avoided at all costs. That advice is such a disservice.

We don’t learn from being perfect. We learn from our mistakes.

When you become more resilient, your attitude improves, your relationships improve, your overall health improves, and your confidence builds.

Make a point to become more resilient today and become a happier and better you.

Need help? Reach out to me at


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