The Roadmap to Resilience: 4 Insights from Dr. Neeta Bhushan

8 minutes read -
the co-founder of the Dharma Coaching Institute, founder of the Global Grit Institute, and author of "That Sucked. Now What?"

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Summary: Life’s curveballs can be a real pain. In an episode of The Mindvalley Show, Dr. Neeta Bhushan shares how you can navigate hardships and build resilience.


Just when you think life is going good, you find yourself face-to-face with gut-wrenching moments that shake you to your core. The loss of a loved one, a devastating illness, losing a job that you loved, or what have you—you’re left feeling absolutely lost, broken, and uncertain about the future.

And happiness? It feels like a distant memory, leaving you wondering if you’ll ever find your way back to it.

It’s during these difficult moments that a guiding light can help—someone who has walked through the darkness and emerged stronger, wiser, and more resilient. And Dr. Neeta Bhushan, the co-founder of the Dharma Coaching Institute and founder of the Global Grit Institute, is that ray of sunshine. 

There’s a really big point of struggle, definitely,” she explains in her conversation with Vishen, the founder of Mindvalley, as she opens up about her own struggles and the valuable lessons she learned along the way. “I mean, it’s contributed to how, obviously, I’ve been able to create the audacity of resilience.”

From the loss of loved ones to her battle with depression and anxiety, Neeta faced moments that tested her resilience. Instead of letting these experiences define her, she used them as catalysts for growth and transformation.

This episode of The Mindvalley Show isn’t solely about Neeta’s story, though. Rather, it’s about how to overcome life’s hardest moments in four steps—and it’s with this that you’ll find hope, purpose, and resilience even on the darkest of days.

Ep #003 | Rising Through Grief: Uncovering Hope and Resilience in the Midst of Loss

Why Being Tough Isn’t Always the Answer

How many times have you put on a brave face? Or push through exhaustion without having so much as a bite to eat or a good night’s sleep? Or keep to yourself because you couldn’t bear the thought of another mindless conversion about what the Kardashians are up to?

These are often our go-to shows of strength. Because “the buzzword of resiliency is toughness,” as Neeta highlights in the interview. “We’ve got to be tough,” she adds. We’ve got to be strong.”

However, she goes on to explain that being tough—putting on a brave face and the like—isn’t the most effective approach to navigating difficult moments. While faking happiness can give us a momentary burst of positivity, research shows that it doesn’t contribute to meaningful and lasting change in our overall happiness.

When we try to be tough, we often build walls around ourselves, preventing the natural flow of emotions and inhibiting our ability to process and heal. And this can have a major negative impact on our physical bodies, sometimes leading to illnesses. 

Neeta suggests acknowledging our vulnerabilities. And learning to work with them can create a more sustainable and resilient foundation.

So instead of toughness, it’s about emotional agility. It’s about the ability to be with your full emotional experience, according to Susan David, a Harvard Medical School psychologist who specializes in this very topic.

When we become open to all of our emotions, we start recognizing that we can walk with fear in one hand and courage in the other,” she explains on another episode of The Mindvalley Show. “And that there is a bothness and an allowability of both of these at once.”

The Bounce Factor

To say Neeta has been through a lot is an understatement. She did, after all, lose her mother, father, and brother within a span of two years—before the age of 20. 

She went on to become a dentist but felt trapped in her job. And to add salt to the wound, she found herself in a tumultuous, abusive relationship.

So sucky times? Check. Low self-esteem? Check. Grief and sadness? Check and check.

But December 31st, she says to Vishen, is a day—the day—she made a conscious choice to turn it all around. 

That day—December 31st—would fully shift my life,” she explains, “because that’s when I had to realize that I was living my life for other people, that I had not really integrated. I had not worked through a lot of the grief. I had not accepted my reality.

Looking at her now, you couldn’t tell the rollercoaster of a life she’d been through. But what helped her shift her mindset? It’s something she calls “The Bounce Factor,” her powerful 4-step to “bounce back.”

Here’s a closer look at each:

1. Make peace with your upbringing

Think about it—how you were raised, the beliefs instilled in you, and the environment you grew up in all play a significant role in shaping how you express and navigate emotions. 

Maybe you were taught to suppress certain feelings or that vulnerability was a sign of weakness. Or perhaps you were encouraged to speak your truth and embrace your emotions fully.

It’s easy to blame your parents for how you were raised—the things you were or weren’t subjected to. But as Neeta says, “We cannot change anything; we can only make peace with it.”

That doesn’t mean blaming or resenting your past. Instead, it’s about giving yourself self-compassion so that you can understand the lessons and patterns that were instilled in you.

This’ll help you consciously choose to let go of unhelpful patterns and cultivate healthier ways of navigating life’s difficulties. And it’ll lay the foundation for embracing emotional authenticity and building resilience from within.

What you can do, according to Dr. Neeta Bhushan:

Reflect on your early experiences and the messages you received about emotions.

  • Were you encouraged to express your feelings authentically? 
  • Were your thoughts and opinions valued and listened to? 

Acknowledging the impact of your upbringing can help you gain insights into how it shaped your emotional expression. It’s an opportunity to heal any wounds from the past and move forward with greater resilience. 

2. Welcome in the good stress

Contrary to popular belief, stress is not always negative. In fact, certain forms of stress can propel us to new heights of personal growth and resilience—and it’s called “good stress.”

It’s something that Neeta encourages you to welcome into your life. It pushes you out of your comfort zone and encourages you to face your fears and limitations.

If we’re inviting more and more incremental changes of good stress, we’re actually building our resiliency,” she says. “We are building our strength in that way. We are building our agility to grow.”

What you can do, according to Dr. Neeta Bhushan:

Intentionally seek out challenges. By doing so, you expand your comfort zone and develop the skills necessary to overcome obstacles. 

Ask yourself:

  • Are you settling for complacency? 
  • Are you open to challenges as you strive to build unshakable resilience? 
  • Are you facing your fears and stepping out of your comfort zone?

Stepping into the unknown and embracing discomfort is a powerful way to train your resilience muscles. It helps you become more adaptable and better equipped to handle adversity.

3. Address your emotional capacity

Do you judge certain emotions? Do you try to hide them or pretend they’re not there?

It goes without saying that how you deal with your feelings can have a huge impact on your resilience. According to a 2014 study, your emotions can affect how you think, make decisions, and solve problems, especially when it comes to tasks that require thinking.

This is, as Neeta points out, where being able to stretch your emotional capacity comes in.

She explains to Vishen that it’s “to really allow ourselves room for perhaps some anger that we’ve suppressed, maybe allow ourselves the room to feel rage.” Because the thing is, positive emotions are absolutely important. But negative emotions are just as valid.

What you can do, according to Dr. Neeta Bhushan:

Take a moment to dig deep and uncover the reasons behind your emotional patterns. Why do you react the way you do? 

And hey, it’s not about blaming yourself or beating yourself up. It’s about understanding yourself better and finding healthier ways to process and express your feelings. 

Feeling these feelings—in fact, it’s actually really good for you,” says Neeta.

4. Build your radical self-awareness

What in the world is “radical self-awareness,” you ask? As its name hints, it’s the practice of developing a deep sense of self-awareness

It allows you to…

  • Hone in on your intuition,
  • Recognize the signs of misalignment, and
  • Ask yourself crucial questions about your choices and motivations.

And by doing so, you become attuned to your authentic selves. This can help you make conscious choices that foster resilience and personal fulfillment.

What you can do, according to Dr. Neeta Bhushan:

Instead of “Why is this happening to me?” as Neeta explains, the question now becomes “How am I playing a role in this?” and “What do I want to create?”

And in doing so, you’re not going into a victim state. You’re going into a victor state

When we’re asking more of those questions, then we’re actually inviting opportunities for change, for growth, for evolution,” she adds. “We’re not sitting in the stock anymore. We’re now inviting possibilities for what that’s going to look like.”

So…Now What?

Neeta’s story isn’t just about the tough times. Rather, it’s a testament to the power of transformation and the beautiful opportunities that can arise from the darkest tragedies.

So, if you find yourself grappling with the “sucky” moments in life or navigating major changes, know that if Neeta can come out of the darkness, so can you. 

If you need a little help, though, Mindvalley is a place you can turn to. Sign up for a free Mindvalley account and discover the vast library of courses for your journey of resilience and grit. 

Here’s where you can start:

  • Be Extraordinary Quest with Vishen. Discover the secrets to manifesting your desires and bending reality to create the life you truly desire.
  • From Awesome to Flawesome Quest with Kristina Mänd-Lakhiani. Learn to embrace your fully awesome self—flaws and all—and step into a life of unwavering self-acceptance and unparalleled happiness.
  • Magical Living Quest with Tim Storey. Break free from negative thinking and unlock a world of bigger adventures, abundant opportunities, and profound meaning.

When you unlock your Mindvalley access, you can watch the first few lessons of each Quest for free. What’s more, you’ll be part of a global community of changemakers, so you can find a kindred spirit to buddy up with.

Now, the thing is, Neeta Bhushan’s message is clear: no matter how hard life gets, there is always hope, and there is always a way forward. 

And happiness? It no longer feels like a distant memory. Because you know you’ll always find your way back to it.

Welcome in.

Dr. Neeta Bhushan’s latest book, That Sucked. Now What?, is available for purchase.

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Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is an SEO content writer for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Written by

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is an SEO content writer for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
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