What is resilience?
Resilience is an innate quality found within us all. It is largely based upon our own beliefs, character and experiences but also by our perspective and mental state. How we approach and respond to failures or setbacks. This means despite starting out at a lower vantage point, we all have the ability to improve and build positive mental habits, increasing our resilience.
Events happen all the time in our lives. You cannot entirely avoid pain, difficulty or tragedy. At some point, these things will present themselves. It is a part of the human condition that goes with everyday living, but you need to know how to meet it and move on.
Why is resilience important?
Knowing that you have an inner strength to bounce-back in difficult times can be a comfort and a personal empowerment. Instead of constantly worrying about fear and uncertainty, you can acquire reassurance in the knowledge that you have the fortitude to survive. This will greatly help you in your toughest hours and prove useful time and time again.
Personal resilience is also about becoming a stronger person as a consequence of meeting and overcoming any obstacles to your happiness and progress in life. It is an essential, inner resource and an invaluable asset when safeguarding your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your teams.
Today’s business world encourages an ‘always-on’ lifestyle. It’s a fast-paced environment that promotes 24/7 connectivity. You might be expected to respond to emails at the weekends or perhaps it’s recommended that you stay late during busier periods. Your organisation might be following a more for less approach, resulting in your desperate efforts to reach impossible targets. Trying to meet these expectations is what can lead to stress in the first place as you struggle to cope with the constant pressure or you run yourself into the ground, finding yourself on the road to burnout.
Not only this, but it’s an ever changing world. Companies are always looking to improve, expand or increase something. You might find yourself having to get to grips with new technology, new systems and might even worry that eventually they’ll start looking for new staff, leaving you feeling vulnerable and at risk. You might start to feel unsure about the changes you’re facing at work, and worried about your place and role with the company. This level of uncertainty can lead to increased stress which you might feel you lack the ability to control as you don’t have the answers you need.
Management is key
For senior management, resilience is the key to being adaptable. It can help you to view change as an opportunity and to learn from those things that didn’t work, rather than remaining fixed in one direction or feeling defeated in the wake of failure. It isn’t just about recovering quickly, but the consequential learning is just as valuable. Knowing and preparing for the possibility of setbacks to occur is a huge part of acquiring and utilising resilience.
You can Increase your Resilience by:
Building relationships: Maintain close contact with those around you who you trust. Being able to rely on the right people, with the assurance that they’ll be there for you, can prove vital in getting you through hardship.
Taking the learning out of crises: When things go wrong, take the positive learning that comes out of the situation and do not to fall into ‘victim’ mode. It may not always be recognisable immediately, however pinpointing what you can to make you grow will make you stronger, wiser, and tougher.
Accepting that change is part of living: Nothing stands still – that’s life. This is why running from or resisting change is not an option. At some point in your life, you will have to face it. Acknowledging it and accepting it is the first step.
Focusing on your goals: Never lose sight of where you want to be, both now and in the future. Other things or people may take priority now and again but remember what you want and remember why you want it.
Taking action: You will always feel better by taking control of the situation, however insignificant it may be. Many people become more stressed and unable to deal with a given situation because they feel helpless. Don’t be a result, be the force.
Keeping things in perspective: Don’t let one bad situation affect your overall view of life. It is normal to feel disappointed, but you should not be defeated. Life has plenty to offer, good and bad, so keep this in the back of your mind whilst you ride out the bad.
Practising mindfulness: This mind-body approach will help you to change the way that you think and feel about stressful experiences. Much of our stress is caused by worrying about the future or over-analysing the past. Mindfulness teaches us to be present, meaning you have nothing to think about besides that very moment.
Looking after yourself: Eat and sleep well. Exercise regularly and take time out for those things that you really enjoy. Mix with positive people who will make you feel good about yourself. Neglecting self-care will only make you feel even worse.
Key Learning Points
• Being resilient means that you know you have the capacity to bounce-back!
• Resilience is hugely important in the workplace as it requires and promotes the ability to adapt, to remain inspiring and motivating through difficult times, to collaborate and encourage those in your team, and to embrace and respond positively to changes.
• Resilience enables you to take the reins of your own mental and physical health and wellbeing and determines how you react to events outside of your control.
• Resilience is the best form of defence for you and your organisation.