Harness the Power of Your Own Resilience
Resilience is a person’s capacity to respond to pressure and the demands of daily life. It is the ability to deal with problems effectively and rebound from the effects of those stressful or difficult situations. It is vital because it enables us to cope with hardship and adversity in our lives. Your personal resilience is what will help you become comfortable with your own vulnerability; it will help you become comfortable with being UNcomfortable.
WHAT IS RESILIENCE?
“Resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands.
A number of factors contribute to how well people adapt to adversities, predominant among them:
- the ways in which individuals view and engage with the world
- the availability and quality of social resources
- specific coping strategies
Psychological research demonstrates that the resources and skills associated with more positive adaptation (i.e., greater resilience) can be cultivated and practiced.”
Luckily for all of us, resilience can be learned and practiced until we believe in our own ability to overcome obstacles and achieve our greatest goals. You will benefit in so many ways from nurturing and cultivating your personal resilience. Resilience enhances personal relationships, boosts confidence and self-esteem, and reduces stress. When applied in the workplace, it increases efficiency, increases the ability to communicate with and contribute to a team, and improves overall performance and productivity.
Learning to strengthen your ability to grow in the face of uncertainty is important in an ever-changing, ever-evolving society. Viewing challenges as learning opportunities is crucial to building your personal resilience; that positive spin can be key when you have to learn from mistakes and misfortune. You have to find ways to cope with adversity and change, with confidence and clear direction, and then practice those things.
The Mayo Clinic, the world-renowned not-for-profit integrated group medical practice, even weighs in on the topic, offering tips for improving your resilience. The expert medical editors of the Mayo Clinic say it is of the utmost importance to remember the importance of connection, which comes from building strong, positive relationships. Also, it is key to make every day meaningful by setting clear, achievable goals; the sense of accomplishment and purpose that follow supports your resilience. Another tip is to learn from experience and then apply the skills and strategies that helped you cope with hardship in the past. Remaining hopeful and taking care of yourself is necessary so you can accept and anticipate changes; this will help you adapt easily to any new challenges, without neglecting your psychological and emotional state. And another thing to remember when building resilience is to be proactive–assess your situation and determine what needs to be done based on the circumstances; then make a plan and put it into action with confidence.
Once you have built a foundation, there is a kind of algorithm for using resilience you can put into practice going forward to overcome uncertainties and unknowns. Consider the following guiding measures: discipline, focus, and teamwork.
- Discipline means returning to fundamentals and foundational behaviors and following the process and procedures you already know.
- Focus means prioritizing the most important thing and not allowing yourself to be distracted by all the noise around you.
- Teamwork means being reliable and trustworthy, and allowing your teammates to fulfill their roles in the process.
So, again, being resilient means being able to push through and survive in hard times, without giving in to fear or doubt or non-constructive criticism. If you are willing to explore uncertainty, instability, and unpredictability in life, you will be able to “keep it real” when it counts, rather than being surprised by reality. If you understand that life is full of challenges and can be open and flexible enough to adapt as you face them, you will become more resilient. And if you remember to be disciplined and focused and to participate in teamwork, you will discover the undeniable power of your personal resilience.
So, here’s the bottom line: If you harness the power of your own resilience, you will be able to manage anything and everything the world throws at you, in your personal and professional leadership roles. You will be able to face any challenge, come back from any fall, move past any obstacle. You will survive the pitfalls and perils of life with grace, and then persist, grow, and thrive.