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  • Writer's pictureKathy Miles

Improving Your Resilience

Resilience is the Solution

The working landscape is a hotbed of change, things are constantly developing, progressing and improving and for organisations to keep up they too must continue to evolve. The success of an organisation can come down to how well it and their employees respond to change.

How we approach and handle change at an individual level will depend on many things including personal character and our level of emotional intelligence. Given the cost of stress and mental health on organisations, individuals and communities there is a need for each one of us to take responsibility for growing our own resilience and that of our teams to enable us to be more adaptive and flexible in times of change and uncertainty.

What is Resilience?

Resilience is the ability to overcome obstacles, bounce back from adversity and navigate difficult situations with mindfulness, purpose and skill.

Resilience in Action:

Here are some key examples of well known people who have shown remarkable resilience:

  • Walt Disney - The creator of many children's favourite characters, movies and theme parks was fired by a newspaper editor because "he lacked imagination".

  • Albert Einstein - A scientific genius who won the Nobel Prize, did not speak until he was four and did not write until he was seven.

  • Beethoven - One of the worlds most well known, respected and popular classical music composers and pianists was told by his music teacher that "as a composer, he is absolutely hopeless."

  • Tom Cruise - One of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood was a young boy who struggled through school and was told he would "never amount to anything" as he suffered from dyslexia.

  • Bill Gates - The richest man in the world failed at his first business.

  • Bethany Hamilton - An American pro surfer survived a horrific shark attack when she was 13. Her left arm was bitten off but she was back in the water competing one month later.

  • Thomas Edison - The man who invented the lightbulb failed thousands of times before he finally got it right.

  • JK Rowling - The famous author of the Harry Potter series received 12 rejection letters for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. They eventually agreed to publish but advised the author to "get a day job as she has little chance of making money in children's books."

So what do all these people have in common? Resilience. They pushed through the problems and troubles they had and they fought to find the solution.

What does Resilience Look Like?

There are many ways to improve your resilience and that of those around you, here are a few:

  • Set regular short and long term goals.

  • Show determination - continue to maintain a goal focus, even when something goes wrong.

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle - quality sleep, good food, enough exercise all help to keep the body fit and well which in turn leads to a healthy mind.

  • Think positively - this can be done in a number of ways - it might be through using a vision board, keeping a grateful journal or looking for the positive in every situation.

  • Learn from your mistakes - every mistake brings a learning opportunity and by focusing on this you are getting the most from the situation.

  • Build strong relationships and support networks to help you through the tough times.

  • Have confidence in your own ability - people can achieve amazing things when they set their mind to it and believe in themselves.

  • Have a high level of emotional intelligence, allowing you to understand your thoughts, feelings, emotions, reactions, behaviours etc and that of others.

  • Have an awareness of your stressors (what makes you feel stressed) and ways to relieve these.

  • Be aware of the response/reaction you choose in tough times and have the ability to keep things in perspective. A broken oar may make it difficult to row but it is not going to sink the ship.

  • Provide feedback, support and cheer each other on - providing this to those around you can motivate and encourage people to keep going in times of change and adversity.

  • Remember that practice makes perfect! Just think of Thomas Edison! Look at each failed effort as another step closer to success.

Like Emotional Intelligence, resilience is something that we need to continuously work on and develop through life. The higher our resilience, the more flexible and adaptable we will be in challenging situations and the less stressed we will feel.

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