Resilience in one form is the ability to keep progressing in the face of challenges along the way…blocked paths, emotional distress, disappointments, physical challenges, etc. Although some see this more as perseverance than resilience.
Resilience is the capacity to “spring back” from challenges. The more psychological antibodies one possesses, the easier it is to spring back. Psychological antibodies are developed to a great extent when people embrace accurate and true thinking as opposed to negative thinking. Our language supports both true thinking and negative thinking. Depowering language such as I must, should, ought to, need… depletes resilience. Empowering language such as I want, prefer, would like… enhances resilience.
Here is a simple example. “My mother wants me to attend her dinner party with her friends. I know I “should” go (it is what a good daughter does), but I so dislike these events. I just do not want to be there. However, I also know it is important to her.
The choice to go or not to go is not the issue, but the thoughts about going or not will either leave her feeling fine or distressed depending on her view of going or not going. The resilient individual who chooses to attend may see attending as a gift to her mother; a choice to be kind to her. A resilient individual may also see choosing not to go as self care taking.
Tips For Developing Resilience
- Have a plan. We are genetically encoded to “desire” achievement. Having a plan helps us to achieve.
- Make the goals for the achievements attainable.
- Accept that you may not achieve everything you plan, and embrace the concept that not reaching an achievement goal is okay and, in fact, does not influence your personal competency or value.
- Have both simple and complex tasks on your “agenda.” Accomplishing simple tasks can activate a sense of accomplishment while working on more complex tasks may lead to challenges. Having some “successes” with the small tasks adds to your resilience to forge ahead (without being discouraged) when faced with the challenges of more complex tasks.
- Embrace “play” time. Play time builds psychological antibodies and counteracts the toxins of personal and professional challenges. Play re-invigorates us proving energy to move forward. Included with play pursue some “light” moments by embracing humor. Experiencing humor can be through receiving humor from others, sharing humor with others, looking for the humor around you, and observing planned humor such as sitcoms, movies, standup, etc.
Benefits of Being Resilience
As a resilient individual you project a presence of centeredness. You will likely be seen as confident, calm, approachable, unshakeable, and productive while at the same time your passion about your personal and professional life will blossom. You will be seen as a thoughtful, risk taker being willing to try new things (being confident you can manage whatever comes your way). Others will know that when you are diverted off your personal or organizational path that you will be the one who can recover and forge ahead.
Because you are resilient and a risk taker, you will also be experienced as creative. To be creative you must be able to trust that you can recover from whatever challenges your creativity generates.
Others will perceive you as someone who is capable of leading the way. You may choose to lead or not to lead as you have the capability to effectively do both.