Unfortunately “real life” is not filled with rainbows, unicorns, endless vacations and a pot of gold in your backyard. Resilience is a person’s ability to: adjust to adversity, bounce back from a difficult time, stay in control and move forward in a positive manner. At work, resilient people are better able to deal with the demands placed upon them, especially where those demands might require them to be dealing with constantly changing priorities and a heavy workload. Resilience is not a characteristic gifted to some individuals and not others. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.
Here are my top 6 ways on how to build resilience:
- Develop strong relationships. People who have strong connections at work are more resistant to stress, and they’re happier in their role. This also goes for your personal life: the more real friendships you develop, the more resilient you’re going to be, because you have a strong support network to fall back on.
- Practice self care. Make sure to get enough sleep, exercise at least 5 days a week, eat real foods. When you take care of your mind and body, you’re better able to cope effectively with challenges in your life.
- Practice positive thinking. Resilient people don’t let negative thoughts derail their efforts. Instead, they consistently practice positive thinking. Also, “listen” to how you talk to yourself when something goes wrong – if you find yourself making statements that are permanent, pervasive or personalized, correct these thoughts in your mind.
- Avoid making a drama out of a crisis. Practicing mindfulness and meditation as a tool for confronting and managing stress. Stress and change are part of life. How we interpret and respond to events has a big impact of how stressful we find them.
- Learn from your mistakes and failures. Every mistake has the power to teach you something important; so don’t stop searching until you’ve found the lesson in every situation. Also, make sure that you understand the idea of “post-traumatic growth” – there can be real truth in the saying that “if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.
- Set realistic goals. A classic mistake that I see over and over, and that I’ve made many times myself, is to be overzealous and try to change too many things at one time. (SMART Goal Setting)
The key here is that resilience is not a passive quality, but an active process. How we approach life, and everything it can throw at us, has a massive impact on our experience.