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How to Improve your Resilience

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Resilience has always been a valued trait but it has become essential over the last year or so, not just in the workplace, but in everyday life.

Resilience refers to our ability to deal with stressful situations and bounce back from the difficulties which life throws at us.

Staying confident in a crisis and calm in a catastrophe, while remaining optimistic in the moment and for the future are key traits of resilient individuals.

They naturally manage stresses with positivity and efficiency.

However, resilience isn’t just a naturally occurring trait, it can be learned, constructed and developed.

Our tips below show how to improve your resilience so you’re ready for whatever life sends your way!



1. Purpose

Having a sense of purpose is the surest way to overcome set-backs and remain positive – it allows us to set our sights further forward than the moment of crisis and see future possibilities and successes.

However, purpose is a unique quality which will differ for everyone so finding your own sense of purpose for work and life is important.

Individuals may find a sense of purpose through community work, advancing their personal education and development, helping others, engaging in activities, cultivating spirituality, and so on.

Develop goals and aims that are realistically achievable and give yourself a reward once you get there.

Find a sense of purpose that works to motivate and fulfil you.



2. Self-confidence

Having confidence in our own abilities (especially our ability to cope under pressure and respond to issues in a constructive manner) is a great way to improve resilience.

The doubtful, nagging voice in our mind that negatively criticizes must be pushed aside and replaced with positive thoughts such as, ‘I can do this’, ‘there is a solution’ or ‘look at the bigger picture’.

These positive thoughts can help to bring about a state of mind that is less stressed so we can actually perform well and focus on the task at hand.

Once we begin to see that we can actually surmount issues with apparent ease it will make difficult events in the future easier to deal with and we become more resilient.



3. Flexibility

We tend to be creatures of habit – we gain a sense of security from knowing what we are doing, when, where and so on, but problems often arise when change is thrust upon us which we feel we have no control over.

However, it is more often our perception of the change, as opposed to the change itself, which causes us stress.

For instance, redundancy is something that often causes huge amount of stress, with some individuals experiencing despondency and depression after being made redundant, but flexible individuals tend to look on it as an opportunity to expand their opportunities and branch out in a new direction.

Learning to become more adaptable, accepting of change and open to new opportunities is a beneficial way to improve resilience.

This can be achieved in small ways initially, such as, accepting an invitation to talk at a conference, trying a new sport or just putting yourself outside of your comfort zone.


4. Solution-centred

When an issue arises, we tend to fall into one of two camps; those who are problem-centred and those who are solution-centred.

Solution-centred individuals are better able to cope with problems as they view them as an opportunity to challenge themselves to find the solution.

They are not afraid to make a mistake, nor do they spend time worrying about encountering difficulties while investigating solutions, as they understand this is just part of process towards something bigger.

Learning to take a solution-centred approach may involve experimenting with different problem-solving techniques, considering a new perspective, or developing specific problem-solving skill sets so that you are better prepared to cope with future challenges.



5. Proactive

Individuals who are resilient don’t bury their head in the sand in the hopes a problem will go away, instead, they plan to resolve the issue and take effective action.

They are proactive in looking at ways to deal with the situation – they create plans, form ideas, consider potential options, set their objectives and actively move towards achieving them, while also recognising the progress they have made so far.

By actively working towards an objective, we can also feel more in control of a situation.