Resilience has become the most vital buzz word for 2020 – the Covid-19 pandemic has created a global economic and social shift which will cause continued disruptions for business and individuals for the foreseeable future.
These challenging times test our ability to manage and adapt to changes which are frequently outside of our control, and can limit our capacity to cope with normal stresses and strains. Our ability to ‘bounce back’ is severely impaired if we lack resilience.
While resilience may not usually be high on your list of desirable personality traits, it is definitely a necessary quality that can assist in overcoming failure, tragedy, and burdens, or help with adapting to adversity.
The Psychology of Resilience
Resilience is a surprisingly common trait. Individuals display resilience every day in all sorts of ways, such as:
• The formation and follow through of realistic plans
• Self-confidence – especially an awareness your own abilities, strengths and weaknesses
• A positive self-view
• The capacity to manage stress
• A high tolerance when dealing with emotionally charged situations
Resilience isn’t about ignoring all the problems around you and pretending they don’t matter – it is about knowing how to manage and deal with them while remaining optimistic and continuing to function in an effective and balanced method.
We have all been knocked back throughout our lives and it is this very experience that teaches us how to be resilient.
People who are highly resilient usually display the following characteristics:
• Self-sufficient and independent
• Calm under pressure
• Emotionally and culturally intelligent
• High moral standards
• Socially adept
• Solution driven (not problem centred)
The Benefits of Being Resilient
As you might have now begun to gather there are huge benefits to being a resilient individual.
Greater resilience leads to a more balanced and centred life, with improved mental health, less dependency (including excessive alcohol or drug use), better relationships (both community based and personal), and improved physical health.
At work, being resilient means you can successfully assess when to take risks, can communicate well (especially when the conversation is emotionally charged), are effective when dealing with stressful situations, remain open to solutions and resolutions, and embrace challenge and change.
Learning to Become Resilient
While a base level of resilience is thought to be genetic, it is possible to learn how to become more resilient and improve your naturally occurring resilience.
The following points will help build upon your existing resilience levels:
• Allow yourself to experience a range of emotions and accept them for what they are – feelings.
• Find purpose in your life/work
• Maintain a good routine – including work/life balance
• Make sure you get enough sleep
• Embrace change as a learning opportunity
• Develop a network of supporting friends/colleagues
• Work towards building your self-confidence
• Practise optimism
• Understand your own thought processes and how you act/react in certain situations
• Learn coping strategies for times of additional stress or pressure
• Face your fears
• Try meditation or mindfulness
• Be compassionate – especially to yourself
Learning how to cope throughout times of change and challenge gives an opportunity to grow as an individual and means we can overcome problems successfully.
Understanding why we react the way we do in certain situations gives the power, and opportunity, to produce change. Learning resilience tools, and techniques, will give the essential skills needed to move towards becoming a more resilient person – one who looks forward to creating a brighter future for themselves, and the world around them.
If you are interested in learning how to become more resilient during times of challenge and change, sign up for our accredited course here.