Resilience is hot topic right now; we’ve faced so much change, uncertainty and disruption the past few years, the affect of which is still being felt in our organisations. The good news is that resilience is something that can be developed through practice and intentional effort. Here are 5 skills that can increase resilience.
1. Take 100% ownership
People so often putting their self-worth, happiness, fulfilment, wellbeing and ultimately performance in the hands of external factors. When faced with a difficult situation, it’s easy to feel like it’s happening to you and therefore we attach a meaning or negative connotation to it.
Here’s a really important equation that will increase your resilience:
It stands for Event + Behaviour = Result
Life is just a series of events. Your bus is late; you get a promotion; your parents divorce; the exam question wasn’t what you hoped for; your boss shows up in a bad mood. Most of these events you have no control over, but how you respond to each of these events is completely down to you – which in turn will determine the results you get in life, and how you feel about it.
And our superpower is that we get to choose how we respond. For each event that unfolds, we can choose from a huge range of behaviours. We can flip out, get stressed, withdraw, blame someone, ignore someone, pretend to be OK when we’re not… Or we can take a deep breath, stay calm, shrug it off and accept the event for what it is – just an event.
That’s why this equation is so essential; it gives you back control of your future, which in turn can build your resilience.
2. Be a courageous learner
Do you have the courage to look at the raw facts? Courageous learners are acutely self-aware and have the ability to tell the truth to themselves and to others. They proactively seek to change and develop themselves throughout their lives.
This means collecting as much information and data as possible, listening to different opinions and trying to look past our own beliefs, values and ambitions.
When running a feedback exercise during an Ivy House programme, Amy – one of the delegates – started welling up. Her tears were due to a fear of hearing stuff about herself that she didn’t want to hear. It was clear that Amy believed that if people didn’t like things about her or suggested she could do something better, it meant she was ‘worth’ less.
Courageous learners are able to hear other opinions about their behaviour or their performance because they know that their self-worth isn’t up for grabs – it’s just useful data that they can choose to take action on, or not.
When it comes to resilience, the skill of being a courageous learner helps us to see setbacks as an opportunity for learning and growth.
3. Align to your core strength
Our core strength is what makes up who we are. It includes our values, beliefs and our driving forces, the skills and talents that put us in our element and eventually, perhaps our purpose in life. When we know who we are at our core, everything becomes so much easier. When we have a clear vision, know which direction to head in and understand our personal values, making decisions becomes easy. When we are doing the right job or studying subject that interest us, we learn quicker, put in extra effort and success is much easier to achieve.
When we teach core strength on our programmes, we coach people to discover their values, beliefs, driving forces, their element and their purpose. It’s not something that happens overnight, and they change as people get to know themselves better.
If we are strong at our core and know ourselves deeply, we are able to see any wobbles that come our way for what they are and right ourselves pretty quickly. If we aren’t, we will likely fall over, feel defeated and maybe make a whole lot of drama getting back into balance. A successful life is not one without wobbles; it is one in which we are able to handle what comes our way and quickly get back into alignment.
4. Make your mind work for you, not against you
We have thousands of thoughts a day. At Ivy House we call them ‘thought-drones’ and we imagine them buzzing around, flying in and out of our heads all day. Some drones drive negative feelings and behaviour, others create positive feelings and behaviour. If you had a net, what drones are you regularly catching and focusing on?
The thoughts you choose to focus on determine how you feel, and how you feel directly affects the quality of your life. A key part of resilience is recognising that you have a choice of what to do with your thoughts – hold on to them and let them overpower you, or let them go so they don’t affect you at all.
And, we need to be okay with having feelings. All emotions – sadness, pain, heartbreak, frustration, joy, excitement, love and belonging (to name a few) – are simply part of the deal of being human. So if we’re going to be strong, resilient, and fully alive, we have to learn to be okay with emotions of all kinds, including the ‘bad’.
5. Be proactive about your wellbeing
Resilience and wellbeing are closely linked. The media may have you given you the impression that wellbeing depends on expensive yoga mats, scented candles, extreme workouts and the occasional pizza party in the office. But it absolutely does not. Wellbeing is, simply, the feeling of being well; mentally, physical and spiritually. It’s a deep certainty that no matter what happens, we’re going to be okay. It’s an inner peacefulness.
We can’t be resilient – have the ability to deal with change, uncertainty or difficult situations in a healthy way – if we don’t have our wellbeing.
When we are proactive about our wellbeing, life stops being scary and starts becoming an adventure. At Ivy House we teach the 3 secrets to wellbeing:
- Wellbeing is innate
- You’re always moving toward or away from your wellbeing
- Wellbeing is an everyday job
We need to proactively focus on our wellbeing, consciously creating an environment that makes it easy for us to stay connected to our mind, body and soul.
Resilience isn’t just for the tough times, it’s also for the good times. Drawing on inner strength to achieve more, be more creative, stretch yourself to be extraordinary. That’s why we build all of these skills into every one our leadership development solutions.