As Darwin says it best, “It’s not the strongest of species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most resilient and responsive to change.”
In a rhythmic life composed of growing demands, instability and pressure, your resilience is needed more than ever. As Darwin said, to survive, you must learn the skill of resilience in order to adapt to constant change and stress.
I personally define resilience as a “capability to bounce back, using your resources, learning, and growing from your experiences”.
In the previous article from the Resilience series “Your First 8 Steps to Build your Resilience, Part I” I detailed the first eight building blocks of resilience listed below:
1. Willingness to Learn and Grow
2. Know your Values
3. Finding Meaning to your Life
4. Emotional Awareness
5. Inner Awareness: an Assessment of Yourself
7. Manage your Emotional Energy: the Ultimate Cognitive Intervention
8. Adaptability: Flexibility in Handling Change and Challenges
Below are the following building blocks of resilience:
9. Optimism vs. Pessimism
Optimism is an attitude that shields people from falling into hardships. It’s your secret weapon in the face of adversity. Martin Seligman the father figure of positive psychology defines optimism and pessimism in how people explain to themselves their successes and their failures. The pessimist sees the situation as personal, permanent, and pervasive, while the optimist sees this situation as an isolated, temporary event, limited in scope (vs. being pervasive), and don’t them take them personally. The manner the situation is explained impacts the way people respond to setbacks, and therefore their resilience. Moreover, optimistic people manage stress more effectively than pessimistic and normal people; they have more energy and are more productive. Your level of optimism determines how well and fast you will bounce back.
If you tell yourself “There will be other opportunities,” and “the problem is not personal to me,” and “I can do something about it!” you are an optimist and truly resilient.
10. Network Diagonally and Stay Connected
One of the most important aspects of building resilience is to have an informal network of key people (within and outside your expertise) whose services could be needed during hardships. Indeed, being connected to a diverse pool of talents and expertise you can rely on spontaneously to help you solve a crisis is a key to your capability in bouncing back. What differentiates successful and unsuccessful people during setbacks is that the successful ones build a reliable network in diverse fields before they actually need them.
Questions to ask are “Do I have a reliable network of people inside and outside my line of work who can help me in times of crisis? Do they have the expertise I don’t have but which I need?”
11. Know your Reality, and Accept it
Knowing your reality is facing your reality. There are two factors: your internal factor requires focus, clarity, and honesty from within yourself; it includes your resources, skills, and your options. While the external factor requires you to be aware of the external elements such as the market conditions, your industry trend, your work, family and social dynamics and so forth.
One way to start is to question “Am I truly aware and make a reason for my situation here? Am I fully aware of the opportunities and risks? Am I fully accepting this raw reality?”
12. Know your Purpose: Make Goals and an Action Plan
The most successful people have goals and follow an action plan. They are the most resilient as they have found meaning in their goals and have established a routine and a discipline to follow their action plan. Moreover, resilient people don’t underestimate the power of small wins because they lead them closer to their goal and boost their confidence in reaching effectively their goals in a timely manner. These baby steps such, as “I am self-confident because I know where I am heading towards” are signs of resilience.
Questions one must ask are “ Do I have a clear purpose? How realistic is it? How does my action plan help get to my goal? Does my routine contribute to reaching my goal?”
These building blocks of resilience are the pillars of your temple. They empower you to face harsh storms and remain strong through time and adversity.
Never forget that your most important resource is your mind.
Stay tuned for the third part of this series with more pertaining building blocks of resilience…soon to come.
Certified Master Coach