Your resiliency is your capacity to recover from difficulties. Plans never go 100% as expected. Those who have the flexibility and strength to respond to external factors end up on top. This holiday season, you are probably setting exciting goals to improve your quality of life. Change is never easy and can, in fact, be painful. It is going to take resiliency to go after what you want in life.
So how do you develop your personal level of resiliency? What makes a person either resilient or non-resilient? Studies have shown that your childhood likely played a big role in just how resilient you are now. In one study on resilience in adults, researchers looked at children who came from both stress-heavy and privileged backgrounds, noting how they became resilient over time, and how their resilience differed in adulthood.
The researchers found that resilient children typically had a strong bond with a mentor figure during childhood, and those resilient children were autonomous, independent, curious, and social from a young age. The studies also showed that the resilient children had the mindset that they, not their circumstances, controlled their futures (via The New Yorker).
Does that sound like you as a child? If so, there’s a good chance that you’re a pretty resilient adult! But what if you weren’t quite as autonomous, independent and/or social as the children described above? While you should establish resiliency early in your career, it is never too late to develop your resiliency to overcome challenges and achieve your highest goals.
Resiliency in the Modern Workplace
According to an article from Deakin University and the university’s director of digital learning, Associate Professor Marcus O’Donnel, resilience is the key to thriving in today’s modern workplace. He notes, “Contemporary workplaces are often inherently stressful … Not only can the demands placed on us be high — both in terms of the time we have to complete tasks and the level of task complexity — but workplaces are about teamwork and teamwork is all about balancing often tricky relationships … The resilience skill set helps us manage both ourselves and others. In all these situations, we need the cluster of resilience skills that help us plan our work, manage our emotions and reactions and look after our own energy and health.”
O’Donnel defines resilience skills as things like critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, project management, self-care practices, collaboration, altruism, and collegiality.
Building Your Resilience
Is your resilience, or your ability to cope with your workplace stress not quite where it needs to be? There are a few things that the experts recommend to build your resiliency (via Northeastern University and Entrepreneur).
1. Build a Support System:
Support systems, or lack of them, in your early childhood played a role in determining whether or not you’re a resilient adult today. So, if you find yourself needing to build up your resilience now, consider creating a support system. Knowing that you have friends, family members, and colleagues around you who are supporting you can help you better cope with stress, challenges, and setbacks, rather than going at it alone.
2. Change Your Reaction to Stress:
Sure, this is much easier said than done, but it’s basically the whole point of resilience. What’s one easy way to start working on your normal stress reaction, according to Entrepreneur magazine? Cognitive reframing. It’s a tool used in mental health therapies quite frequently, to help those with anxiety. It involves reframing situations that seem overly stressful or overwhelming, by looking at them in a new light.
Take, for example, an overly stressful week of work, where the demands just keep coming and you can’t seem to catch a break; the extra stress means you’re not performing at your best and you feel like you’re just not that good at your job. You can reframe the situation by telling yourself that the onslaught of demands is temporary and that any mistakes you make as a result of being stretched too thin are not a direct indication of how good you are at your job. You can either put your head down and get through the week, delegate some of your tasks as appropriate, or ask management for additional resources.
3. Take Charge of Your Career and Goals:
One of the defining factors for resilient children was the mindset that they, not their circumstances, controlled their futures. They have an internal locus of control. Do you feel that you are in control of your life, or do you allow outside circumstances to determine your path? How often do you take charge of your career path and goals? Be proactive and take control of your own outcomes.
4. Learn to Become Comfortable with Changes and Challenges:
At its core, resilience is the ability to cope with stress, challenges, and changes. It can be difficult to become comfortable with these, but if you can ease yourself into it, you’ll become much more resilient. Make an effort to stop avoiding any decisions that come with challenge, change, or stress. Sure, a career change or asking for a big raise comes with its fair share of risk, but constantly avoiding these situations will leave you, and your career, stagnant.
Cultivate Your Resilience with Arootah’s Help
Building up your resilience through all of the above is tough work, but Arootah can help. Having the support and accountability of a coach can be the push you need to solve problems and move forward with your goals. Arootah’s life coaching services help you to become more resilient and more comfortable with changes and challenges, as you fine-tune your decision-making skills, goal-setting skills and more. Book a FREE, 30-minute coaching call to see what you can overcome!
The Bottom Line
While you should establish resiliency early in your career, it is never too late to develop your resiliency to overcome challenges and achieve your highest goals. There are many qualities that go into making or breaking your career such as grit, drive, and discipline. But without resilience, your career could fall apart when the going gets tough. Resilience might not be talked about as much as, say, cultivating your ambition, but whether or not you’re resilient can truly impact your career in a big way.
How has resiliency helped you overcome adversity in your career and reach success? Let us know in the comments!