Every now and then our forward progress is dealt a setback – that is inevitable. However, whether we choose to stay knocked down is up to us.  To succeed – you need to be resilient.

‘Grit’ is a trait that is developed over time and requires patience as well as the willingness to adapt to various situations and environments.  Resilience requires us to see ourselves as ‘bigger than the adversity’ and to keep our eyes on our long term, bigger picture goals.

The Resilience Compass © is a useful guide for developing and maintaining your resilience.  It has six points;

1.   Circumstances

Resilient people accept their circumstances exactly as they are and don’t live in denial.

2.   Self

Resilient people have a sense of self-efficacy or self-worth and are determined to achieve their goals.

3.   Friends and strangers

Friends and strangers in our lives play a crucial role in how we respond to various setbacks.  They may fortify our determination to overcome any obstacles we come across on our journey or they may pull us down; nudging us to give up our goals and dreams which they may perceive as either foolhardy or insurmountable.

4.   Direction

Resilient people set approach goals and not avoidance goals.  That is, they move towards something and not away from something. For instance moving towards the goal of “a great workplace” rather than setting a goal of “not having a bad workplace”.

5.   Community

The Akram people of Africa have a saying “Your neighbours' troubles have arrived, yours will be here shortly”.  Resilient people make decisions for the greater good - not just what works for them.  This ensures you get support when you are down.

6.   Adversity

At the end of an adverse experience resilient people will always appraise the situation and draw down lessons that they’ve learnt.

Download the Abridged Resilience Compass here

How Resilience Helps

The advantage of resilience is that you:

  1. Bounce back better than you were before. 
  2. You stay more on track with where you want to go.
  3. Shorten your recovery time.
  4. Reduce dip and effectiveness.

By far, the ability to ‘bounce back better than you were before’ is the most important.  Remember though – resilience does not mean you won’t have a dip after a setback.

Sometimes you don’t want to shorten the recovery time.  It’s normal, appropriate and important to experience the full gamut of emotions when things go wrong.  You’re supposed to feel grief when you lose something.  You are supposed to feel anger when you’re threatened.  Not having those feelings may be more of an issue.  At the other extreme, ruminating on them isn’t very helpful.

Similarly - sometimes you should stop being effective.  It’s like dismantling the way that you do things now in order to put them together in a new and better way.  In the long-term it pays off – but in the meantime, everything is pulled apart, and so, for a while you will be less effective.

I think the most important aspect of resilience, is your capacity to learn from circumstances. The more you learn the more you gain from every adversity and the more likely that you will bounce back better, you will bounce back higher, and the next time you face the same adversity you will thrive not just survive.

Want more help? Subscribe, or write and ask for a copy of the Resilience Compass. Because it is possible to perform under pressure and get home with plenty left in the tank at the end of the day.

For more information or a copy of the Resilience Compass © please email us info@resilienceworks.com.au or call +61 438 545 607. 

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