Resilience - Your Health Depends On It

Resilience - Your Health Depends On It
A candidate who was recently made redundant once confided in me that they hadn’t much fight left in them and were tired picking themselves up off the floor every time an event out of their control seriously disrupted their career plan. As I listened with empathy and compassion, I had a greater appreciation of the resilience the individual had shown no matter what life had previously thrown at them.

Over the years I’ve heard tails of unrealistic expectations from work, unprofessional managers, family tragedy, a persistent vulture fund, a difficult child, an unscrupulous landlord and a troubled ex-partner with a tendency to call in the middle of the night, as examples of some of the “micro” pressures candidates had experienced. All these pressures played out on a backdrop of “macro” issues like recession, trade wars, Brexit and now our Covid-19 pandemic.

The individual had shown great resilience and generally had a very positive attitude which had served them well in the past. Everyone at times hits a wall, so I assured them that this was just another bump in the road and that in time their situation would improve with positive thoughts and actions as well as a little personal TLC.

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Individuals who are resilient can see adversity as a challenge to be overcome rather than a threat. As our personal lives and work environments become increasingly stressful and turbulent, we need to consistently work on tools to build up our resilience which will take time for self-reflection and practice.

In the recent article "Resilience in the Workplace: What are the Benefits and How Can Businesses Develop It?”, author Liz Burton references the following five key pillars of resilience;

  • Emotional wellbeing – how well you manage your emotions and thoughts, and how healthy and realistic your views are of yourself and the world. This is the most fundamental pillar of resilience.

  • Inner drive – your ability to set goals and motivate yourself, as well as adopt a forward-thinking approach to progress through life.

  • Future focus – your level of foresight, as well as an ability to focus on solutions and positive change. It also encompasses acceptance of failures and adversity.

  • Relationships – having a strong social network with friends, family, colleagues etc., which provides emotional and physical support.

  • Physical health – recognising the importance of looking after yourself physically, as poor physical wellbeing can directly impact the other pillars.

One of the essential components of emotional wellbeing is understanding and regulating your thoughts. By recognising how many different personal elements must be tended to, you’ll be in a good starting position to develop your resilience. It will also enable you to identify areas that you already perform well in and those which need working on.

Expect life will keep throwing up new challenges and you won’t be surprised. You can’t control everything so concentrate on the things you can. Develop resilience by becoming an expert in your field or area of interest; be committed to your professional mission and act with purpose; seek feedback and commit to learning; be someone who is focused on the future, open to new experiences and is emotionally stable.

Developing resilience will enable a generally positive approach to work and your outlook on life, which in turn will enable better problem-solving and helps to maintain motivation.