How Resilient Are You?
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ~Confucius
Have you noticed that some people seem to recover from setbacks more quickly than others? Have you wondered what their secret is? Bouncing back is an increasingly important skill for professionals who want to thrive in today’s fast-moving world of work where careers are less predictable, job changes are more frequent, and there is less job security.
The ability to bounce back is described as resilience. Eminent psychologist, Martin Seligman, defines resilience as the “ability to persist in the face of challenges and to bounce back from adversity.” Although there is a long history of research into individual personality factors that are correlated with resilience, the good news is that you can learn the skills you need to bounce back more quickly. See below for 3 ways to get started.
1. Use your Values as an Anchor
When did you last have a major change in your life? Perhaps you or a family member experienced job loss or serious health problems? Such significant life events lead to feelings of disorientation. Don’t wait until you have a crisis to think about your values and your vision for your life. Take time periodically to get clear about what is most important to you. Be sure that you are integrating your top values into the choices you make on a daily basis. When unexpected events change reality suddenly, you can tap into your values as a powerful inner resource to help you reorient more quickly.
2. Know your strengths
Each of us has a unique profile of strengths. Do you know your top strengths? Are you aware of when and where you are using them in your personal and professional life? Increased awareness of your strengths can help you to respond more creatively to challenges. If you are in a work environment where some of your top strengths are underutilized, look for opportunities to develop them more fully. Once you know your own strengths you can be more intentional about the choices you make when faced with obstacles. You can also identify the resources you need to compensate for your weaknesses.
3. Assess your support network and invest in your relationships
Do you have the support you need? Individuals with close relationships tend to be more resilient. Despite the abundance of technologies to make it easier to connect to more people, mobile lifestyles also make it challenging to sustain a supportive community.
If you haven’t thought about who is in your support network, now is a good time. Assess what you need to thrive in your work and your life. Review who is in your circle and any gaps in your network. Since, the type of support you need in your career changes over time, it is important to assess your needs and resources periodically. As you advance in your career and work becomes more demanding, it’s easy to let this fall through the cracks. Don’t wait until a crisis to prioritize your personal and professional connections. It is clear that creating and sustaining your support network is an ongoing process. Relationships thrive on reciprocity. Be sure to consider your supporters’ needs as well as your own.
You may not be able to control many of the events that significantly impact your work and your life, but by enhancing your resilience skills you will be able to get back on your feet more quickly.