Resilience: By Leigh-Ann Brown
One of the big buzz words at the moment is “resilience”. What does resilience mean? Google dictionary (2018), defines it as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”.
So, how is this relevant to us?
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The world is changing at an increasingly rapid pace and we need to be able to bounce back and handle things that feel like they throw us off course. By being resilient you will be able to deal with difficult situations better. It is also important to realise that even though many of the changes we face are outside of our control, how we adapt and our ability to learn and to grow remains something that we can take charge of.
There were a few ups and downs in my career. I have left working environments that no longer offered me growth and moved into an industry I am not passionate about in order to pay the bills (luckily not for long). I’ve had to deal with angry customers, solve technological glitches and run errands that demotivated me. And yet I survived.
I think we all survive on a daily basis. Challenges are not the enemy – challenges are opportunities to grow. We just need to take cognisance of those growth opportunities and not to see failure as the enemy. How do we then consciously develop that survival mode into resilience, and not just an “I-am-going-through-the-motions” action?
Here are some tips that have helped me with my resilience journey. They have changed the way I approach the workplace and helped me to cope better. Hopefully, you find a few of them useful.
Rely on your support system
This could be your manager, your colleagues, your family or your friends. Just make sure that they are in your corner and offer constructive support and not negative criticism. We can’t expect to be okay all the time, so let’s use our networks to cheer for us on our bad days. And make sure you repay the favour!
Get a life coach
A coach can offer you unique perspectives on where you are at, what you are really struggling with and why you view the world the way you do. A good coach gets you to answer all of those questions yourself. The best outcome of coaching is that you can start to identify your strengths, your weaknesses, and your coping mechanisms. It is much easier to be resilient when you realise why you might be struggling.
This one is simple – reading opens up new avenues of thought and helps you to build strength through this new knowledge. It also helps you to ask questions – and questions lead to answers.
Be kind to yourself
The world of work is fast-paced and when you are stressed out or low on energy, being resilient is a lot harder! Take time to rest, be mindful, be active or simply just take a break. Everyone’s needs are different but identify yours and give yourself space and time so that you can avoid burnout. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of others.
Understand the people you work with
One of the best things I did was the take time to understand my colleagues. If you know where they are coming from, how they handle stress and what makes them happy, it is much easier to respond to them. This might take some emotional intelligence work, but it is well worth it! By not reacting to people’s outbursts and understanding that it probably has nothing to do with you, means that you can focus on the bigger picture and be more resilient.
I still have a lot to learn on my resilience journey and I am excited by the growth I have yet to do. Being resilient will mean that I remain relevant and am able to contribute effectively to the working world.