Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. It’s how tough we are when we face obstacles. It’s in our DNA. We all do it differently. We bounce back. We fall down. We bounce back again. And for some it doesn’t matter how many times they fall down. They will continue to rise up and show resilience in the face of adversity, fear and even failure. Those who are resilient tend to know how to channel that energy and harness their power to deal with whatever is thrown at them.
We have all seen the people in our lives who tend to be real. Yes, they are optimistic, but true resilience also comes in being real. They are the ones who accept the situation but don’t plan to stay there. And the truth is, without the obstacles and failures, we will never really know how resilient we are. In this realness, those who tend to focus on the right things will always come out ahead.
It’s true we get what we focus on. We hear that often. However, when we know how to change our mental chatter to work for us, we will remain more resilient than others who don’t know how.
Awareness is always the first step. Become cognizant of your perceptions, attitudes and feelings surrounding the set back. You can only quite the inner chatter when you are aware of it. What are you saying to yourself? How are you perceiving the situation?
Use this formula to turn the right corner and get you back on your feet. Recognize, Regroup, Reframe. Awareness is in our recognizing what is happening and making sure we are stopping the negative self-talk right away. Regroup is easily done with a deep breath and a push of our reset button. Whether it’s counting to ten or reciting a mantra, we get to start over here. And we can do this at any moment. And lastly, create a new thought pattern by refocusing on the positive or the task at hand. Your mind can’t do two things at once, therefore it can’t be focusing on the negative while it is also focusing on the positive.
One of the pioneers of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania says that you can change the way you explain away setbacks, thus affecting your ability to be resilient. You must change three things for this to work: Go from internal to external so you recognize that bad things can happen and not be your fault. They can be outside of your control. The second is to change your thoughts from global to specific. Just because this one thing bad happened, it doesn’t mean that you are a failure or your whole life is wrong. We have a tendency to over-generalize. This hurts our ability to be resilient. And the third is to go from permanent to impermanent. When you recognize you can change the situation, you are able to do so. This is a clear example of the “we get what we focus on” principle. If you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right. Focus on the right things and you will often see more of the right things appear.
Those who are searching for teammates, whether they are coaches or bosses, have recently more than ever embraced the fact that resilience is everything when we are looking for the right person. A person’s resilience will affect their success rate more so than almost anything else. The Harvard Business Review did a study that asked hiring managers what they look for in a possible recruit. Resilience was almost more important than any other factor. How do you respond to adversity?
There is no question that adversity and obstacles will come up, but it will always be in how you respond to them that determines your level of resilience in the face of all you may find that will try to knock you down.
And resilience in the face of anything is a pretty powerful weapon.