My 5 year old son has now lived in 3 states and 4 houses, and last week he started his second primary school.
When we told him we were moving to Sydney he said “I love my school, I don’t want to leave.” My response was “Do you know what the word resilience means Struan? It’s a word you will become very used to being part of this family.”
In the changing world of work resilience is most certainly a key attribute for success. The ability to bounce back from failure, move on through adversity, and keep going during tough times is something we all need to be able to do.
A number of years ago I worked in outplacement, helping people who had been made redundant find new positions. It was interesting to see which clients moved on quickly and which took a long time to work through what had happened to them. Undoubtedly those who were able to take out the personal element and look at it as an opportunity were most successful in securing new roles quickly.
So, how can you become more resilient at work (or in your personal life)? Here are a few pointers to help you in the right direction.
- Don’t take everything so personally
The old saying “It’s not you, it’s me” couldn’t be truer than in the work context. I believe most conflict at work boils down to a difference in or misunderstanding of communication styles. In the majority of cases, the conflict is never about you personally. Learn to distance yourself from it and look at it factually, rather than emotionally.
- Understand your strengths
When you get knocked down it’s a lot easier to get back up when you feel confident you are on the right track. Knowing your strengths gives you the confidence you need to go after what you want.
- Understand your weaknesses
Equally, no-one is infallible. Be aware of areas you need to work on, especially when it comes to communication styles (see above). If you know yourself really well, you will rarely be surprised by events.
- Be willing to admit you are wrong
I used to do ANYTHING rather than admit I was wrong. It made me feel like such a failure! Now, I see the merit in coming clean, moving on and saving your energy for the stuff that is truly worth fighting over.
- Be willing to move on, even if it means “failing”
I think one of the poorest modern day mantras is “Never give up”. While I do believe you should commit to whatever you set your mind to, I don’t believe you should stubbornly continue with a project, goal, dream, job, relationship or anything, at all costs. Having the ability to look objectively at what is happening and decide when enough is enough is key to building resilience.
- Never be afraid of saying NO
Over-committing and pretending we are superwomen is one of the traits that lets us down. At best it means we over-promise and under-deliver; at worst it results in burn-out, anxiety and other health issues. Learn the power of creating boundaries. People will respect you for it, and your health will thank you for it.
Resilience is more like a journey than a destination. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, life will throw you a doozie again, just to keep you on your toes. That’s the beauty of this dance called life – you never know what’s coming next.
PS I’m excited to be a Keynote Speaker at the Leading Women in Business event being held on the Gold Coast next week, hosted by my good friend and business mentor, Christina Guidotti. If you’d like to spend the day being inspired, uplifted and informed on how to live your best life, come and join us. Click here for more information.