We often hear the word resilience as a quality to be admired, but what does it really mean? Why is it important, and how can you cultivate it within yourself? Those are some of the questions I want to consider over the next few posts.
I know from my own experience currently of looking for a new role as a Learning and Development Professional and from talking to others that resilience is something we all need to develop as we contend with what life exposes us to.
Resilience, or psychological resilience, can make all the difference between success and failure. It can help you lead a happy life in which you are able to look on the bright side no matter what happens, even when you experience serious challenges or issues.
Resilience is a state of mind. A resilient person is strong and self-confident enough to feel like they can cope with whatever life throws at them without falling apart.
Does this sound like you? Or do you wish you could be more resilient? Over the next few posts I want to cover what resilience is, why it is important, and how to develop it in yourself and help others develop it – both at home and in the workplace.
So let’s start with a definition of what resilience is and why it is an important characteristic to possess.
What is Resilience?
According to the dictionary, resilience can be defined as, “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” I also quite like the definition when applied to an “object” which is “the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape” as this gives is a very visual sense of what it looks like.
You may have noticed that some people seem to be able to cope with even the most difficult conditions without complaining, giving up, or getting depressed and upset. What most people would consider to be disasters, such as a hurricane and all the damage it causes, a resilient person will seem to take in their stride. They will be upset, naturally, but they won’t let their emotions take over at the expense of logic and all the practical things that need to be done to deal with the situation. Many of us will be familiar with having to look for a new job and encountering the seemingly endless silence of the recruiters when applying for roles. I wrote about how resilient we need to be in those sort of situations here.
Put simply, resilience is a strong ability to cope and adjust to new situations, even difficult ones, as they happen. A resilient person can get back to normal quite quickly after an illness, or adjust to a new normal, such as a new set of circumstances that arise as a result being made redundant or some other significant change.
We all have to face difficult situations in life when they arise, but resilience means not allowing them to become fearful or running away from them. Rather, it is an active process of understanding that you have choices in every situation, and trying to make the smartest ones that will lead to a happy or contented life once more.
Now that we’ve covered what resilience is, in the next post I will look at the kinds of situations in which resilience can be very useful.