After the unprecedented challenges of the last year, there are many things we will have all learnt about ourselves. From better understanding your tolerance for working alone at home, experimenting with how to better manage your work/life balance or even how to incorporate more personal health and wellness into your life, we had a unique opportunity to try things at a different pace and in a different way.
The global health pandemic had been a once in a lifetime event that has touched us all in some form. Both the physical and mental implications are understandably taking their toll on people as we creep our way back into a lifestyle that feels a little more normal.
As we reflect on the last year, the issue of personal resilience is an important one because it will shape how we deal with and move on from not just the challenges of the last year, but all of the daily challenges that cause stress and increased pressure.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines resilience as:
“the ability to be happy […] after something bad has happened”.
Psychology Today adds a little more colour to this:
“Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes.”
As with many traits, it has a definition that’s open to interpretation but essentially, it’s about our ability to bounce back. It’s a trait that calls for optimism and positivity rather than wallowing and despairing.
Whether it’s in day-to-day life or as a result of something more significant, it is our own personal level of resilience that is key to helping us deal with what’s going on and move on from it.
Fighting back against life
There are many triggers that stop you feeling resilient, especially if you are naturally more of a ‘glass half empty’ kind of person. As a pessimist, it can be easy to catastrophize and create additional pressure or make assumptions around situations which make it harder to deal with them rather than easier.
The environment around you can also have a big influence on your resilience levels. If you work in a challenging workplace in which success can be hard to reach, or have pressures in your homelife that are draining you of positivity, then it’s important to recognise this and understand the impact it’s having.
It can he helpful to benchmark your own level of resilience; there are several online quiz tools that can help you identify your baseline. By understanding your default reaction to adversity, you can identify what you can do to strengthen this.
The big question – is resilience inherent or learnt?
Resilience, as with many traits and characteristics, is very personal to an individual. But is it true that you either have it or you don’t? Can resilience be developed if it isn’t your natural style?
Flexibility, adaptability, and perseverance are all things that can help people tap into their resilience by changing certain thoughts and behaviours. Research has shown that those who believe intellectual abilities and social attributes can be developed show a lower stress response to adversity and improved performance.
What this means is that by changing the way we think, we can open ourselves up to a stronger level of resilience. However, developing resilience is both complex and personal. It involves a combination of inner strengths and outer resources, and there isn’t a universal formula for becoming more resilient.
In Part 2 of our resilience blog, we’ll explore some of the ways in which you can build up your resilience and how this can help you grow and develop.
Cube Learning & Development delivers bespoke personal coaching programmes to help you take control of your own mindset. For a no-obligation chat about this and our other training, call Chris Burton on 07879 602002.