It’s Friday night at our regular beer club gathering and we’re having a lively conversation about a recent workshop I had given on “employee fatigue”. Several people were weighing in on the complexities of today’s work world and the resulting stress of trying to keep up in order to keep one’s job. Lots of ideas were being tossed out along with the rounds of beer.
I introduced the idea of teaching ourselves resiliency. One of our colleagues, who had had a tough day at work, questioned what resiliency really was – did it even exist? I assured him that yes, it does and what a gift it is for those that have it.
What is “Resiliency” Anyway?
Emotional resiliency is simply the ability to successfully respond and adapt to difficult life situations. Resiliency is a subtle, quiet quality that one might not notice or appreciate unless they are looking for it. Resilient people often don’t even know they possess that quality – it’s just the way they’ve learned to see and cope with life. Resiliency is actually a learned skill that improves with age, practice and experience.
Learning How to be Resilient
The best way to learn how to develop your own resiliency is to watch others. In my workshops, I ask people how they learned to be resilient. Almost always they say it came from watching someone close to themselves – maybe a parent, grandparent or someone in a mentor role. .They may have also learned by going through multiple tough times themselves. Additionally, they do these five things:
- Acknowledge the Reality & Move On
- Expect Change & Be Ready to Adapt
- Stay Connected with Others Everyday
- Learn From Past Experiences
- Find a Bigger Meaning & Purpose in Life
It sounds like alot. How does one do this? it takes self-awareness and the willingness to practice seeing and living life from a different perspective. And a key component is emotional optimism. A resilient person is an optimist person. See my next blog for my favorite tips on how to self-coach yourself to be more optimistic and therefore, more resilient over the long run.