Resiliency is about being able to recover from adversity. It’s not about avoiding difficulty or never falling flat on your face. All of us have been through hard times, whether it’s related to health, careers, family or relationships.
I believe resiliency is the foundation for success—whatever success means to you. But success is also a key ingredient to resiliency and they feed each other. More resiliency, more success. More success, more resiliency.
Persistence and resiliency
Life is full of obstacles. Getting around those obstacles—whether in the boardroom or at home—is difficult. So difficult that many people give up because they start thinking it’s too hard. Or impossible. Other people see obstacles as a puzzle to figure out. Or an opportunity to prove it can be done.
I’m one of those people who keep working on a problem until it’s figured out. Ever since I was a kid, when I hear, “It can’t be done,” I take that as a challenge to figure out how it can be done. Just ask my mother.
This persistence or stubborn devotion to solving an important problem often leads to failure before success. But when we’re overcoming obstacles to build the life we desire, that failure doesn’t matter so much. Because we see it as ‘one way that doesn’t work’ on the way to achieving the goal. Figuring out what doesn’t work isn’t failure; it’s part of the journey.
This matters for resiliency. So many people see failure as the end. A devastating and embarrassing end. But that’s the wrong attitude. Successful people learn to get comfortable with failure. They pick themselves up and keep going. They can see the lighter side of the struggle, like SpaceX does in their video on how not to land a rocket booster.
And persistence is required to get our resilience back when it goes missing.
How to know if your resilience is flagging
You don’t need an expert to tell you how your resilience is doing. You know the answer. And if you think you don’t know, you simply have to ask yourself—gently—two little questions.
Am I doubting myself right now?
Am I pushing myself in the direction of my dreams?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the first question and ‘no’ to the second one, your resilience is likely on the low side.
But that’s okay because we’re well-equipped for resilience. And with the right input, we can build our resilience and maintain it for life.
Five ways to increase your resilience without a Caribbean vacation:
- Figure out what you really want – Not frivolous desires but your purpose and what you want out of this one life. What must you do? And what’s required to get there?
- Surround yourself with encouragement and positive influences – Energy is a precious and limited resource so use it to get closer to your goals. Spending less time with Debbie Downers and naysayers means less energy wasted warding off negativity.
- Take action towards your goals – Do something consistently—even if it seems ridiculously small—to move in the right direction. Your psyche will thank you and the results will come.
- Reframe failure – Like I said above, failing is just figuring out what doesn’t work. The only way you can fail is by giving up. So, don’t do that!
- Do something nice for yourself – Think of self-care like food: it’s required daily so we don’t wither away. You decide what self-care means to you, but if you don’t fill your own fuel tank, you won’t be able to pursue your most important goals for long.
Being resilient is the only way to get over and around the obstacles on the path to what you really want. Whatever burning desire you’re pursuing, you can achieve it.
Hi, I’m Vicki Bradley, an executive coach in Toronto and the Founder and CEO of Women in Leadership Empowered.
I work with women pursuing success in executive leadership roles and the presidents and CEOs who understand that strong businesses are built with strong, diverse leadership.
WIL Empowered is a year-long program where we use all four aspects of leadership development: Coaching, Networking, Peer to peer mentorship and skills development. Our mission is to help women develop the skills, motivation and accountability required to succeed in their business and personal lives.
Take our five-minute leadership quiz to discover where your leadership skills are now and where you’d like them to be this time next year.
To discover more about the WIL Empowered program, visit the website.