The world is different since the COVID-19 virus began spreading across the world. We know that in many ways, life may never return to the ‘normal’ of Pre- COVID-19. Through our work with organizations and candidates, a common theme has emerged over this time for individuals everywhere – whether they be Leaders with Executive Coaching programs or Individuals who no longer have a job and are in Career Transition.
The need for resilience is an essential tool all people – leaders, employees, small business owners, the unemployed, families – mums and dads can add to their arsenal. It’s one of the things that will help you move forward in a world that currently offers more questions than answers. Helen Beesley shares her thoughts on Resilience in her blog below.
Over the past few unprecedented weeks, whilst I have been looking for ways to support myself and my Coachees to ride the storm more easily, it is the word ‘resilience’ that has resounded most clearly with me.
What is resilience?
To understand how to be more resilient, we must first understand what it means. One of the best dictionary definitions that I’ve found is in the Merriam Webster dictionary, which says that “resilience is an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”
It’s been proven that we all have resilience, although some people are more resilient than others. When someone’s resilient, it doesn’t mean that they don’t feel challenged, or fail or feel threatened. Instead, it means that they’re able to find a way to overcome these issues, adapt to their circumstances, and find ways to move forward.
Psychologists have identified some core characteristics that help us to adapt and move forward during tough times, and it has been proven that all of these skills can be learned. This means that there’s a lot that we can do to strengthen our resilience, even when we find it particularly challenging. Investing time and effort in understanding and changing our thinking and behaviours can help us develop our abilities to adapt and overcome the difficulties we face.
The key skills of resilience for your career
The characteristics that are important in helping us are:
- A positive attitude
- An ability to regulate emotions
- An ability to see challenges as a form of learning and opportunity
It may not always be easy to connect to these characteristics when we’re feeling drained and out of our depth. However, the first thing we can do is take stock of the pressures we are facing, and identify what tools and techniques can work for us. Whatever’s draining us can be topped up and can help us to feel more engaged and energised.
What can we do to build up our resilience?
- Acknowledge the challenges, but don’t dwell on them. It’s important to remember that we can only “control the controllables,” and focus on the things that are within our own span of control.
- Get a sense of perspective by asking ourselves, “What is really going on for me?”
- Contest the negative thoughts by asking, “Where is the evidence to support this?”
- Identify a goal (this can be a short-term daily goal, or a longer-term more robust goal). It needs to be relatable, and should make us feel committed and motivated. Our goal(s) should have some clear and purposeful actions, which we can track and celebrate when accomplished.
- Reconnect with past successes, by actively reconnecting our minds with previous achievements that helped us in dealing with challenges.
- Seek support from others. It’s important to find someone who we feel comfortable with, will listen to us, and is open to is sharing our thoughts, feelings and problems with them.
- Take time to be grateful, and appreciate the positives around us.
- Exercise the mind and body by focusing on our breathing, taking part in sport or exercise, mindfulness, and meditation.
There’s a lot we can do to strengthen and protect our resilience. Invest time in supporting yourself to keep going, and ensure you come out stronger on the other side.