Build Resiliency

In a recent TeamStrength meeting, I referred to the pandemic as a form of ‘resiliency training.’  Here’s a new way to make sure we don’t let a good crisis go to waste and use this time to improve our resiliency. Resilience is a trait we can all work on and develop further, and now is the time.

Traditionally, personal resilience has often been defined as how we bounce back from difficult situations. We found a new definition from Jurie Rossouw at Driven.  Resilience is about advancing despite adversity.

“Advancing” means goal-oriented resilience with have clarity of purpose so that you can stay focused on what is important and remain decisive.

“Despite” A highly proactive person who learns from the mistakes of others can avoid some of the impact of adversity.

“Adversity” Things that we cannot readily change are fruitless distractions that take energy away from advancing towards goals.

Resilience is something we need to work on throughout our lives. COVID-19 may be one of the major global challenges in our lifetimes, but it won’t be the only adversity we face. Driven looks at resiliency through the following six domains.

Vision is your sense of purpose and goals.  All other domains are guided by what you want to achieve. Having clarity of vision keeps you decisive when facing tough choices, and to maintain perspective when facing challenges.

Composure is avoiding the fight-or-flight emotional response, recognizing the hidden opportunities, and using your energy for critical thinking and problem solving.

Reasoning is that creative approach to challenges, thinking proactively, being resourceful and continuing to find new paths to achieve your goals or take advantage of new opportunities.

Tenacity is willing to work hard and stay with a problem to achieve something others can’t, learning from mistakes but not dwelling on them, and maintaining realistic optimism going forward.

Collaboration is crucial to meaningful achievements, so build networks and balance a focus on facts while addressing emotions and building and maintaining positive relationships.

Health is the critical foundation – the right nutrition to feed your brain, and a focus on sleep and exercise to minimize stress and increase your mental performance and ability to learn.

In another article, Katie Hurley says becoming resilient helps you work through difficult events, and helps you grow and improve your life even in the absence of adversity. Her key steps to building resilience are establishing connections, coping with stress, adjusting your thought process, and fostering physical wellness.

It’s difficult to maintain an optimistic outlook when the future feels so uncertain, but positive thinking will help you focus on hope and visualize better times ahead. When you feel flooded with negative thoughts, own them. When you say your thoughts out loud and talk through them, they lose their power.  Take small steps each day to build your resilience muscles, and this will help you through this crisis as well as any future adversity.