The truth is that that is never going to happen. We live in a world where shit happens. We have to withstand the impact of all sorts of dramas. Locally we have had Covid 19 with all its tragedies and personal difficulties, the riots and looting of July 2021 and now the devastating floods of April 2022 that have resulted in widespread loss of life and property.
Resilience might be thought of as the ability to cope mentally and emotionally with a crisis and to bounce back after the crisis without long-term health or psychological consequences. Resilient people are those who are able to remain calm during the crisis, making good decisions for themselves and others. They then return to their pre-crisis psychological and mental state quickly, and move on from it without any residual difficulties.
It includes the following abilities:
- Coping well with high levels of ongoing, disruptive change;
- The ability to sustain good health and energy even under constant pressure;
- Being able to bounce back after setbacks;
- Overcoming adversity;
- Being able to change to a new way of living and working when the old way is no longer possible;
Consider your own circumstances:
- What ongoing, disruptive change are you needing to cope with?
- What is happening to your health as a result of the constant pressure you are experiencing?
- Are you bouncing back from adversity, or do you find yourself being weighed down by feelings of despair and hopelessness?
- What changes do you now have to make because the way things were is no longer possible?
Resilient people have a significant advantage over people who are not resilient – people who respond to adversity with helplessness or a sense of being victims. Consider this:
- Companies that have resilient employees perform better during tough times than companies that don’t;
- During downsizing (or whatever it is being called this week) resilient employees with a wide set of competencies have a better chance of being kept on
- Resilient job applicants are more likely to be hired than those who are not;
- When the job skills of resilient people are no longer needed, they will quickly learn new ways to earn an income;
- When the economic times are tough, resilient people give their families a better chance of pulling through and bouncing back;
- Resilient people are able to make the best out of difficult situations;
- Less resilient people are more likely to become ill during difficult times.
Now rate your own resilience (1 = very little; 5 = very strong):
Low score: A self rating score under 50 indicates that life is probably a struggle for you. You may not handle pressure well. You don’t learn anything useful from bad experiences. You feel hurt when people criticize you. You may sometimes feel helpless and without hope.
If these statements fit you, ask yourself “Would I like to learn how to handle my difficulties better”. If your answer is yes, then a good way to start is to meet with others who are working to develop their resilience skills. Let them coach, encourage and guide you. Another way is to work with a coach or a therapist. The fact that you feel motivated to be more resilience is a positive sign.
High score: If you rated yourself high on most of these statements you would have a score over 90. This means you know you are very good at bouncing back from life’s setbacks.
A question for you to consider is whether you feel willing to tell your story to others and make yourself available to people who are trying to cope with adversities. People learn from real-life role models. You could be one.
Middle scores: If you agreed with many of the statements and scored in the 70-89 range, then that is very good! It means that you are fairly resilient, but that you could become even more resilient and confident by paying attention to some of those factors that will make the difference.
If you scored in the 50-69 range, you appear to be fairly adequate, but you may be underrating yourself. A much larger percentage of people underrate themselves than overrate themselves on the assessment. Some people have a habit of being modest and automatically give themselves a 3 on every item for a total score of 60. If your score is in the 50-69 range, we need to find out how valid your self rating is.
In the next article, we will look at ways in which you can develop your own resilience, after which we will consider how you might enable your team to become more resilient.
Resilience has everything to do with how you think about things, so it is a completely coachable topic. If you recognise that you need to strengthen your own resilience, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s discuss your coaching programme.