Overcoming setbacks and building resilience
Setbacks. We all have them. I remember being turned down for five HR director jobs before one finally landed. In one case I was even flown to an interview in Missouri, US, only to discover the day after I got back that I hadn’t been successful. The thing about setbacks, failures and being turned down is that they only represent a brief moment in time. Thinking back, I see now that at least one or two of the jobs I applied for wouldn’t have been right for me. It is very difficult to acknowledge this at the time, however. Resilience is a reflex way of facing and understanding the world. Resilient people face reality with staunchness, make meaning of hardship instead of crying out in despair and improvise solutions from what is available. Others do not.
You learn to manage stress better as you become more resilient. A Harvard Business report found that there are three fundamental characteristics that set resilient people and organisations apart.
- A capacity to face reality
- An ability to find meaning in testing times
- An ability to be able to improvise
There are many ways to develop resilience. The American Psychological Association suggests 10 ways:
- Maintain good relationships with family, friends and others
- Avoid seeing crises or stressful situations as unbearable events
- Accept circumstances that cannot be changed
- Develop realistic goals and move towards them
- Take decisions or actions in adverse situations
- Look for opportunities for self-discovery after a struggle with loss
- Develop self-confidence
- Keep a long-term perspective and consider the stressful event in a broader context
- Maintain a hopeful outlook – expect good things
- Take care of your mind and body – eat properly, exercise regularly and pay attention to your own needs and feelings
So, practice and learn to:
- Harness your thinking and think strategically and objectively rather than being overwhelmed in the moment
- Cultivate your own self-control through a better understanding of your preferred styles and usual reactions
- Apply your strength and skills to take some action in challenging situations
- Nurture your connections and seek reassurance, another view, support and advice when you need to
- Develop positive habits to put things in perspective, focus on the upside and look after yourself
- Tap into your inner strength
Finally, I delivered our first Confident Communication Skills for Introverts course a couple of weeks ago. It was excellent! If you are interested in signing up for the next one (probably in early 2017) please be in touch.
Have a great week.