Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Resilience. Once again. And probably many more times to come.
More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. Your resilience will determine to what extent you succeed and fail. But more importantly, it will determine whether you perceive something as success or failure and to what extent. It’s not just beauty that is in the eye of the beholder. Success and failure like to join that party.
Some questions for you to consider: If you did not succeed in some venture, is it a total failure? Are you a total failure? Or is it the opposite: Do you still perceive it (or sell it) as a success without having learned much and with your friends calling you, usually behind your back, blind, out-of-touch and in denial? Or do you perceive it as a situation in which you did not reach your goal, which often hurts in many different ways, but do you also see it as a situation in which you learned a lot. Input that you will take with you into the next attempt, challenge, or endeavor.
Resilience is typically associated with bouncing back after adversity and with perseverance, a positive mindset, patience, persistence and the like. It is only logical to conclude that your resilience can be strengthened by education, experience and training, but this is not given, this is not an automatic process. Your mindset, your attitude, and your courage to ask yourself the tough questions, to explore the tough feedback, and to take on the hard stuff (or know what not to take on) is what fuels and drives resilience. No matter what amount of education, training, and experience, an increase in resilience is not a given. I’m sure you know at least a few people who have had ample opportunity to grow and build resilience from their experiences and training, however they seem to remain stuck without taken advantage from all that was handed them.
I have six questions for you. Questions that have served my numerous coaching clients very well. Questions to help you, or that person you know, to move the boulder that is blocking your road and that’s preventing you from building resilience:
1. What is it that you typically avoid in difficult situations and what need(s) are you serving with that avoidance?
2. What are good ways for others to face their fears? Really face them? Ask them. Have candid conversations and ask yourself: What can I take away from this? How can I best face my fears?
3. Which of your strengths might be underused and which ones might be used in excess, where they turn into liabilities?
4. Who can you actively involve in helping you increase your awareness of yourself and of others? Why didn’t you yet?
5. Which self-descriptions and which habits do you allow to define yourself, for better and for worse? How is this serving you?
6. Who can provide you with valuable feedback on your thinking style and patterns, the thinking mistakes you might make, and how they see this affects you?
I conclude with advice by LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner not to waste time celebrating victories or agonizing over defeats for too long. Keep focused on the task at hand, which includes learning from your life and building resilience. Weiner: "You can take a moment to reflect on what just happened, and you probably should, but you shouldn't linger too long on it," says Weiner. Yes, I do suggest to reflect and question and learn from your experiences and I suggest you make sure to move on. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in self-pity or to soak in grandiosity or self-righteousness.
Lets build that resilience – it’s a powerful and essential ingredient for a good life.