Resilience. It’s one of the secrets to survival, both professionally and personally. It is what has gotten you to where you are, and it’s what will help define who you will become.
Looking back at some of the toughest situations you’ve endured, you may have felt there was no other choice. It was a natural instinct. And while it’s true that resilience can come innately, it’s also a learned skill. How can we lead a more resilient life, and lead a more resilient team, in the year to come?
A Core of Confidence
Everyone has an inner critic. Although comparison can create competition and competition can fuel achievement, it is a balancing act. While constructive criticism can deter certain behaviors in the short-term, positive reinforcement is generally better for shaping new and lasting behavior. It’s also at the core of creating confidence.
Confidence increases productivity and causes you to choose more challenging tasks, which make you stand out amongst your peers. You naturally create a more cohesive workplace environment; confident people celebrate the accomplishments of others as opposed to insecure individuals who try to steal the spotlight. Speaking first and often (a sign of high self-esteem) makes others perceive you as a leader. In fact, over-confident people are more likely to be promoted than those who have actually accomplished more.
A Fondness for Failure
Consider failures as beginnings, rather than endings. You have probably learned more from failures than any other source of wisdom. Teach yourself, and your team, to focus on the data and facts. Embrace failure’s value as a teacher, get curious about the information it provides, and be open to where it leads you next.
Failure is either redirecting or reaffirming. If failure caused you to take a different path, it’s because you saw it heading towards a dead-end. If failure caused you to get back up and keep going, it reaffirms you are committed to a goal and it’s worth fighting for.
The Power of Purpose
We have the freedom to choose our actions, our profession, our financial needs, and the path of our life. Each day is not about what we have to do. It’s about what we get to do. Strength can come from the recognition that there is a bigger purpose, a desire to make a difference, and a need to have a higher meaning behind the choices we make.
The Steps for Success
Teach the importance of:
• Taking a deep breath.
• Then taking another.
• Then focusing on the next thing that needs to be done in order to keep going.
If you wake up suffocated by the list of things that need to get accomplished today, start with getting up and brushing your teeth. When you feel anxiety over an important deadline, make a list of things that need to be done and do just one of them. Don’t focus on the big things; start with the littlest and decide where to go from there. Take an action, any action. Manufacture your own momentum.
Have an appreciation for your history. What are some of the toughest things you have experienced? How did you get through them? You probably already know quite a bit about being resilient, just haven’t stopped to admire it. Remember: you’ve got this. The person who has gotten you through the toughest parts of your life? You.