The demands placed on us in the professional world today are immense. The pace of life has accelerated and we are expected to be permanently available and to respond to hundreds of e-mails each day, not to mention being constantly interrupted. This is a source of pure stress. In addition, life is always presenting us with new challenges. What matters is how we deal with stressful and changing situations. Do we allow ourselves to be dragged down by them or do we emerge from a crisis stronger than before? A person’s psychological resilience is the decisive factor in this context. The good news is: resilience is a quality that can be learnt. In my resilience blog, I explain how.
The concept of ‘resilience’ comes from the field of material physics and is derived from the Latin verb ‘resilire’, meaning ‘to recoil’ or ‘jump back’. After being impacted by an external force, resilient materials return to their original state. The same applies in the case of resilient people: their mental strength enables them to repeatedly bounce back when faced with challenges. They respond more flexibly to changes and cope more easily with high-pressure or stressful situations. As a result, they tend to be healthier and to have more energy. In this respect, resilience can also be described as our ‘mental immune system’. It is no wonder that resilient individuals have more successful careers and are more contented with life.
What makes people resilient?
Specialist literature contains a wide range of definitions of what makes a person resilient. I believe that the following aspects are key:
Know who you are: Resilient people observe themselves and know how they respond to stress. They recognize the early signs of stress and are able to adopt various forms of behavior and different techniques to better control their emotions.
Choose your battles: Resilient people don’t get stressed about things they cannot change. In the wise words of Reinhold Niebuhr: ‘Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’
See the positive in things: This is not about positive thinking but rather about turning negatives into positives. What are the good things in your life for which you are grateful? As Irina Rauthmann said: ‘Being thankful is a declaration of love for live.’
Assume responsibility for yourself: Don’t take the view that everyone else is to blame. You can take action in order to feel better. Resilient people are also confronted with difficulties. However, they have a basic sense of optimism that everything will work out fine in the end and they assume responsibility to make this happen.
Stay focused: Don’t allow yourself to always be distracted and try to concentrate on what you are doing. Show perseverance, even in difficult situations. Resilient people are analytical and rigorous and they strive to achieve their goals.
Build relationships: Recognize what motivates other people and where their priorities lie. If you have a better understanding of other people, they will sense this and appreciate it – and they will respond to you entirely differently.
Look after yourself: Resilient people make sure that they are fit and well. They get enough sleep, have a healthy diet and take regular exercise. They also look after their mental wellbeing by doing things that are good for them. This means that they set clear boundaries and are also capable of saying ‘no’ from time to time.
Resilience can be learnt
You may be saying to yourself: Of course I want to be resilient – but how can I achieve this? The good news is: resilience can be learnt and practiced. In my resilience blog, which focuses on providing practical advice, I explain how there are numerous different ways of becoming or remaining resilient. Why not sign up to it?