As a Missionary travelling to many different countries and in the last 15 years as (business) counselor I have seen so many different people. Whether it was in war zones or in slums, whether in great wealth, poverty or having gone through personal trauma, each time I was in awe to see the power of the human being.

It struck me and I always asked the question: “how come one thrives and the other drowns when life throws a curve ball?”

What are the essential skills you need as a leader, in business and in life, in order to ‘bounce back’, overcome adversity and not end up broken and traumatized?

In my quest to better understand resilience, for myself and for the benefit of my clients it seems to me there are 4 essential skills:

  • Embracing reality, rich and challenging as it is, allows us to be present TODAY. It allows us to embrace life, the intensity of our emotions, the chaos and its immense power. Only in the presence of the moment you can connect to your inner source of knowledge, ready to guide you into a deeper understanding of who you are and where you want to go. This presence to the reality we live in is one of the essential skills of building resilience. When you train this skill every single day, it will allow you to thrive in times of adversity!
  • As a result of this presence a deep sense of understanding ‘WHY’ this is happening can surface. You need to feel the discomfort and the emotions of that situation. Asking yourself the question over and over again: “What is this situation inviting me to discover?”. This will create a stillness through which new insights can surface. This attitude is part of strengthening your position as a leader, rather than being a victim of life.
  • Within this ownership and inquisitive mind lies also the ability to find lasting solutions. A creativity linked to our survival instinct, strengthened by this deep sense of purpose. It is only when you are present to what is happening now that you are able to find true and lasting solutions.
  • Last, but not least, it seems that people who, on a daily basis, are cultivating an attitude of gratitude, are way more capable to bounce back in times of adversity. They focus on the resources and the gifts of life, rather than on the challenges and negativity.

When you are able to cultivate these aspects, crisis or unforeseen circumstances may be scary, yet not impossible to overcome. Better still, they can become times of intense growth and prosperity.