What is resiliency? 

Resiliency and the ability to overcome hard times have become an increasingly important topic over recent years. Resiliency is the ability to adapt to challenging situations and change directions as circumstances change. With the events of 2020, resiliency has become a key skill. 

Why resiliency is important?

1) Resiliency helps us cope with stress and burnout 

From coping with a big move, a change in job, or an abrupt change in a relationship, stress is everywhere. Stress is unavoidable. Resiliency helps us adapt to these stressors and changes in life. Resilient individuals have the ability to bounce back, overcome the odds, and transform any situation into a positive.

Over the past year, the fear of the pandemic and the ripples effects of lockdown have been challenging. Many of us had to face new levels of stress as we were forced to quickly adapt our lives – professionally and personally. Despite the negative events, many people have chosen to be resilient. The key to overcoming our stress lies in our ability to face our situation. The first part of dealing with stress is being able to realize and react. You need to know the signs and the feelings when you’re overly stressed. Next, you can take action to counteract these signs. Whether it be exercising, relaxing, or deep breathing, you should have tactics that calm you down so that you can plan your next steps. As mentioned, stress has always been unavoidable – even pre-Covid, 33% of people report feeling extreme stress and 73% of people have stress that directly affects their mental health. This stress can also lead to burnout. Burnout is a feeling that is often followed by overwhelming amounts of stress and overworking yourself. Burnout is common when there is a lack of communication and support and unrealistic demand by employers (or yourself). In recent years, burnout has been on the rise (in some organizations this has increased since the pandemic has begun).

Fortunately, many organizations and thought leaders have started to acknowledge and speak publicly about our stress and burnout culture. Many organizations are now focusing on resiliency as a key trait to train for. They want their people to be able to handle stress in a healthy, positive way.

2) Resiliency can help enhance other soft skills

It is common that people become flustered in a stressful situation and make quick decisions that would not have been made otherwise. Resiliency allows us to calmly assess a situation, comprehend it, analyze the different options, and execute a reasonable solution. In essence, resiliency is sometimes necessary to become a strategic problem solver. Resiliency can also help us become better communicators. Public speaking or communicating authentically in difficult conversations is stressful. Anxiety, rapid heart-beat, and sweaty palms are some of the many emotions that can come up when we embark on a difficult conversation. Resilient people still experience these negative emotions and stress too! They just have learned to navigate around these feelings.

3) Resiliency can help us build stronger relationships 

Resiliency and relationships can work hand and hand. Having strong interpersonal relationships is both a by-product and a pre-requisite for emotional resilience. A strong network of colleagues, friends, and family who can support and guide us through difficult times is essential. These relationships influence how emotionally resilient we can be in the face of an emotional or physical crisis. Resiliency also allows us to better analyze our current relationships and decide what is healthy and what may be toxic. Overall, emotional resilience contributes to forming new relationships or helping us realize that we have outgrown unhealthy relationships.

How to Build Resiliency 

Whether at the office or home, resiliency is key to adapt, make tough decisions, make deadlines, and work with your support system to overcome the hard times. In our fast-paced culture today, we are faced with copious amounts of stress, but resiliency is the key when dealing with the stress. There are a couple of ways that we can build it. 

1) Slow down and breathe

To build resiliency, you need to be able to take pauses during challenging situations to process it. This also helps you avoid possible burnout. Dealing with situations with a positive outlook not only allows you to better overcome challenges, but it allows you to do it efficiently and effectively. When you continuously practice being positive, chances are you will build a more optimistic mindset where you can constantly find the good within the bad. 

2) Ask for feedback and support 

Don’t be afraid to ask for support and guidance. It is easy to become overwhelmed in situations, the hard part is being self-aware and knowing when you need support. Self-assessment is a skill that can save resources and time. Asking for assistance, whether it be in your personal life or work life, is not a sign of weakness, but it is a sign of strength that you are able to assess a situation and understand that you can’t do it alone. Feedback and support can contribute to personal growth and better outcomes in any type of situation.  

3) Adapt goals 

A big part of being resilient is setting realistic goals. Big and unattainable goals will only make demotivated and stressed. Don’t be afraid to adapt to goals as needed. Things change and life throws its curveballs. Part of being resilient is being able to adapt your swing. For example, in addition to setting monthly goals, set weekly micro-goals. This will allow you to easily adapt your goals week by week.

Resilience is an incredible skill that brings health and positivity to many aspects of life. Remember that building resiliency is not a short process; it is a skill that needs to be developed and practiced over time. It is impossible to try and control all circumstances that come your way but resiliency can help you overcome these hurdles and allow you to come out stronger.