5 Steps to Developing Resilience for Success

Developing Resilience for Success

Tragedy strikes without warning and, if you are human, you will experience one or more tragedies in your lifetime. For many people unexpected tragic events knock them off course and create circumstances from which they may never recover. These 5 steps to developing resilience for success will help you face the challenge and be flexible.

Challenges may include the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, or the break up of a significant relationship. Stress at work can also create problems that escalate and become seemingly insurmountable.

The truth is everyone encounters hardships.  But everyone responds to them differently.  Your level of resilience determines your response and successful recovery.

Developing Resilience Helps to Productively Move Forward

Resilience is the capacity to overcome, re-engage, and thrive afterwards. The extent of your flexibility determines the success with which you return to your everyday life in the face of setbacks.

You can develop and strengthen resilience with some effort and a conscious awareness of your own internal processing. Being flexible doesn’t mean that you don’t suffer or have emotional responses to the events. It does mean that you have the capacity to find and use support and resources which will allow you to overcome the situation effectively.

Build resilience by following these 5 steps:

  1. Awareness:
    Consciously explore your inner world and emotional being. Learn to recognize your feelings and name them. Naming your feelings allows you to bring them to the surface, examine them, and make a decision about your response.
    After a job loss we may feel shame, fear, and anger. Each of those emotions has a separate impact on our potential response. You cannot control how you feel, but you can control your response.
  2. Recognition:
    Recognize that the sadness, shame, and fear are not permanent, but simply need to be felt and processed. When adversity strikes the recovery from the effects are processed using grief. Recognize that this is not a permanent state of being, you will recover and be okay.
  3. Decide:
    After experiencing the emotions, which may take some time, explore what happened and how you were within the situation. Do you want to do things differently in the future? What can you learn from the experience and how can you implement those lessons in the future.
  4. Find Support:
    Reach out to others for support. Your resources (family and friends) can help you through this time. They care about you and want to help. If they are silent or not present, tell them you need their support. If that isn’t possible, find professional support in the form of a coach, counselor, or support group.
  5. Engage in the world:
    Find something new and different to do that will give you a different perspective. If you have never hiked, go on a hike. If you have never golfed, go golfing. The important thing to do is to find something different that doesn’t relate to the past. This initiates a new beginning or a new normal.

A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that coaching enhanced goal attainment, increased resilience and workplace well-being as well as reducing stress and depression. These responses indicated the study members who received even short-term coaching found that it increased self-confidence and personal insight. This helped them to build management skills and deal with organizational change. Another study published in the Behaviour Change Journal found that a strengths-based resilience-building program provided participants with coping skills and lower levels of stress and depression. It also found that the skills gained were rated highly and used in everyday life.

Finally, remember that you can honor the experience and the people connected to it. If you lost a loved one, know that eventually you will be able to remember the joy and wonder that they brought to your life. If you lost a job, you can connect to the friends you made during that time. Each experience builds on your resilience and capacity for joy in your life. Developing resilience is a journey and a process. Sometimes in the midst of the struggle it is hard to see outside of that moment.

When you begin to develop resilience, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a counselor, therapist or coach. These helping professionals will be able to guide you to becoming the resilient person you want to be.

Pat Magerkurth is an experienced coach who understands the importance of building resilience for a successful life, both at work and personally. Contact her a call for a complimentary session to determine whether you can work together to build your resilience. Contact her at pat@inviaconsulting.com.


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