I’ve been reading a lot about resilience lately. You likely know that resilience is crucial to our ability to succeed and advance. The definition of resilience is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.”
Some would say that resilience is the ability to cope despite barriers or setbacks. A recent article noted that “resilience is a measure of how much you want something and how much you are willing, and able, to overcome obstacles to get it.” It involves your mental capabilities as well as your emotional strength to move past disappointment, impediments and conflict.
Kenneth R. Ginsberg, who focuses on building resilience, stresses the seven “C”s of resiliency. In his book, A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Your Child Roots and Wings, he provides the “C”s to guide parents. I think adults can take a lesson from the seven “C”s as well:
Competence. Building competence in your field enables you to handle various situations effectively. Get the expertise and knowledge you need to be competent and become a key player in your profession/industry/company. Competence focuses on your individual strengths and enables you to feel empowered to make decisions.
Confidence. You must believe in your own abilities. If you are competent, you will have the confidence to walk into any situation and meet the challenges and opportunities head-on. Your ability to cope and bounce back from a difficult work or personal situation increases if you have confidence in yourself.
Connection. Resilience increases when you feel connected in your community and workplace. You are not alone. You have a circle of friends or business colleagues who support you, and you are secure in sharing challenges or disappointments with them. You feel safe in addressing conflicts openly and can leverage your connections to resolve problems.
Character. Have you ever heard the phrase, “character is who you are when no one is looking?” There is no greater stepping stone to resiliency than strong morals and values. You understand who you are and what you value, and you can quickly determine right from wrong. Your strength of character enables you to understand a barrier or setback intellectually without holding on to the disappointment.
Contribution. Understanding your contributions in your family, community and workplace is an important part of resilience as it enables you to look past a setback and know that you are contributing in very positive ways in other aspects of your life. Giving back and generosity are major ways to make positive contributions.
Coping. Seek mentors who model coping strategies so that you can identify techniques from them. Step back from a disappointment and process what happened.
Control. When you realize that you can control the outcomes of your decisions and the choice is in your hands, you can bounce back. When you embrace the fact that you alone can contribute and make a difference, it further develops your competence and confidence. You control you—this empowers you.
As noted by Ginsberg, “There is no simple answer to guarantee resilience in every situation.” However, each of us can develop our “C”s to better negotiate the challenges we face. Resilience enables us to bounce back from setbacks, disappointments or barriers.
In this new year, I encourage you to work toward bouncing forward. I believe that when we bounce back, we carry too much of our disappointment or setbacks with us. In 2020, see how you might bounce forward from a challenge at work or home. Accept the issue for what it is, process how it affects you and then let it go. When you let go of what is behind you, you can bounce forward more quickly and be much happier. Learn from the disappointment, but do not embrace it and carry it with you. Bouncing forward may change your life!
Happy New Year,
Wendy Mann is the chief executive officer of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network and president of the CREW Network Foundation.
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