Why is it that some working women are able to take adversity in their stride whilst others are left in despair? The answer is workplace resilience, but is that due to genetics or can you create it?
Resilience is the ability to deal with change, problems and adversity.
A highly resilient person is better able to cope with and bounce-back after a negative experience. They appear to rise above any situation and come out on-top.
It is widely accepted that some people are born and/or raised to be more resilient than others.
It may be genetics or it could be exposure to adversity and challenges at a young age that form a resilient adult.
But those of us not blessed with resiliency can take deliberate steps to develop it.
Look for the positive
Take on the adage that “every cloud has a silver lining” as your mantra.
Recently been made redundant?
Try not to wallow and think “why me, what will I do?” Instead think “OK, this has happened, but I now have the opportunity to try/pursue/dedicate more time to xyz”.
Received negative feedback from your manager?
Don’t go away thinking “oh she hates me, I can’t do it and my efforts aren’t appreciated”. Try thinking “I made a mistake, but I’m now aware of it and will perform better by not making the same mistake it again”.
Look for the lesson
We learn from every experience we have, particularly the bad ones. What did you learn?
Missed out on a promotion or didn’t win a tender? Don’t despair and let it impact your performance and attitude. Look at the process and see what you gained from it.
Ask for feedback on your application. Could you improve your interview technique or presentation? Do you need to acquire additional skills or experience before taking the next-step?
Stick to the facts and take action
It is often thoughts of what may happen next that drag us down, so stick to the facts of the matter.
Think about practical things that need to be done and try and do at least one of these.
One active step taken by you can provide you with a sense of control, no matter how small, and help reduce any feelings of helplessness.
Have your hours at work been cut? Try not to stress about being thrown out of your flat for not being able to pay rent.
Update your CV, let network contacts know you’re looking for work or contact an employment agency.
It’s not easy to be grateful after a loss or tragedy but in most cases you will still have something to be grateful for.
It doesn’t change the situation, but does bring some positivity which helps get you back on your feet and ready to move forward.
Has your business gone into receivership? Be grateful for the experience and contacts made, and proud that you gave it your best shot.
Suffered the break-down of a loving relationship? Be grateful for the good times and what you’ve learnt about yourself.
Lean on your support network
Most of us have at least one close friend or relative we can go to for support.
In times of stress go to that person and let them help you, or at least listen to you. It might not change anything, but it shows you that you’re not alone, and that in itself can be a great boost.
Being resilient doesn’t change what has happened, it just makes you better able to deal with it.
If you’re not a naturally resilient person you will need make a deliberate effort to look for the positive, look for the lesson….. but as you keep going, it will become habit and something that you just automatically do without thinking.