The term resiliency has been more commonly used recently as individuals and organizations have figured out why having a resilient population or workforce is so important. What is resiliency – it’s the ability of an individual to overcome whatever life throws at them. Also known as grit, bouncing back, and the capacity to recover quickly from challenges, trauma, and obstacles. It is having faith that although things are not okay right now and you aren’t quite sure when they will be better, you know in your heart they will indeed get better. You know that with certainty. Who doesn’t want some resiliency? Most of us likely either want it or because we are doing pretty well, think we already have it.
But do you have enough resiliency? Enough resiliency for what? Exactly! Who knows? We can never be certain what kinds of stressors or experiences we will encounter on any given day. It can be the public speaking engagement to a group you have never spoken to, that final exam that you need to make a B or higher on, multiple deadlines at your job, or that confrontational discussion you didn’t expect someone to have with you today. Stress can inundate us relentlessly or sneak upon us. Although, the adversities we face are occasionally expected, other times they come from so far out West we didn’t know The West went that far.
Resiliency isn’t typically all or nothing. Dr. Machelle Madsen-Thompson of Florida State University assesses children’s resiliency on a 5 point Likert scale showing a spectrum of capacity. How resilient do we need to be to take on challenges? Each person is different. This is because we all have led very different lives and within these lives are experiences and circumstances that cause us to respond uniquely to situations. A situation can appear very similar to another time but it likely has nuances that make it different. Thus, your current skills to overcome the difficulty in front of you is impacted by whether or not you have gone through this challenge before, how you see the challenge, and what your current resources are to handle it. It’s important to be aware that how we perceive the stress and our, again, perceived ability to handle it will determine if we even try to tackle something.
Paying attention to resiliency is important in order to facilitate our desire navigate what hits us day to day more smoothly. It feels good to know that there is something we can learn and do that will help us have less anxiety when handling new or stressful events in life. Another reason resiliency interests me is that it is one of the keys to success. The Resilience Center did research in 2019 confirming resilient people are more likely to achieve success. Hiring managers are looking for someone who persists despite challenges, sees solutions over problems, sees value in including more people to look at issue, and is not dejected by failure. What is it that pushes them to see the situation and respond to the same situation differently…resiliency! Resilient people believe they can overcome adversity through persistence, often asking for help and involving others, and figure out whatever problem or challenge is in front of them.
Sometimes we have static traits such as your height, hair and eye color, bone structure. Those are what you were given and you can’t do much about changing them permanently. Other characteristics can be influenced and developed. Resiliency is the latter. Many people believe you either have resiliency or you don’t but it’s something that can be built. Just like your knowledge; you have the ability to study and experience topics to learn and increase your understanding, you can also learn more about resiliency; practice and build it. Like the muscles you flex to show off, you can flex your resiliency muscles when needed showing strength to handle any situation you are presented with, with less anxiety, stress, and uncertainty.
Often when we talk about resiliency there is an implication or understanding that you must overcome hardships and that makes you more resilient. Although, this may be true, I love what Brene Brown says about resilience: “Joy, collected over time, fuels resilience.” The beauty of this message that it isn’t just what we endure that builds resilience but it’s also the happiness and love in our lives that build and grow within and help strengthen our armor.
Today, we talked about what is resiliency and why people are focused on promoting this concept within their organizations. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to delve into this notion and how it impacts an individual’s emotional intelligence. We will also discuss techniques that can help improve both of these to further the growth of academic institutions and organizations.
Curious how Ajivar can help increase the resiliency of your organization? Check out https://ajivar.com/ to learn more.