We did some research a few years ago by interviewing leaders in business that challenge the status quo.
Through these conversations, and our own experience, we noticed a number of common behaviours of what it takes to create a positive disturbance in a department, organisation or market sector.
The ability to bounce back quickly from challenging situations was one of these behaviours. We found that some people even thrived in these testing circumstances.
Before I continue I should say that resilience isn’t to be be confused with endurance. To endure means to continuously push the body and mind to the limit for prolonged periods of time without giving up.
To be resilient is different. A degree of endurance is still required but it also means recovering quickly and using the experience to learn, adapt and do something different. If you are continuously putting up with something that doesn’t feel right then you are in a state of endurance.
Recovery is a really important part of resilience.
And yet for all the pleasures associated with relaxing most of us don’t do it very well!
It’s a paradox that when we give ourselves the permission to switch off we are far more productive and creative when we switch back on.
Many of us have such a deeply engrained ‘achievement mindset’ that when we have ‘free time’ we choose to go out and achieve more – like going for a eighty mile bicycle ride on a Saturday morning, sitting on the board of a charity or late night drinks with friends on a Thursday evening.
There is nothing wrong with these examples and there are many benefits in doing them. But if they leave you feeling more depleted as a result then this is rest that doesn’t enable you to recover.
What we choose to do to recover is a personal thing but the principle of balance can help steer you in the right direction.
So have a think about what might be lacking at the moment, such as:
Finding balance doesn’t mean doing more things if you are already overloaded!
If we get this right then it’s like our base of support is much wider and we feel stronger – more resilient – when we experience a set back.
For anyone that is in the business of change, how we respond to these unexpected or difficult moments can be the difference between success and failure.
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