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Demonstrating Resilience

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Cultivating a resilient outlook

You need resilience in order to deal with setbacks. But what exactly is resilience? Essentially, it is the ability to bounce back from the problems that life throws your way. Resilience is a very useful trait to develop!

Here are some tips to help you cultivate a resilient outlook.

Aim to be mindful

Being mindful means you pay attention, without judgment or prejudice, to the present moment. Think of it as ‘living in the now’. When you are mindful, you have an overview of yourself and can view yourself from afar, objectively and compassionately. You live in the moment and you are wide awake to your present.

Be self-aware

Linked to being mindful, you need to be self-aware. Being self-aware means that you have a clear understanding of who you really are, in terms of your skills, values, emotions, and character. You know what makes you tick. You are acutely aware of your drivers, such as your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, values, vision, mission, and motivations. When you are self-aware, you’re able to look into the mirror and view how others see you. You understand their perceptions of you and how you are viewed by the outside world. And if you don’t like what you see, you can alter your behavior.

Practice self-care

Remember what we said earlier about being compassionate when you’re mindful? In order to be resilient, you need to look after yourself. Practice self-care. Real self-care means being actively engaged in yourself as you go about your daily life. You have a strong grasp of who you are as you actively engage with others around you.

Have a purpose

Having a purpose helps you build up resilience. When you’re purposeful, you understand where you stand in society and in the world, and how you contribute to that society. Our purpose could come from our job or from membership of a club, or indeed many other sources. Our purpose gives us direction and meaning. And when we act with purpose for those around us, we have a greater sense of belonging.

Build positive relationships

Speaking of belonging, you can cultivate resilience by building positive relationships. Having positive relationships means supporting others and yourself. Having friends in life and work is very valuable. You have people around you, with whom you can be yourself. These people make you feel fulfilled, supported, and ultimately happier – in good times and bad throughout our lives.

Increasing resilience

You can use a number of simple strategies to increase your resilience.

  • Use the concept of failure as your personal learning tool. To put it another way, learn from your mistakes!
  • Don’t dwell on your past mistakes. Bounce back from them. Build resilience by forgiving yourself and moving on.
  • Instead of dwelling on the past, focus on your future goals. This will help to spur you on! Focus on potential future achievements. Motivate yourself towards the future, and away from your setback.
  • The going does indeed get tough at times. What should you do then? Keep going! As Elon Musk says, "Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.” So don't give up – ever!
  • Do you suffer from imposter syndrome? This is a psychological pattern where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a 'fraud'. When you have a setback, don’t convince yourself that you’re a failure and a fraud. This will drag you down.
  • Accept that setbacks happen, this is life, and this is normal.

Remember the American inventor Thomas Edison? He famously made over one thousand unsuccessful attempts to perfect his lightbulb design. Each one ended in failure!

A reporter asked him, “How did it feel to fail one thousand times?”

Edison replied, “I didn’t fail one thousand times. The lightbulb was an invention with one thousand steps."

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Kevin J Reid

CEO of Personal Skills Training, Senior Coach at Kevin J Reid Coaching, Co-founder and Communications Director of The Counsel.ie, and Lead Collaborator of LeitrimMade.com

  • A consummate and skillful international communications trainer, facilitator, and coach
  • Has over 15 years of learning development experience with individuals, teams, and entire organizations
  • Has facilitated communications workshops and training across numerous sectors in Ireland, the UK, Europe, America, and Africa

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

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Personal Skills
Kevin J Reid
Skills Expert

When it comes to improving your personal skills in the workplace, four essential skills stand out: the ability to be more productive at work; the ability to adapt to a changing work environment; the ability to manage your time effectively; and the ability to deal with setbacks. This module focuses on enhancing your skills in these four critical areas.

When it comes to productivity, you will learn about the difference between being busy and being productive, and techniques you can use to increase your output and to deal with unwelcome distractions and interruptions.

The lesson on adaptability focuses on how to cultivate an adaptable mind-set at work, and how to find alternative – and innovative – solutions to problems by using tactics like brainstorming and mind-mapping.

The time-management lesson explains how to prioritize tasks and set goals, how to save and create time, and how to eliminate personal time stealers such as excessively viewing email or attending too many meetings.

The module concludes with a lesson on how to respond to setbacks in the workplace. You will discover the importance of demonstrating resilience in the face of adversity, and how to turn setbacks into valuable learning opportunities.