WOW Word-Of-the-Week #288: Resilience

January 31, 2010 by  

Resilience – The ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune.

How quickly do you recover from unexpected setbacks? Do you bounce back or fall apart? Do you have an inner strength that keeps you going?

Bouncing Back

Bouncing Back

The Mayo Clinic says, “Resilience is the ability to adapt well to stress, adversity, trauma or tragedy. People who have a resilient disposition are better able to maintain poise and a healthy level of physical and psychological wellness in the face of life’s challenges.”

“A resilient approach leads to addressing problems rather than avoiding them, a positive, optimistic outlook and a flexible, adaptive disposition. Research has shown that these techniques engage the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that regulates emotion, thinking and behavior.”

“If you lack resilience, you tend to dwell on problems, feel victimized, become overwhelmed and turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse. You may even be more inclined to develop anxiety and depression.”

“Resilience won’t make your problems go away. But resilience can give you the ability to see past them, find enjoyment in life and handle stress better. If you aren’t as resilient as you’d like to be, you can develop skills to become more resilient.”

“Resiliency can be developed by learning and practicing mindfulness and other mind-body techniques. Mindfulness helps you achieve an elevated sense of awareness by consciously recognizing and accepting the present. It brings purposeful, trained attention out of the negative thoughts of the mind and into the reality of the world in the present moment.”

“…more than education, more than experience, more than training, an individual’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails.”
Harvard Business Review, 2002.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Success is going from failure to failure with enthusiasm.”

This week focus on being resilient. Do you have the ability to be calm, energized, engaged, focused and purposeful…even when things don’t go as planned?  Do you address problems or avoid them? Are you consciously recognizing and accepting of your present situation?

Reader Responses

I’m amazed at the resilience of children, especially infants. When I watch our 21-month-old daughter getting through illness in a short period of time, I’m just delighted with how she does it. I guess our resilience gets tested in the work world where not everything turns out the way we want it to. And, there are times during our work lives where things can be pretty trying. All of these experiences – good and bad – help build our resilience. The trick is to stay positive in the tough times, and hopefully things will begin to turn around. However, there are people who have a tough time dealing with the rejection aspect of the work world. When that happens it is easy to feel down, or depressed. And many do. Often times that depression turns to despair for some who just can’t handle the problems facing them. It is easier said than done trying to deal with the ups and downs of life, but it we do learn to grin and bear it the best is usually yet to come. Good word, Susan. Have a great week. Take care. “Warrior” Joe