SOME SPECIFIC TIPS ON HOW TO CULTIVATE RESILIENCE
1. Understand your brand. Be able to define your strengths and what your unique value proposition is. If need be, ask others around you. What strengths do they rely on you for?
2. Have some curiosity about the world outside. What’s going on in other sectors? What new events could you go to? Meet new people and form new networks. So much of life depends on happenstance – you randomly bump into someone who turns out to have an opportunity for you for instance.
3. Curiosity about the world inside. Self-reflection is key. Make it a practice to carve out some time every day or week to reflect on past events and cultivate a habit of asking yourself what’s working, what’s not working and how you can develop.
4. Draw inspiration from yourself. Some people read inspirational memoirs of great people to motivate themselves, but it can be even more effective to draw inspiration from your own past successes.
One suggestion is to spend 15 to 30 minutes letting yourself journal. Find a quiet spot and keep your pen moving across the page without editing.
Write about the three greatest setbacks or challenges in your life that you have overcome and identify what strengths you used to pull through. Read it back to yourself. You may even want to put it somewhere where you can see it to encourage yourself to keep going when times are tough.
5. Have optimism. Our consciousness is saturated with negative messages from the media and our surroundings. Research shows that optimistic people are far more successful and resilient than pessimists.
One way to deliberately encourage more positive thinking is through a gratitude practice. I do a very simple practice with my family at dinner where we each say one specific thing we are grateful for today. It helps us have more empathy and insight into each other’s lives, and also reminds us not to overlook the beauty and richness of life itself.
6. Self-care. It sounds basic, but self-care is a hygiene factor. If you’re not sleeping well, eating well or exercising your body, you are not optimising your ability to be resilient in your career and your personal life.
7. Build social resilience. One of the most successful people I know tells me that she has appointed her own “advisory board” of trusted people whom she goes to for advice, encouragement and ideation. Life is challenging and having good friends and mentors makes a huge difference.
Don’t get so busy with the operational stuff that you forget to invest in relationships. As the African proverb goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
I’m very passionate about resilience because I believe it is the the biggest factor influencing your career success.
Yes, skills are important. But resilience trumps skills any day.
If you don’t have resilience, you’ll never have the opportunity to apply even the most sophisticated skills. If you give up easily, none of your talents you’ve spent so much time acquiring will actually see the light of day.
So invest in yourself and be resilient about exercising resilience.