Four secrets to being more resilient - Business Works
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Four secrets to being more resilient

by Rosalind Cardinal, Managing Director, Shaping Change Did you know that JK Rowling, creator of the multi-billion-dollar Harry Potter franchise, was rejected by publishers 12 times before her children's book was finally published? Or that Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post - which she later sold to AOL for US$305 million, had to drop out of a governor's race after only capturing 2% of the vote, a moment she refers to as a 'a failure'? Did you know Harrison Ford, after his first movie role, was told by a talent executive that he'd never succeed in the movie business? Or that Sir James Dyson, founder of the Dyson brand of vacuums, went through 5,126 failed prototypes before going on to create a multi-billion-dollar empire with his vacuums?

What do all of these individuals have in common? Resilience. It would've been easy for any one of them (or the countless others just like them) to throw in the towel and give up on their dream. Not a single person would've faulted them for it either. But with dogged determination, they dusted themselves off and continued forward until they found success.

resilience is fortunately something anyone can build

Resilience is essential, not just in everyday life, but in business as well. After all, you can't be successful unless you stay the course. It takes a can-do, bounce-back spirit to keep pressing on in spite of failure, but resilience is fortunately something anyone can build.

Here are the four secrets to bulding resilience:

1. Confidence

When things go wrong, resilient people ask themselves, "What can I learn from that?" The next time you experience a set-back, don't be so hard on yourself. Instead, use it as a learning opportunity. In fact, resilient people are constantly learning. Building your skills, after all, enhances your sense of competence and thereby boosts your confidence.

Make it a point moving forward to set aside time every day for personal development and growth. Discover what your strengths are and then build upon them. Not only will this make you feel more confident than ever, but recognising what you're good at helps you keep a positive mindset, which makes it easy to pick yourself back up after a set-back.

2. Puropose

Resilient people have a clear sense of purpose - their 'why' for life. Do you have a purpose that's driving you? Is there something that you're waking up for every morning, something that compels you to overcome any obstacle that comes your way? What's your personal mission statement? What are the mission statements for your career, your finances, your family, etc? Set aside some time to create a mission statement for every area of your life that's important to you.

When we understand why the things we do are important (including why we are alive at all), we can endure set-backs just fine because we keep our eyes focused on what it is we're heading toward.

3. Social support

Resilient people maintain relationships with family, friends, and people they connect with to share the burdens as well as the triumphs of life. They are also comfortable reaching out when they need help because they value the support of others.

Do you have a support group of your own? If so, how can you lean on them more during times of change? If not, who are some people you can begin to reach out to?


resilience is one of the greatest tools you can have in your arsenal in life

Do you tend to see the glass as half-empty or as half-full? It may just determine whether or not you're able to adapt to change and bounce back on a quicker timeline.

If you tend to immediately go to the negative, try this: reframe the situation. What are the positive things that you can still lay claim to? How are you still powerful? What are you still able to do? What hasn't changed? Focus on those things and, in them, you will find the strength to rise above the negative.

The resilient employee by Rosalind Cardinal

Resilience is one of the greatest tools you can have in your arsenal in life and in business. The truth of the matter is we'll all face disappointments at one time or another. There will be let-downs, or failures, or rejections, or simply occasions when something doesn't go nearly as well as you hoped it would. But when you are resilient, you'll be able to pick yourself back up and go at it again. And when you do, you'll be that much closer to your next success.

If you enjoyed this article you can get more information in Rosalind's bestselling and award-nominated book The Resilient Employee: The essential guide to coping with change and thriving in today's workplace

Or you can visit her website at:

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