Personal Resilience

How can I improve my personal resilience?

1. Find your sense of purpose
A clear sense of purpose helps you to assess setbacks within the framework of a broader perspective, allowing you to focus on the bigger picture and consider longer-term goals rather than short-term problems.

On a personal level; consider ‘who’ and ‘what’ is important to you when you are under pressure.

Regarding work; take time to think about what you do to help achieve your organisation’s purpose.

2. Develop your problem-solving strategies
The way individuals perceive situations, solve problems and manage change is crucial to resilience. Take a step back and think about how you approach difficult issues, the extent to which you follow objective logic, and how often your judgement is clouded by emotional responses and irrational thinking.

3. Be self-aware
Reflection fosters learning, new perspectives and a degree of self-awareness that can enhance your resilience. Look back at memorable and challenging experiences (both positive and negative) from your professional and personal development and take time to acknowledge that you came through those periods of difficulty.

4. Keep on learning
Learn new skills, gain new understanding and apply them during times of change. Seek formal and informal opportunities to learn and develop, rather than holding on to old behaviours and bad habits, especially when it’s obvious that they do not work anymore. Start thinking about what drives your preference towards this old behaviour and whether it is helpful for the context you operate in today.

5. Embrace change
Flexibility is essential to resilience. Leaming how to be more adaptable will better equip you to deal with unexpected work challenges. Actively go out of your comfort zone and increase your openness to new experiences, both in and out of work. Resilient people often use an adverse event as an opportunity to branch out in new directions.

6. Understand what you can control
Resilient individuals are often those who are able to focus their time and energy on projects and issues that are either directly under their control or that they have a level of influence over, while letting go of those they have no control over. Even if you can’t control the results of a decision that has taken place, you can still control the way you react internally and externally with your team.

7. Enjoy yourself
In situations of rising work pressure, it can be extremely difficult to still do the things you enjoy. People often focus on solving the challenge at hand, working longer and overlooking other parts of their life to their detriment. You will feel revitalised if you continue to do the things that make you feel good, even when under pressure. Ensure you are using the flexibility available to you in your role. Remember, ten hours at work does not always equate to ten hours of productivity.

8. Get enough sleep
When you feel stressed, it can be all too easy to neglect yourself. Losing your appetite, ignoring exercise and not getting enough sleep are all common reactions to both everyday pressure and a crisis situation. Taking care of your own needs can boost your overall health and resilience and prepare you to face life’s challenges.

9. Manage your emotions
When under pressure, people with low resilience will often demonstrate poor emotional management. You need to raise your awareness of when emotions are appropriate and in which situations. You should also pay attention to both your negative and positive emotional triggers.

10. Build support networks
Resilient people often have strong support networks at home and at work. Take the time to check in with colleagues and start building informal and formal support networks now, so that they are there when needed.