Resilience is the “ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” It’s an intangible quality that helps people bounce back from defeat and come back stronger. It’s that final hoist of Rocky, the zinger when a detective can finally say “take him away”, the hard-won victory at the end of a long road of study, athletics or professional pursuit. Resilience is, in short, essential to a happy ending.
But is it simply a quality we’re born with? How can we cultivate it?
What’s So Important About Resilience?
Resilience can have real-world health side effects. Research suggests that people with resilience avoid many of the negative side effects of stress including high blood pressure, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems. Resilient people are able to access reserves of patience, analysis and forward-looking planning. Resilience makes us see setbacks as opportunities. And we’d all like more opportunities.
What Makes Us Resilient?
According to Psychology Today, personal qualities may predispose us to resilience. Factors like optimism, positivity, ability to regulate emotions and seeing failure as a learning opportunity are all part of being resilient. Practices like mindfulness, de-stressing techniques like exercise and compartmentalizing problems can help us regain our footing.
What Makes a Company Resilient?
In the corporate world, resilience looks a little different. It’s about how a company comes back from a big product launch delay, a leadership shake-up or missing their quarterly numbers. The ability of a company to adapt and survive disruptive times—and survive with reputation intact—is the measure of company resilience. Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the same techniques, including mindfulness and compartmentalizing problems can also make companies resilient.
Psychologists encourage taking steps to build your resilience:
- Take Action—even small steps can shift your mindset to proactive, positive movement.
- Use Your Resources—have a toolkit ready for when you take a hit (tools to help you relax, exercise, yoga, mindfulness)
- Be Flexible—just because you hit a dead end in one direction doesn’t mean that’s the end of the story.
- Practice Optimism—positive self-thinking can be incredibly powerful and can come to your aid when confronted with challenges.
- Take Advantage of Support—reach out to colleagues, friends, and family who can boost your spirits (and your confidence) when you’re down.
- Avoid Personalizing—dwelling endlessly on your problem or thinking it’s a personal failure can be destructive.
- Recognize that Setbacks are Temporary—taking in the big picture can ease your frustration.
- Write Your New Story—picturing your future beyond your obstacles can be very empowering.
- Cultivate Gratitude—leaning into your appreciation for what you have naturally increases positivity and allows you to see opportunity.
How Will You Make Your Law Firm More Resilient?
To Your Continued Success,