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Resilience  /rəˈzilyəns/  1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

It is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things don’t go as planned in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors.

Thomas Edison is the epitome of resilience.  He made thousands (tens of thousands) of prototypes of the incandescent light bulb before he got it right and has been awarded more than 1,000 patents.  His resilience was the driving force behind amazing inventions such as the phonograph, the telegraph, and the earliest motion picture cameras.  He also created the world’s first industrial research laboratory known as the “Wizard of Menlo Park” and had success in developing an alkaline storage battery.

Thomas Edison was the 7th and last child born to his parents and one of four to survive to adulthood.  He received little formal education and left school to work on the railroad.  He developed serious hearing problems, encountered financial difficulties, legal battles, and many other challenges along the way.  More than any other individual, he was credited with building the framework for modern technology and society in the age of electricity.   (history.com)

Imagine working so hard on a dream, a vision, an idea only to fail again and again and again. Thomas Edison knew adversity!  He struggled, he had many setbacks, challenges and frustrations, yet he kept on pursuing his ideas, his dreams, his vision.  If he would have quit, would life be as we know it?

Where are you facing obstacles?  Where are you experiencing setbacks?

  • Business/career?
  • Relationships?
  • Financial?
  • Producing that idea?
  • Planning an event?
  • Maybe you’ve worked so hard on building a high-performance team only to have your star player(s) quit, disengage, or not produce the results you want.

We are all on this roller coaster of life… sometimes things are going really well and then we get into a slump.  Other times it seems that whatever we do we can’t make sustainable headway.

Everything we do and everything we don’t do, matters!   The ideas you have, the dream, the vision inside of you is there for a reason.

Resilience is a crucial characteristic to our growth!  You have to know where you’re at in order to get to where you want to be. When something goes wrong, do you tend to bounce back or fall apart?  When you have resilience, you harness an inner strength that helps you rebound from a setback or challenge.  Resilience isn’t about toughing it out or going at it alone.  Resilience won’t make your problems go away, but it can give you the ability to see past them, find enjoyment in life or business and handle stress better.

Resilient Leader

  • Gets back up and finds a way to move forward
  • Reaches out to others and asks for help
  • Learns from the situation
  • Has a willingness to adapt, to shift
  • Open and flexible
  • Maintains a positive attitude
  • Willing to take a risk and make decisions quickly
  • Owns their stuff (emotions, attitude, behaviors, actions)
  • Thinks of new ways to tackle problems
  • Focuses on things they can control

Lack of Resilience

  • Dwells on the problem
  • Feels victimized
  • Turns to unhealthy coping mechanisms
  • Blames outside sources for failures, setbacks, problems
  • Unable or unwilling to bounce back
  • Isolates (shuts down and disengages)
  • Too dependent on having others around
  • Lack of control around emotions (mood swings)
  • Lack of Hope
  • Lack of vision
  • Despair

Improving your Resilience 

  • Have a vision. If you don’t know where you’re going or why it matters, you won’t take the necessary actions steps to create the right outcomes.
  • Reconnect to that vision, the dream, the why, the purpose. HOPE is a powerful engine for success.
  • You’re not alone. Build strong healthy relationships and surround yourself with people, your tribe who will support you, love you, and accept you.
  • Fail forward, fail fast, and get back up. Learn from the situation.  Figure out what needs to be done, create a plan and work the plan.
  • Ask for help, feedback, ideas. We don’t know what we don’t know.  When we are willing to ask for help, feedback or ideas it opens up new thoughts, new ways of doing things.
  • You have a choice. Focus on what you can do, what you can have, what options are available to you.  What you focus on grows.
  • Take ownership of your emotional reactions, your behavior, your attitude. Understand what you are doing and why so that you can move forward.  That which we acknowledge loses its power over us.
  • Change the meaning of the situation and reframe it. If you change the way you look or think about something, if you can deconstruct it, you can think new thoughts.  “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer 
  • This too shall pass… get enough sleep, exercise, eat healthy. When you take care of your mind and body, you are able to cope more effectively with the challenges in your life.
  • Focus on being flexible. Know when to pivot and when to adjust. There is always another “right answer”.

Resilience; today’s a new day… shake off the challenge, the setback and go after what you want… again and again and again until you get the outcome you desire.    Who knows, you may be the next Thomas Edison!

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