What Is Resilience and How to Develop It?

Formation intelligence émotionnelle

Have you ever heard of the word “resilience”?

WHAT IS RESILIENCE?

In the Larousse dictionary, resilience is described as follows 

  1. The resistance of a material to impact or break 
  2. the ability of an individual to survive despite traumatic circumstances 
  3. the ability of a group of individuals to recover after a disaster
  4. The ability of a system to continue to function, even in the event of a breakdown

Interesting?

Resilience is the inner force of a person to bounce back from all sorts of adversities and to better manage one’s state of mind during a tumultuous period. In short, it is the ability to overcome life’s problems that often seem insurmountable.

RESILIENCE IS SOMETHING THAT CAN BE DEVELOPED!

The term resilience encompasses both personal, physical and professional resilience. We all have the ability to endure daily stress, illness, major changes such as  personal relocating or job changes, setbacks, loss of a loved one and other unexpected destabilizing events that life can bring.

While it is true that some people handle their emotions better than others, it is important to realize that we are not born being resilient, it is not innate, but can be developed. Knowing exactly what to do and how to do it, helps you to become more resilient. You must first know that your past has no bearing on your ability to be resilient. Indeed, nothing in life is fixed. It is therefore possible to pick up the pieces and move on, knowing what you have experienced can rebulid your self-awareness and resillience.

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BUT HOW DO  WE MANIFEST RESILLENCE?

There are many opportunities to develop resilience along life’s path. Everyone is exposed to inexplicable, terrible situations. But how do you cope with them?

Here are some tips to help you build your resilience muscles:

1- Develop MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL AGILITY, learn from your circumstances and let go

Pain, loss, grief, doubt, shame and self-pity often shadow us, ready to swoop down on us like eagles on their prey. In these situations, how can we not let ourselves be defeated?

Simply by learning to become a spectator or observer of our own thoughts and situations. In this process of emotional isolation, make sure, first of all, to mentally position yourself in a safe environment. Remember a situation in which you felt confident: for example, you can recreate and relive through all your senses (see, hear, touch and feel) a positive atmosphere in the past.

Imagine yourself in the arms of someone who loves you or has loved you. It is, in fact, about reliving the situation in which you felt in full control of your abilities and to recharge your batteries. From this safe space , confront your current problematic situation and, while remaining in an observational position, draw two or three lessons from what is happening to you. Then reset your situation. Repeat the process three or four times and then let go.

I also encourage you to approach life’s circumstances as challenges or learning experiences. By changing your lens, and especially your inner dialogue, you will have more control over your emotions. Remember that some things are under your control and others are not. So work on what is in your power to change.

A wise man once told me, “Everything in life comes small and grows with time, except disasters. They come big and get smaller with time. Think of the situations that were difficult for you a few years ago. Are they as big today as they were then? What can you learn from that?”

2- Force yourself to laugh

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Several studies show that laughter has amazing benefits on the body, it is a very good exercise for the heart and lungs.

Laughter strengthens the immune system by acting on stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-promoting hormones such as endorphins. Laughter allows us to deal with fear, anger, shame, guilt, as well as all sorts of negative emotions. 

Laughter even helps us develop a better tolerance for pain.

In short, laughter allows us to change our perspective and see things and situations differently. What a gift!

3- Make quality friends

Some people come into your life for different reasons. Some come because they love you, some come because they need to be loved, and some come to break and destroy you .

You must become like the phoenix and rise from the ashes to become stronger.

Let’s take the example of that business you and your partner were involved in…until your partner cheated and stole from you.

This is why I urge you to make quality friends. Having a social network in life is what makes all the difference. Lonely people are often the most vulnerable in every way.

Surround yourself with friends, family and if possible, have confidants and mentors to whom you can confide in and who will support you, helping you to change your focus.

4- Reconnect to spirituality… and please keep an open mind when you read this!

The truth is that the reason we are experiencing all these disasters and misfortunes is partly due to a lack of spirituality. For some people, values are lost and love has become self-serving. People are lonely, isolated and miserable, even when they are in a relationship.

Let’s think about it for a moment: If Jesus, in 2022, were the CEO of a big company, what kind of culture would He have established? 

Think of the messages and life of the man who became God. Look at His values, His character, His strength and courage.

The reflection is truly miraculous…

AND PROFESSIONAL RESILIENCE IN ALL THIS?

In both professional and personal life, it is important to build resilience, especially if you are a manager. At the professional level, resilience allows you to face challenges, maintain energy and focus. It is especially necessary for your work to remain constant and productive in the face of adversity. 

Know that as a manager, your actions, your reactions and your way of encouraging people around you, are scrutinized by the members of your team. Actions speak louder than words. Watching your conduct and developing your resilience will allow you to inspire the people under your supervision, so that they in turn can take their cue from you and reproduce the resilience you want to establish. I encourage you to cultivate trust and authentic communication within your team. Appropriate resources and interventions for your troubled team members will then support their resilience in the workplace as well.

FINALLY…

I urge you to reflect on some of the disastrous situations you have experienced.

What did you learn from them? What lessons can you take away? Make sure you remember them, digest them and assimilate them so that if necessary you can repeat the process in the future.

Finally, I’d like to leave you with this quote from Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist at Indiana University: “It’s important to realize that it’s possible to experience physical pain without being overwhelmed by emotional suffering. Pain is not a conscious choice, but suffering is.”

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