Even the #Stoutest among us aren’t immune to setbacks. But what differentiates those who bounce back from those who don’t? RESILIENCE.
Resilience often comes up in relation to childhood; people say, “Oh, children are so resilient” when they have experienced trauma. Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times recently examined the subject in depth and found that science shows that adults also can take steps to boost resilience…which is often the time we need it most.
According to psychology professor Dr. Adam Grant, who co-authored Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy, with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, resiliency is not limited to the young. In fact, our chances of building resilience may actually increase with age.
“There is a naturally learnable set of behaviors that contributes to resilience. Those are the behaviors that we gravitate to more and more to as we age.” says psychology professor Dr. Adam Grant.
Dr. Dennis Charney, resilience researcher and Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine in New York also believes that resilience can be developed long past childhood. As as adult victim of major trauma (he was shot by an angry former employee) himself, his opinion is that resilience can be strengthened through practice, much like a muscle gets strengthened through repetitive workouts.
“By training your emotions to respond helpfully to negative situations” Dr. Charney explains “your stress hormone system will become less responsive to stress so that you can handle stress better.”
So what can you do to develop this invaluable trait yourself? Here are four #StoutStrategies for you to take away:
#StoutStrategies For Cultivating Resilience
- Purposeful Positivity
Not everyone is cut out to be a Pollyanna. But it’s important to stay upbeat even during tough times. Instead of dwelling on a failed sales pitch, for instance, focus on what you’ve learned from the experience, and how can improve your approach for the next meeting.
- Reframe Reality
This goes hand in hand with purposeful positivity. Rewriting your own story can help you feel empowered. Instead of seeing yourself as a victim of a bad experience, casting yourself as a survivor can lower stress and raise your resilience quotient.
- Channeling Comebacks
Chances are, this isn’t the first setback you’ve experienced in life. Remind yourself of past times that you’ve been knocked down – and how you got back up and carried on. Setbacks are part of any journey, not the end of one.
- Deliberate Discomfort
To condition yourself against stress, it’s important to get out of your comfort zone. Successfully completing challenges – either personal or professional – gives you the skills you need to carry on even if you’re daunted. Dr. Charney’s take on this? “Life your life in a way that you get the skills that enable you to handle stress.”
For more great ideas about resilience and recharging yourself, check out Stout’s inspiring advice on how to recharge.