Resilience – a prerequisite to success – How resilient are you?

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” Steve Jobs

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking potential.”
Winston Churchill

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to remain calm in the face of disaster, while others seem to fall apart? People who are able to keep their cool have, what psychologists call, resilience, or an ability to cope with problems and setbacks. Resilient people are able to utilize their skills and strengths to cope and recover from problems and life challenges.

Those who lack this resilience may become overwhelmed by such experiences. They may dwell on problems and use unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with life’s challenges. Resilience does not eliminate stress or erase life’s difficulties. Instead, it gives people the strength to tackle problems, overcome adversity and move on with their lives.

We can look to famous figures from history, who showed fantastic tremendous  resilience. a classic example is Thomas Edison – the man who invented the light bulb, who is famously quoted as saying: “I have not  failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  A less resilient person would have given up long before he’d had one thousand failures, never mind ten!
A significant differentiator between people with high levels of resilience and those with lower levels, is the amount of time it takes them to pick themselves up after a set back and move on with their lives. How well do you find yourself able to “bounce back”, or better still, “bounce forward” as we never truly return to the where we were?

Although some people seem to be naturally more resilient than others, the good news is that resilience can be learnt and developed over time. Different personalities will have different natural “resilience reservoirs” and it works well to know your type in order to know how best to develop this in yourself and to encourage it in others.

Some types are more generally optimistic and will be most likely to consciously feed their reservoirs – they will not want to be found low when difficulties arise. However, they may also find the effort of remaining perpetually upbeat, subconsciously taxing and they will need to find their outlet for the negatives they experience.

Other types will tend to need encouragement to focus on what they want to have happen, as a conscious, trained habit, to build their reservoirs of resilience: their awareness of the flaw or fault may make problems seem overwhelming.

The objectivity of three of the Enneagram types can generate tremendous resilience and determination to keep going to achieve the goal, come what may. These types may need to reflect on the emotional cost and their balance in life to ensure that unhealthy sacrifices are not made along the way.

Resilience training can be a powerful thing. Far more so, we would suggest, when you know the drivers that make some aspects of resilience trickier for you AND you have the techniques at your disposal to turn these around.

How critical, then, the need for us to understand our children’s drivers and nurture in them a readiness to embrace the chaellenges of an ever changing reality. Knowing the language of resilience which resonates with their personality types will make all the difference. Not knowing the subtleties of their make up will be the reason why so much well intentioned direction, support and advice just bounces off or sails over their heads as they learn their fundamental lessons about what it means to fail and fall and meet with disappointment along the way.

“Master yourself, and become king of the world around you. Let no odds …  prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. Never be a victim of life; be its conqueror.”
― Mike Norton