Do you know if you’re resilient? A lot of people think they either are or aren’t born with resilience or that it’s a result of circumstance. But honestly, there are some hardwired factors affecting our resilience. Likewise, we can be resilient to a point, but after that, there is a limit to our ability to cope.
For example, some people are just more likely to experience anxiety or other heightened emotions. However, there are skill-based aspects of resilience that can be improved with introspection and practice.
What’s the problem with most advice on improving resilience? It’s simply too common sense or one-size-fits-all. A more nuanced approach to resilience is a personal one. By building self-awareness, we can take a closer look at what is draining our energy and recognize what contributes to our engagement, purpose, and sense of well-being.
As it turns out, however, self-awareness is in short supply. Recent research indicates that only 10 to 15 percent of people actually have it.
DDI’s leadership course Leading Self: Turn Awareness Into Impact teaches leaders three areas of focus for improving self-awareness. Leaders who focus on these areas can improve their resilience and learn to thrive during challenging times.
Task One: Define your core values and ensure your actions are aligned with them. Growing resilience requires understanding your core values then living in a manner aligned with them. To do so, look at how you prioritize your time, resources, and energy.
Task Two: Envision your ideal self. If you were living up to your greatest potential, what would your life be like? Someone who is willing to sacrifice personal time to attend graduate school in the evenings likely values a life of achievement and growth. Choosing to live in an inexpensive home in order to save for the future is a sign someone values a life of security.
Task Three: Strive to create a life for yourself that’s supportive of your values. Doing this adds urgency, clarity, and meaning to your actions. But what about actions that take us further away from living up to these values? These actions can be deal breakers.
Why are our values so critical to resilience? They not only tell us what we enjoy and what energizes us, but they are also key to our identity. Behaviors aligned with our core values allow us to become the version of ourselves we think we can and should be.
During times of increased pressure, ambiguity, and change, it’s common to see a widening of the gap between what we do and what we value.
For more on resilience, including the other two areas of self-focus to improve self-awareness, visit DDI’s blog.