Anna* came to me for some coaching. She came into our coaching sessions close to professional burnout with very eroded coping skills. Her mindset was set to negative. Her stress was through the roof. She couldn’t switch off from work. And she thought if someone asked her to do one more thing, she’d fall into a crying heap. Worse, her family was getting the bare minimum.
All this combined to create an untenable situation. She had fallen out of love with her business. She was ready to throw her business in and go back to the corporate world. But what she really needed to do is build up her business resilience.
What is resilience?
Anna is not alone. After the last few years, people’s resilience, and business resilience in particular, has been put to the test in ways none of us could have imagined.
Resilience refers to the ability of an individual or system to adapt, recover and thrive in the face of adversity, challenges and stressors. It involves being able to overcome obstacles, bounce back from setbacks, and maintain a sense of hope and optimism, even in difficult situations.
I like the idea of ‘bounce-back-ability’. It demonstrates that resilience is not a fixed trait. Rather it’s a dynamic process that can be learned and strengthened over time through practice and experience.
Some key factors that contribute to resilience include having a strong support network, developing coping skills and strategies, maintaining a positive outlook and being able to learn from and grow through difficult experiences.
What is business resilience?
Resilience can be applied to many different areas of life, including personal, career and mental and physical health. When it comes to your business, resilience is an important trait to cultivate to navigate the challenges and uncertainties with greater ease and confidence.
Business resilience is simply your ability to respond to disruption and challenges in your business. When someone lacks business resilience, they may struggle to cope with adversity and stressors in their work in a healthy and effective way. They may feel overwhelmed, helpless or hopeless in the face of challenges. And they may be more likely to experience negative mental and physical health outcomes as a result on top of disruptions and problems in their business itself.
Of course this applies equally to a person’s individual resilience, as to their business resilience. And equally, you could experience negative outcomes if you don’t cope with business challenges in a healthy way.
Why does resilience matter?
Resilience matters, both in life and in business. Here’s why:
- Coping with adversity: Life – and work – is full of challenges and setbacks. Resilience helps us to cope with them in a healthy and effective way. When we are resilient, we can bounce back from setbacks and overcome obstacles, rather than becoming overwhelmed or giving up.
- Mental and physical health: Resilience is associated with better mental and physical health outcomes. It can help us to manage stress, anxiety and depression. It may even reduce the risk of developing certain health problems.
- Career success: Business resilience is an important trait in the workplace, as it allows us to adapt to changing circumstances and overcome obstacles. People who are resilient in business are often better able to handle stress and pressure, and may be more successful in their careers as a result.
- Personal growth: Resilience can also be a catalyst for personal growth and development. When we face challenges and adversity, we have the opportunity to learn and grow from those experiences. Resilience helps us to embrace those opportunities for growth, rather than being held back by fear or uncertainty. This applies equally to personal growth as individuals and business growth within our work and careers.
Overall, resilience is an important trait to cultivate to lead a healthy, successful and fulfilling life. And business resilience helps us to build a healthy and robust business and work-life balance.
Tips on how to build your resilience
Working on your resilience involves developing skills and strategies to help you cope with stress, adversity and other challenges in a healthy and effective way. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Build a support network: Having a strong support network of family, friends or colleagues can help you to feel more resilient, both at work and at home. Spend time building and maintaining these relationships, and reach out to others when you need support.
- Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally can help you to build resilience. This may involve getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and practicing relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing. Or you may try to disconnect to reconnect.
- Cultivate a growth mindset: Instead of viewing setbacks as failures, try to view them as opportunities for growth and learning. This can help you to develop a more optimistic outlook and to bounce back more easily from adversity.
- Learn effective coping skills: There are many different coping skills that can help you to manage stress and build personal and business resilience. Some of these might include mindfulness, journaling or talking to a therapist. Experiment with different strategies to find what works best for you.
- Stay positive: Maintaining a positive outlook and focusing on your strengths and successes can help you to feel more resilient. Try to practice gratitude and look for the silver lining in difficult situations.
- Keep things in perspective: When faced with challenges, it can be helpful to step back and remind yourself that the situation is temporary and that you have the ability to overcome it. Try to avoid catastrophising or dwelling on worst-case scenarios.
Practice, practice, practice!
Remember that building resilience takes time and effort. But it is a skill that can be developed with practice. Be patient with yourself and focus on making small, incremental changes that can add up to significant improvements over time.