People have always commented on my resilience. They tell me I’m strong. That I’m brave.
I seemingly manage very well under crises. I’m able to stay calm. And I’m able to keep going, despite the unknowns.
Maybe it’s my personality. Maybe it comes from life experiences.
As entrepreneurs, resilience is one of the key characteristics that will help us to be successful. We face setbacks all the time. And the only way to get through it, is to go through it.
5 ways to increase your resilience
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot personally and professionally about how to be more resilient. Each of the tips below will help to increase your resilience, too.
Perhaps you’re not able to tackle everything at once. And that’s ok.
Even just one done alone will help build resilience.
1. accept that you CANNOT control everything
The one thing which has made the biggest impact on my resilience is honing the ability to just let go.
No matter how much we want to or how much we try to, there is absolutely no way that we have control over everything that happens to us in life or in business.
Even with the best plans, the best intentions, and the best efforts you make, sh*t will happen. A deal might fall through. A client might say no. An employee may resign. A project may fail. An accident may happen on the way to a date. A loved one may fall ill. An opportunity comes out of nowhere. A chance encounter leads to love.
We really never know what life has in store for us.
So instead of stressing over all the things that you can’t control, focus you energy and attention on the things that you can.
Things like giving 100%. Showing up consistently. Being authentic. Listening to your customers. Informing yourself with important information. Learning what you don’t know. Looking after yourself. Understanding your finances. Remaining calm and kind.
Whenever you’re faced with a challenge, ask yourself “what do I have control over in this situation?”. Focus your attention there and try to let go of the rest.
2. be aware & flexible
Since we can never truly predict what will happen to us, it is important to be present in the now.
Be aware of the things that are happening around you. Keep informed of advancements in your industry. Have regular conversations with your clients. Keep a bit of an eye on your competition. Consume some news (but not too much!) to stay on top of things unfolding in your country, region, etc.
Be aware of the things that are happening to you. Notice patterns that you seem to be repeating. Listen to yourself. Observe your thoughts, ideas, hopes and fears. Ask yourself what you could be doing differently.
With awareness comes the need for flexibility.
As you notice what is happening in the now, you may need to change your plans. New ideas may emerge. Old ideas may no longer be viable. Opportunities may come up that take you down a new path.
Flexibility doesn’t mean that you must adapt rapidly. Flexibility is about realising you always have options and choices.
3. take consistent action
Sometimes when it feels like everything around us is falling apart, all we want to do is retreat. We lose motivation and struggle to be productive.
We mope around, feel sorry for ourselves, beat ourselves up for not getting anything done, and then feel worse because of it.
It’s ok to put your foot on the break and slow down when you need to. Give yourself some time to be in a low place. Reduce some of your commitments. And trust that you’ll get through it.
But it’s important that you don’t stop completely.
Your resilience will increase as you learn to show up even when you don’t want to, take action even when you don’t feel like it, and keep going despite the negative voices around (or inside) you.
Even if all you can manage today is one thing on your list, do that one thing and celebrate your achievement.
4. accept failure & rejection
For some of us, the fear of failure or rejection can stop us dead in our tracks.
We hide our true selves. Don’t take chances. Make decisions to appease others. Stay stuck in situations that are toxic or draining or stagnant. We play small.
To build your resilience, you must be willing to put yourself out there more and accept the outcome.
Sometimes it will work out great! Other times, you’ll be disappointed. But with each time you try, you have an opportunity to learn and adapt. You can see what works and what doesn’t. You can understand your resistance and hestitations, and explore them more to build up your self-esteem.
I’m not saying that failure and rejection don’t suck. No one likes the feelings that come with it. But failure always presents you with new opportunities. There is always a silver lining.
5. find other outlets that fuel you
Sometimes, I get into what I can only describe as “a funk”. I become sad, irritable, demotivated, uninspired, bored, etc.
After a 10-day stretch of feeling low back in November, I had to pull myself out of it. My rational mind couldn’t fix it and telling myself “get over this” wasn’t working.
So I had to appeal to my emotions instead of my brain. I made a list of all the things that bring me joy when I do them and that lift my spirits. On it included cooking, connecting with friends, listening to music and working out.
But despite knowing that these things would make me feel better, my funk wasn’t making me really want to do any of them.
So I forced myself. And continued to force myself for a couple more days so I could eventually reap the positive benefits.
And guess what? It worked.
We all have things that bring us joy, that make us feel happy, that calm our mind, or that spark our creativity. For some it may be running. Others yoga. Maybe it’s meditation. Or perhaps spending time with family.
Whatever it is for you, make time for them when times are good and when times are tough.
some final words
Being resilient doesn’t mean that the hard times will stop coming. It just means that you’re better able to respond to them and get through them when they do happen.
Please don’t be afraid to ask for help or seek support if you need it. Sometimes a listening ear and some considered advice can be tremendously beneficial!
over to you
What has helped you increase your resilience in life and in business? Share with us in the comments below.