Join Tatiana Kolovou for an in-depth discussion in this video What is resilience?, part of Building Resilience.
- If you have started this course, congratulations! You're taking the first step on improving your resilience. In the course, we will work through resilience skill-building activities, but I will need for you to reflect on your own experience of recent events that have been stressful in your personal and professional life. We all have situations when things don't go our way. Change is dumped on us, and when the unexpected happens, many of us will collapse under the stress and worry. But there are the lucky few who are able to handle these events in stride.
It's almost as if they perform better because of it. Why is that? Do they simply have a different outlook? What are the skills and behaviors of people who are resilient? Can we learn from them, and become more resilient ourselves? So, what is resilience? To really understand it, let's talk about what it's not. Resilience is not tenacity. It's not the ability to stick with a task, no matter how tough it is, and see it through. That's called grit, and although grit is a necessary ingredient for success in any field, today we will not talk about pushing through.
We'll be talking about bouncing back. Resilience is a key ingredient in the process of adversity and recovery. It's the ability to not fold under pressure, even if you don't feel calm and confident. To be able to sustain energy throughout highly demanding tasks, and to be able to quickly pull yourself together and bounce back, even if you're experiencing a major setback. The process of being resilient can involve many qualities including positive outlook, empathy, emotional regulation and self-efficacy.
This course is not intended to help you self-analyze how many qualities you may possess. Instead, it's designed to help you prepare for facing a stressful occurrence, and then be able to reflect and learn from your experience after it has passed. I like to use the metaphor of an athletic event. If you've ever trained for running, hiking, cycling, or any other high-performance event, you know that there's certain things you can do to put yourself in the best shape possible.
This is what we will do with the five pre-event strategies described in the next chapter. After the experience of a stressful event, I will give you five essential post-event strategies that emphasize the importance of reflection and action planning to help you raise that resilience threshold. Both strategies will prepare you for the next event you will face, while feeling, not only stronger but more confident. Even though resilience may sound like an innate skill, I have good news for you, it's not.
Resilience can be learned. Your skills can improve with work and persistence. Several studies conducted with people who have endured difficult, and in some cases, traumatic events, identify behaviors that help increase resilience. In this course, we will work on those behaviors to strengthen skills and ultimately, raise your resilience threshold.