09 Mar Resilience. Do You Really Need It?
Most people assume that having resilience is vital. After all, change is the only constant in life. We live in a world where expectations are often shattered; the rules of the game are regularly turned on their head; and the unexpected is to be expected. For many, change feels disturbing and stressful; something to be avoided at all costs. Resilience, which is the capacity to bounce-back quickly, is an essential quality, right? Or is it?
Do you really need resilience?
Yes, if you hold a mindset where there are good and bad events.
In reality however, there is no good and bad. Good and bad only exist in retrospect, when you compare what actually happened, to what you expected was going to happen – and the two are not aligned. It’s only when you frame the unexpected as ‘bad’ that you experience hardship, which you then need to bounce back from.
The Bigger Picture
If you reflect on an earlier event and take a static viewpoint by judging the event as bad, you fail to see it as part of a larger process. It’s only when you step back and take a broader perspective, that you are able to see the ongoing movement, learning and development that is occurring as a process.
Think of this as the difference between looking at a photograph versus watching a movie. A photo gives you a limited understanding of what’s taking place, and invites inaccurate assumptions, whereas a movie provides much more information, perspective and context.
If you look back and hold a static viewpoint about a negatively judged event, the very thing that you’re holding as a hardship could be the very thing that provides you with a learning essential to your growth and development.
A great example of a process, rather than a static viewpoint, is the development of the lubricant WD40. It was originally developed for the aerospace industry, and its name came from the fact that the formula represents the fortieth attempt to create a de-greasing solvent. The product was loved so much by the employees, that it was packaged and sold retail, and is now a worldwide favourite.
Sailors hold a process mindset. They embark toward their destination knowing they’ll need to tack many times to get there; they need to remain flexible in the face of the unexpected; and be willing to divert and re-access their goal if needs be.
Letting Go of Hardship
In any field of endeavour, whether in the business world, on the sports field, academia or the creative arts, high performers let go of the black and white lens of failure versus success, in favour of a process mindset.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”
– J.K. Rowling
Ability to let go of the black and white perspective; the good versus bad frame; and the resulting experience of hardship, is what set’s high achievers apart from the pack. They accept reality exactly as it is, and by doing so are able to learn from feedback, fine-tune and move on.
This is the passport to presence, the ability to be in flow. Acceptance of reality as it is, means the mind’s judgements no longer impede.
With the mind out of the way, high performers are able to let the practice and training take over, responding instinctively in the moment in an optimal way. One place you’ll see this happen is world class sporting events. Here athletes have invested thousands of hours training, embodying the learning so their responses become instinctive. While their performance may look like freakish physical skill, the difference that really makes the difference is getting the mind out of the way.
Resilience. Do You Need It?
If you enjoy being on the roller coaster of excitement (when reality exceeds your expectations), and disappointment (when reality doesn’t meet your expectations), or are happy to invest a lot of time ruminating over how things should have gone but didn’t, then yes resilience is definitely going to come in handy.
Alternatively, if you’d like to clear obstacles to presence and perform at your best, then stop looking for hardship in your life. Stop splitting reality. See your life as neither good nor bad, but simply as it is. Now resilience is obsolete.
Want to Learn More?
Soo works primarily with executives, and specialises in working with women. Clients engage her to enable them to see their developmental blindspots and unleash their full potential; in their professional and personal life.
Get in touch with UXL Coaching todayContact Us