On my travels talking to people and organisations this past week I am beginning to realise how important resilience is, yet at the same time, how little we value or understand where it comes from and how we harness it!
It is not a soft skill we can teach in the classroom or cover in an off site seminar; it is not a module on an MBA or a book we all need to read.
Resilience is a muscle and as such needs to be stretched and challenged in order to perform and grow.
In my opinion, the key way to build resilience is to embrace failure and failure demands risk. Two characteristics I am not altogether sure we welcome nor willingly attract into our lives! As a serial entrepreneur one thing I do know for sure is that I have learnt everything I need to know about me and my environment standing in the shadow of failure and this has been and continues to be, the main source of my emotional resilience.
Risk has rewards. Resilience is almost always one of them!
Many people use the line ‘I wouldn’t be who I am today if I had not had to navigate through a variety of critical moments’ but I wonder if we stand by this philosophy when it comes to our employees, children and loved ones etc.
I often observe parents and employers over protecting and over nurturing and although this may be coming from a heart felt place in doing this, we are, in fact, disempowering and denying individuals the learnings and lessons gained from stepping out of their comfort zone, risking and potentially failing.
It is easy to stay safe, wait for permission, go with the flow and/or rely on others to make all the decisions and some would say this is the default position for the majority of our young people, but it is a foolish strategy in the long term. So the next time you are steaming with frustration about how bone idle or lacking in gumption the next generation are, take a moment to reflect – What are we teaching them about RESILIENCE???