One of the most important skills you can learn is resilience. Being resilient may help you get through challenging situations, adapt and prosper in any situation, and reduce the appearance of stress.
I chatted with Amberly Lago, a motivational speaker, coach, and bestselling author, to learn more about cultivating resilience and why it’s so important.
Lago’s life was flipped upside down when she was involved in a severe accident that left her with a 1% chance of keeping her leg. It required 34 surgeries to save her leg from being amputated, and she or he was left with a nerve disease that creates severe aches. Her life had been changed in the blink of an eye. Doctors told her she’d have to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Fast forward ten years, and Lago is not only up and walking but also working, exercising, and dancing like she used to, and she or he attributes it all to one thing: resilience.
Resilience is a quality.
Resilience is a character trait that allows you to develop stronger after overcoming a challenge or setback. In business, obstacles come up almost every day, and resilience allows you to embrace them rather than dread them. Resilience, according to Lago, is defined as the ability to bounce back after a setback. She emphasises that “bouncing back” isn’t the right definition of resilience. “As a stand-in, I think of resilience as rebounding back. It’s deciding to find the courage to live a life full of joy and happiness, no matter what. It’s not just about getting over a stumbling block; it’s about being the greatest version of yourself.” Lago sees resilience as a combination of grit and beauty: grit for the hard effort and determination, grace for listening to your body and finding compassion for yourself.
Another important advantage of resilience is that it may help you avoid burnout. While we often associate grit and tenacity with resilience, it’s also about having compassion for yourself. It’s important to pay attention to your body so you can tell when to press forward and when to take a step back and stop. Burnout is caused by constantly pushing through, and slowing down is the remedy.
Make time for rest.
Resilience allows you to confidently move away from what you’re doing, knowing that you’ll return stronger after a break. You’re healing whenever you’re relaxing. Lago is a firm believer in the healing power of calm. “Instead of seeing rest as a luxury, we must regard it as a must.” And, if you want to be resilient, you must intentionally pause and schedule time for rest and regeneration.”
Include yourself on your to-do list.
It is important to schedule time for yourself during the day. When you construct a to-do list, it’s common for it to be full of things to accomplish for work or chores around the house. You don’t have time to pause or check in with yourself because you’re rushing from one job to the next. When you arrange a time for yourself on your calendar, it’s far more difficult to put it off. “We have to set a precedent for ourselves.” We shouldn’t wait until it’s too late; if we’re weary, we won’t be able to perform,” cautions Lago, who confesses it’s something she needs to remind herself of regularly.
Lago’s advice is to teach you healthy behaviours that you may incorporate into your life daily. Begin by forming healthy habits in the morning to get your day off to a good start. Observe meditation, write in a gratitude diary, exercise, make supper breakfast, whatever it is that feels right for you. You can change things up daily depending on your mood, so long as you’re always listening to your body and doing what’s best for you at the time.
What happens to you is your responsibility.
“You have a shovel in your hand, and you’ll lean on it and pray for a gap or you can start digging,” Lago’s grandfather used to tell her. In other words, you are responsible for what happens to you. You can either wait for things to fall into place, or you can take proactive steps to make them happen. The key is to focus on what you can accomplish or manage rather than what you won’t achieve. Don’t spend your energy seeking to influence others; instead, focus on making positive changes inside yourself.
Resilience must be worked on, but it is also something that the more effort you put in, the more benefit you will get. Make time every day to work on building resilience, and you’ll see the benefits almost immediately.