Below are the 7 Key Skills that resilient people demonstrate. If we want to be resilient let’s look to the people who excel at it.
1.Resilient people are autonomous.
They have an internalised centre of control. People who are resilient believe that they, not their circumstances, affect their achievements. They know that they are orchestrators of their own fate. Autonomous people understand that they cannot change others’ behaviours only their response to that behaviour. Autonomous people are inner-connected. They are aware of their own thinking, senses, emotions and needs. “We can make ourselves more or less vulnerable by how we think about things,” says George A. Bonanno, a professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University. People can be taught the cognitive skills of regulating their emotional response, and this new mindset lasts over time. Do you see an event as traumatic or as an opportunity to learn and grow? “Events are not traumatic until we experience them as traumatic,” says Bonanno. “We can create or exaggerate stressors very easily in our own minds. That’s the danger of the human condition.” We can worry and ruminate, blow up a minor event into an obsession, and drive ourselves crazy. It’s all in how we frame things.” To learn these skills we need to identify where we can improve.
2.Resilient people have a realistic awareness of self.
Daniel Goleman, the guru of emotional intelligence, identified self-awareness as being made up of emotional awareness, accurate self-assessment, and self-confidence. In other words, it is all about knowing your emotions, your personal strengths and weaknesses, and having a strong sense of your own worth. People who are self-aware are in touch with their core purpose and values. This enables them to make easy decisions and take actions as they know what brings them satisfaction, achievement and enjoyment.
3.Resilient people are adaptable.
They bend rather than break. They change how they see a situation, so it is not just black and white. They are able to see many valuable alternatives. They listen willingly to the ideas of others and accept others’ perspectives to get the best outcomes. They don’t fixate on the way things are done, and will adapt easily when change is required.
4.Resilient people are optimistic.
They realistically know that change is inevitable and have a positive outlook on what will happen. They are able to reframe a situation to look for the good. If they fail, instead of saying‘I am stupid’ or ‘I’m rubbish at X’, instigating their inner critic, they are able to view events as external, specific and unstable and say to themselves ‘That was a challenging, unexpected situation, this has taught me X so next time I will be able to ….’
5.Resilient people are pragmatic.
They don’t ruminate on things they can do nothing about, they look to what they can influence and take practical steps towards completing a task. They like tackling problems, as the fun is in finding the solution. They are action orientated and use the many tools in their tool kit to be resourceful. They use past knowledge and experience to find solutions and are willing to get creative.
6.Resilient people are socially connected.
They build strong and positive relationships with people and will readily ask for help, even when under pressure. They understand the importance of connecting with others, and will happily engage with people who bring them happiness. Normally when people are under pressure with deadlines or expectations the last thing they want to do is ask for help. Many perceive this as a sign of weakness, quite the opposite. It shows inner strength to know when you need help the most and ask for it.
7.Resilient people demonstrate self-compassion.
They readily extend compassion to themselves in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman has successfully trained people to change their inner dialogue from self-critical to realistic, practical and compassionate and the result is that people are more psychologically successful and less prone to stress and depression. Self-compassion is about treating yourself as you would do your best friend, recognizing and supporting your own needs. If a self-compassionate person needs time alone, increased excercise, a spa or evenings out with friends they book this into their diary with the same importance as a meeting.
So how can this information help me to be more resilient? In knowing what we need to be resilient we can work at developing these skills for ourselves. Reflect on these 7 key skills. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 for each skill. Where you scores are low, you can build and practice these abilities. You can learn them through reading and reflection or through conversations with trusted colleague, friend or your coach.
It is well worth developing these key skills as resilient people are less stressed, have more energy, have increased concentration and focus and a greater ability to deal with issues. Make learning and practicing these skills a core part of your development and well-being.