Building your Ability to Bounce Back

Resilience road sign

Originally posted August 9, 2012 on Women’s Center for Leadership

I was impressed by the determination and focus of the US and Canadian women’s teams in the Olympic Women Soccer Semi-finals earlier this week.

What made the biggest impression on me when I watched the game was the display of resiliency on both teams throughout the entire game – after every set-back, injury, questionable call, and penalty kicks. The teams rallied on. These female athletes exemplify resiliency – and it has stuck with me over the past two days.

We have all had career setbacks:  projects canceled, employees leave, funding dries up, and on and on. We all have had to adapt and rally.

In her blogThe Secret for Today’s Leadership – Being Resilient!,” Rebecca Shambaugh writes that resiliency is “the capacity to bounce back from misfortune, disruptive change, and failures. Being resilient is driven by our intrinsic qualities, attitudes, and behaviors. Everyone experiences disappointments and setbacks in their life. When these occur, the resilience factor is what gets us back in the game and keeps us pursuing our goals instead of becoming discouraged and giving up.”

I think it’s one of those leadership skills you need to proactively hone. But how do you practice it? How do you build your ability to react and bounce back?

I found a few tips to build up your resiliency:

  1. Make connections
  2. Take decisive action
  3. Do more of what makes you feel most alive
  4. End the day well
  5. Go to bed at a reasonable hour and learn some tips on how to improve the quality of your sleep
  6. Delegate at home and work
  7. Notice something beautiful  (Try this at least once a day!)

I think it’s important to stay centered so you are ready to handle challenges and bounce back from setbacks. And when things are going great, doing these can’t hurt! Right now, I’m logging out and heading out with some friends. What about you?


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