Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties: toughness” Or some say it is “bouncing back”.
Resilience is essential when it comes to performing at your peak, having built resilience and needed it when I have worked in a high performance team in high pressure environments I believe it is more than the definition above. To me, it is the ability to recover quickly, learn from that set back and continue on task with resolute.
I have used and developed resilience over my career, on reflection I think my resilience has initially come from my sport, Triathlon. Placing physical and mental stress on my body has pushed me outside my comfort zone and I have learned from all the failed training sessions and failed races. Looking back, I didn’t see these as failures I saw them as measurements on what I need to improve to get better.
Human Performance = Physiology + Psychology
I relate this to my sporting achievements because being in peak physical condition results in a fully functioning physiological system. This then improves the ability to have efficient stress management, without stress management it is easy to let everything get on top of you and you then can’t see the wood from the trees and ultimately your health is compromised.
However, you don’t have to be an athlete to be resilient.
Psychologists have stated that some of the factors that make someone resilient are positive attitude, optimism, the ability to control emotions and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.
I think the above qualities and attitudes are essential to work in a high stress environment, by having a positive attitude you are able to recognise adversity or set backs but not dwell on the situation or treat it as the final result, practicing optimism and looking for the positives in a negative situation is paramount.
I would add another essential quality as self-awareness - by having self awareness you will have a clear perception of your personality and emotions, therefore giving you control over your emotions and your progress towards your goals.
The important point to know about resilience is it is not a trait people are born with, it is something that anyone can nurture and develop. It will improve your ability to cope and handle failure or “the perception of failure”.
My advice would be work on the factors that develop resilience and don’t ever settle, then you will thrive under pressure.