“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – American inventor, Thomas Edison
Edison, despite struggling with failure throughout his work life, never let it get the best of him. He kept experimenting and learning. His resilience gave the world the light bulb as well as these amazing inventions phonograph, the telegraph, and the motion picture.
Do you have Edison’s resilience to overcome your challenges? Or do you let your failures or missteps derail your dreams? In this post and the next, I’ll examine resilience – what it is, why we need it, and how to develop it – so that you have the strength to keep on moving forward towards your goals.
The Importance of Resilience
Resilience is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things don’t go as planned. Resilient people don’t wallow or dwell on failures; they acknowledge the situation, learn from their mistakes, and then move forward. According to the research of leading psychologist, Susan Kobasa, there are three elements that are essential to resilience:
Resilient people view a difficulty as a challenge, not as a paralyzing event. They look at their failures and mistakes as lessons to be learned from, and as opportunities for growth. They don’t view them as a negative reflection on their abilities or self-worth.
Resilient people are committed to their lives and their goals.. Commitment isn’t just restricted to their work – they commit to their relationships, their friendships, the causes they care about, and their religious or spiritual beliefs.
3. Personal Control
Resilient people spend their time and energy focusing on situations and events that they have control over. Because they put their efforts where they can have the most impact, they feel empowered and confident. Those who spend time worrying about uncontrollable events can often feel lost, helpless, and powerless to take action.
In other words, resilient people:
- Maintain a positive outlook, despite having just lost a promotion or getting turned down for a job. They don’t allow present circumstances to cloud their vision of themselves or their future.
- Have solid goals in all parts of your life. This gives you a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning.
- Never think of yourself as a victim. – focus your time and energy on changing the things that they have control over.
It’s inevitable that at times we’re going to fail, make mistakes, have setbacks and occasionally fall flat on our faces. The only way to avoid this is to live a very sheltered life never trying anything new or taking a risk. Few of us want a life or career like that!
Career Success Tip:
Being resilient means that when we do fail, we bounce back, we have the strength to learn the lessons we need to learn and we can move on to bigger and better things. Next post will be on developing resilience. Also see Climbing the Career Walls.
Do you want to develop Career Smarts?
- For more resources, see the Library topic Career Management.
- Start with the Career Success System.
- Sign up for Career Power: 101 success tips.
- Fast track your career. Be part of a Success Team.
- Need a speaker? Get the Edge Keynotes-webinars-workshops.
- Find career and leadership boosters in the Smart Moves Blog.
- Copyright © 2011 Marcia Zidle career and leadership coach.