Resilience is a Dynamic Process

'Developing resilience is not a static, rigid process; it is a type of centered fluidity that lets us go in any direction with ease and agility.'

Developing resilience is not a static, rigid process; it is a type of centered fluidity that lets us go in any direction with ease and agility. Being resilient means we can recover our balance even in the midst of action. Separating our career, personal, family, emotional, and spiritual lives into distinct pieces and then trying to balance the parts on a scale is impossible. Managing the entire dynamic is the key. We need to identify the dynamics that run through all the pieces and then influence our resilience at that level.

Mastery of Resilience is about practicing inner and outer behaviors that keep us grounded and centered so we can deal with all the dynamics outside. As we build more resilience, we can do more with ease. Actually, when we are resilient, we can shoulder more weight with less effort, because we are strong at our very core. We have a strong foundation to handle unforeseen crises, instead of the anxiety and constant fear that one more unexpected problem will take us down. Finding ways to build that resilient foundation from the inside out is the key to Resilience Mastery.

Take Charlotte, who was hesitant and fearful about taking on another executive position. She had left her previous company and position because she was completely burned out. But because Charlotte’s husband was fully supportive of her returning to her professional career, and her teenage children were increasingly independent, she decided to get back in the game—but this time, she would be supported by coaching.

Charlotte is action-oriented, so it was important to find new behaviors that she could implement easily and that would yield results quickly. We helped her formulate a plan that addressed the four domains of resilience: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Because Charlotte carried some extra weight, we suggested a regular routine of weight training, cardio- vascular exercise, and conscious food choices, which would help her attain a healthier weight and more physical energy. She noticed an increase in her stamina, even on more sedentary days of meetings, and her stamina increased dramatically after she lost twenty pounds.

An important aspect of Charlotte’s Resilience Mastery plan was her lake cabin and boat, as well as her orientation toward inspiring visuals. Even when Charlotte couldn’t actually be at the lake for renewal, accessible photos and mental images of the lake during the various seasons were extremely helpful to her. Time with family and friends, stretches of quiet time, short breaks for walks, visualizations, and breathing practices have helped Charlotte reenter her professional life in a new, more sustainable way.

What is your plan to maintain and restore your energy to a new level? Are you aware that your Resilience Mastery needs more support? Are you seeing and feeling the signs but ignoring them? Take a few minutes to review the following: Ten Signs of Lack of Resilience Mastery and Ten Signs of Resilience Mastery. Be honest with yourself as you read them. These are a great place to begin reformulating your own energy restoration plan.

Kevin Cashman is the Global Leader of CEO and Executive Development at Korn Ferry. He is a leadership columnist at Forbes and bestselling author of Leadership from the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life, Third Edition (Berrett-Koehler; October 30, 2018) and The Pause Principle.

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