The Power of Resilience: How to Bounce Back and Thrive in Difficult Times

When you constantly review leadership paths, trying to find new and unconventional ways by reflecting on the road traveled so far and looking at the future, sooner or later you find out that one of the most amazing journeys could be that of building resilience. The term ‘resilience’ has many definitions and meanings, an array of colors and shades. Generally speaking, resilience is our ability to bounce back to our beautiful life after we have been exposed to challenges, extraordinary circumstances, or other tough issues. 

My understanding of resilience has always been connected to strength. I thought the strength of character would also mean resilience. But well, I was wrong. It is far from this simple. So let’s look at resilience from a few angles: resilience vs decision-making, resilience vs sustainable internal yield, and resilience vs crisis management.

Resilience improves decision making

You can look at resilience as describing your ability to quickly draw conclusions, make decisions, and adapt to new ways of thinking and taking things forward. In my opinion, this type of resilience is very powerful and constructive. This powerful design thinking helps to identify the root cause of issues and improve your understanding curve.

I once had a situation with a person in my team with poor performance. While receiving feedback about his underperformance, I chose to give him a second chance. I was proud of myself, believing I was super resilient, keeping in mind other people’s points of view as well as my own. But I was wrong. I was forced to quickly reassess the situation, separate the “what I think” and “what they think” statements, reflect, and draw a new conclusion. What I learned was that resilience should not be about pushing your view just because you are more knowledgeable or have more hierarchical power. Resilience then became very clear to me, it’s a tool to review ‘how it actually is’ in comparison to what the standard must be. Only then, after having an honest self-reflection did I understand that this is my way of building resilience, and developing my own tools that bring me back to life.

Resilience versus sustainable internal strength

If you think about resilience in relation to sustainable internal strength, the paradigm is to start looking internally before looking outward. The external point of view continues to be quite important to many of us. However, a real test of our resilience is to bounce back to our internal comfort level while presenting this to the outside world. 

I was a mentor to somebody once, with whom I developed a ‘lenses approach’. Every time she prepared a presentation, she checked with her internal radar. Was this something she really believed and not just something others wanted to hear? And this is where the true magic started to happen. I call this magic resilience.

Resilience in times of crisis

For me, resilience in relation to crisis management is the easiest. No matter how many courses you have passed, what you have done in your life, and how you manage your personal story, you always stay vulnerable to a crisis. 

Loss of lives, property destruction, or break of trust are the three types of crises that are most disastrous to me. I find it most difficult to bounce back after such events. The war in my country taught me three things. First of all that the light comes from inside. Secondly that it’s ok, not to be ok for a while. And thirdly that love is the only power holding us back. 

These are now my magic pills. I use them to keep building within my internal universe, keeping my head straight and my heart wide open. 

People say it works… I say: it definitely works!

This is a guest blog post written for us by Nadiya Bilous, Executive Board Member leading Corporate Governance, Legal, Regulatory and External affairs strategy in a Fortune 500 FMCG company

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