What is Resilience?
Resiliency means moving through a challenging experience rather than avoiding it, using the obstacle in question as a catalyst for growth.
As High Performers, Failure is our Best Teacher.
Without failures, there’s no change. Without change, there’s no growth.
Seeking greatness, aiming for the highest highs, and holding ourselves accountable to big scary goals will undoubtedly result in some kind of shortcoming. Therefore, when faced with those suboptimal results, our primary objective is to default to solutions seeking. This response will ensure we improve. The faster we can get up and readjust our process, the faster we can continue to grow.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill.
It is crucial to change our perception of failure and see it, instead, as an opportunity to help us understand what we are missing. As high achievers, coexisting with shortcomings needs to become “comfortable.” Hence, our primary aim is to keep showing up and constantly refocus on the solution, not the problem. On that theme, I want to highlight that coexisting with failure doesn’t mean lowering our standard of excellence. Contrary to intuition, being comfortable with failures allows us to aim for higher standards by enabling us to take risks.
As fast-growing entities, we must learn to see the “big picture”, appreciating that in the long run, mistakes result in exciting data. By making sure we regulate our reaction to setbacks, we automatically react constructively.
Our response should go as follows: It is, what it is. We now know where we have some adjustments to make. Let’s find some solutions that address the preparation to change the performance.
Holding Ourselves Accountable with Precision and Honesty
As greatness seekers, holding ourselves accountable to clear and precise goals with regular evaluation will ensure we stay on track and persistently make the necessary adjustments. The only way to guarantee a self-serving assessment of our performance is to cultivate brutal honesty towards our craft. Without continual objective reviews of the work, blind spots will accumulate and inevitably result in quality collapse. Although it is hugely beneficial, brutal honesty is an advanced tool that must be used carefully to avoid self-destructing behaviour. Our primary measure of success must be on how we improve based on the process. External objectives are only helpful as guiding stars to plan that help process.
“Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be” – John Wooden.
Using Obstacles to our Advantage.
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius.
Our focus needs to be on building and following a process-oriented plan that is rigidly limited to what we can control. This method will allow us to do the work and keep moving through uncertainty. Moving through uncertainty, distinguish the winners from the competition. For most, uncertain time is a good enough excuse to freeze. For the few, it’s the path from good to great.
As high-performers, we must switch our desire and wish for obstacles. We know they are essential to our growth because we understand that this extra pressure allows us to go out of our comfort zone and challenge us to express the best response we can give. Consequently, we aim to be ok with whatever we receive and know it will fuel our growth. While keeping in mind that whatever is in front of us is an essential part of the process, there’s no alternative. What is happening is the only thing that will and could happen.
To come back to the big picture advantage. To realize that, if we take a step back and view the obstacle with distance, it’s easy to recognize that we can’t predict its long-term impact. It’s much easier to assume misfortune than it is to assume luck for all of us, and we must work on that.
Quitting is Not an Option.
“Simply put, the choice to quit has been categorically removed as an option, so all I have to do is keep on going until I finish” – Travis Marcy.
Defeat doesn’t come from failing. It comes from quitting before the winner.
There are always two ways of action when faced with an obstacle. Option one is to approach. Option two is to avoid. Approaching means seeing the challenge in a healthy mindset. Knowing this external event is a catalyst that forces us to go out of our comfort zone, thus empowering us to express our true potential. On the other hand, avoidance means seeing the obstacles as a threat, feeling sorry for ourselves, and embodying the victim mindset.
“When in a hard time, the only things that keep you moving forward are (a) confidence in your vision and ability to bring it to fruition, (b) a willingness to say no to other things that tempt you to divert from your course, and (c) daily, diligent, urgent progress.” – Michael Phelps.