I am renowned for being optimistic and resilient – but have found my motivation waning a little in the past few days. I know that to carry on as an entrepreneur I have to get good with accepting rejection, and learn to bounce back. According to all the books you read on entrepreneurship, to be successful you need to be resilient. But, how do you become resilient? Are you born with it? Can you blame your parents if you don’t have it? Or is it something you develop as time goes on?
Here are my top tips on how to strengthen your resilience:
1. Look for the silver lining
Let’s face it bad stuff happens. And if you are looking for bad stuff to happen, it will happen all around you. However, if you look for the positive to come out of a setback or negative event, you will find a positive. And if you don’t believe me, then believe the scientists – Positive emotions were found to disrupt the experience of stress and help high resilient individuals to recover efficiently from daily stress (Fredrickson et al., 2003)
2. Develop your problem-solving skills
Interestingly if you are prepared to find a solution or work-around, then you will probably find a solution. But to do this, then you need to develop your problem-solving skills. In reality this means being open to possibility and prepared to challenge the assumptions you are making. Ask yourself questions such as ‘who could I involve?’, ‘if it was easy what would I do next?’
3. Accept that you have come up against a setback
I have worked with many clients after they have found they are at risk of redundancy. Amazingly, a few of them are still working away at the same role, doing the same thing as if nothing has happened. It makes for an interesting first couple of coaching sessions! To bounce back successfully you need to firstly accept that there is a problem or setback. Recovery can only start once you have moved from denial, through to acceptance. Publicly talking (or writing) about your situation is part of the process of accepting what is happening to you.
4. Talk with family and friends
Family and friends are great at inspiring you to dust yourself off and start all over again. I recommend that you build a supportive network around you – who believe in you, even when you doubt yourself. I personally find great comfort and positivity from reading positive feedback I have received from people over time. If you don’t already do this, start saving the titbits that make you smile when reading your e-mail for those times when you need a bit of re-energising to get you going again.
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5. Sleep on it
Late at night, things can always seem worse than they actually are. A good night’s sleep can give you both the energy to start up again, but also help your subconscious identify the right way forward from your personal situation. Many a time, I have gone to bed mulling over a difficult decision, and woken up knowing the right answer.
6. Give up smoking
Yes, this was a big surprise to me, too! However, research has found that people with high levels of resilience are less likely to smoke cigarettes or use marijuana. (Bonanno et al., 2007)
7. Remember the good times
Inevitably the life of an entrepreneur is a little bit of a roller coaster ride. Do hang onto the memories of the good times – these will help to sustain you when the going gets tough.
8. Work with a mentor or coach
A mentor or coach will help you to see the cloud’s silver lining, as well as help you to formulate plans and strategies to get you back on track. I have just recently finished a coaching relationship with a financial controller in a financial services firm. Along with what’s being happening in the financial services sector and happening for her personally, she has more reason than most to stressed and depressed. With the help of my coaching she has emerged stronger and more resilient from our coaching sessions – and more able to deal with whatever life throws at her.
9. Believe in yourself
Having positive self-esteem and bags of self confidence are going to be a major factor in helping you to bounce back from ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’. If you tell yourself what you are good at, once a day, this will help to improve your self-esteem. [It sounds simple, but ask one of my recent coaching clients, it really does work]
If you would like some help to get through a difficult patch – why not give me a call? [+44 (0)1234 48 0123] After all a conversation is free, what have you got to lose?