I promise you that there has never been an intention on my part to make this blog a quasi “word of the week” exercise.
Rather it started, rather tremulously, as a way of putting some thoughts out in the wider world in the hope that it may strike a chord. Mind you, this underlying love of words was always going to lead to a wider analysis. Welcome to my brain……
Today I am prompted to write on a quality that is such a vital part of our lives and one that is not readily evident in today’s immediate, “must have it now” society.
It is a quality that is much needed when life throws it’s curly moments at you and yet, for many of us, it is frustratingly elusive at those times when its needed most.
Over the years, I have had to draw on my resilience reserves both personally and professionally. On a personal level, losing a loved one so early in life, in such tragic circumstances, certainly tested my resilience and it felt understandably hard to find, particularly in those early years. As I look back now, I realise it was there, quietly humming in the background. I just didn’t name it as such at the time.
Then there is the resilience we need when parenting our children. There were many times when I doubted my sanity let alone my ability to recognise the resilience I undoubtedly had in raising two children solo. As anyone who has embarked on the highs and lows of parenting can attest, having children develops qualities and skills you never knew you had or indeed imagined you would ever need BC (Before Children). This includes the ability to cook a meal, read through tonight’s spelling homework, mediate a fight and monitor the television watching, all whilst balancing a glass of wine in one hand and a frying pan in the other! Our children teach us so much don’t they?
Just as they teach us, so too do we teach them. The greatest gift we can give our children is that ability to be able to bounce back from disappointment. As a parent, the last thing we want is for our children to fall. No doubt for most of us, our parents were the same. Our innate desire is to make life better for them on all levels and this is our raison d’étre for many years. Actually we never stop do we? We will worry about them and fret for them and want only the best for them for the rest of our lives. This is part of the job criteria and it’s something we accept willingly.
It’s a wonderful thing when we see that resilience mirrored back to us. It often comes when you least expect it. When you do see it, it is inspiring and uplifting and gives you a lovely warm feeling inside.
Somewhere along the way, all that cajoling, the constantly repeated words (seriously, if anyone calls it “nagging“, smack them), the behaviours we lived and breathed in front of our children even when we didn’t realise we were doing it, were somehow seeping into those developing cortex’s and lo and behold, we finally get to stand to the side and say, with a justified element of pride and love: “Well done young Skywalker, you have learned well”.
Trust yourself parent, be ye young or old; if you love them and teach them to bounce back, all will be well.
Professionally, I have worked within and for organisations for whom change seems to be part and parcel of their operating rhythm. Sometimes this change is necessary, many times it isn’t. The thing that has struck me time and again is the resilience of the people working within these organisations. There are companies I know whose culture doesn’t promote or encourage resilience. Yet ironically, it is the one quality I see demonstrated time and again by the people working within these toxic environments. The difference is that these people are surviving not thriving.
What a wonderful thought – workplaces that harness the natural resilience human beings have and develop, empower and promote it to bring out the best in the workforce and in the organisation at large.
Imagine the possibilities of that unleashed potential. The sky is truly the limit!
Photo credit: Adrian Bell