Building Resilience

By Bobby Peralta posted 21 days ago


The pandemic has spawned a plethora of words, terms and phrases. Resilience is one that I have used a lot, signifying my desire to look beyond this crisis, rise up, and be more progressive.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands.

So when I chanced upon a TED Talk entitled, “Three Secrets of Resilient People” by Lucy Hone, a resilience expert and researcher, I watched it with keen interest. I thought of adapting the content, relating this to associations.

In her talk, Lucy provides three strategies for developing the capacity to face adversity, overcome struggle, and deal with whatever may come head-on, with fortitude and grace. Here are the three considerations in building resilience, whether on a personal or organizational level:

1. Know and accept that suffering is part of life. When tough times come, resilient people seem to know that suffering is part of every human existence. Accepting this fact stops them from feeling discriminated against when challenges arrive. When disaster strikes, most people ask, “Why me?” Resilient people ask the opposite, “Why not me?”

Associations experience challenges and setbacks, too, especially during this ongoing pandemic. They face dwindling finances; encounter member recruitment, engagement and retention challenges; and cope with staff and volunteer shortages. Resilient associations, which have met similar difficulties in the past, accept that these challenges are part and parcel of managing organizations.

2. Recognize where to direct attention to. Resilient people have the habit of realistically appraising situations, and are typically able to focus on things they can change and learn to accept the things they can’t. They have also worked out a way of tuning in to the good around them and of trying to find things to be grateful for. Such positivity is powerful.

This is the same for resilient associations. Being service-oriented organizations, they zero in on their available resources and energy in helping their members find solutions to their problems, advance their growth, and provide impactful experiences. They recognize that by sticking to their purpose no matter what happens is key to their survival and sustainability as organizations.

3. Discern thoughts and actions which can help or harm. Resilient people are able to detect whether what they think or how they act is good or bad for them. This discernment can be applied to many different context, said Lucy: “Is the way I’m thinking and acting helping me or harming me in my bid to get that promotion, to pass that exam, or to recover from a heart attack?” Asking this question gives you control on your decision-making process.

Coming out of a crisis situation, associations can use this “go-to” question as the answer will spell the difference between being able to continue what they do best and suffering the consequence of failing.

Resilience is not a fixed or elusive trait that some people have and some don’t. In reality, it only requires the willingness of the person or the organization to try basic strategies like the above-mentioned considerations.

This article was published by the Business Mirror on February 17, 2022 and may not be reproduced without prior consent from the writer and Business Mirror.