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How to Develop a Resilience that Leads to Success

Hi everyone! My name is Olivia and I am a 4th year student at UBC. Last week, I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate X Hiren’s resiliency workshop. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned about being resilient.


What is Resilience?

Resilience is a lot of things; it is persistence, strength, determination and patience, and it is used to describe a person that has the ability to easily recover from difficult or tough situations. Resilience is not something that you are born with. Everybody has the capacity for resilience and it can be learned and developed. The hallmarks of someone resilient is a person that has good problem-solving skills, they are self knowledgeable, they find meaning in themselves, are self motivated, optimistic and have strong relationships.


Screenshot from workshop presentation


Resilience in Practice

It starts with being aware of what mindset, emotional and mental state you’re in, and that happens by setting time aside to reflect on yourself. Time to think and relax is what allows you to dissect your past actions and your future plans. This process of self-reflection leads you to the recognition of your growth and the acceptance of any problems you may have or face in the future. Resilience is the way in which you deal with these issues. Resilient people accept their faults and take action to build habits and skills that will help them thrive.


However, you will only be resilient in your pursuits if you believe in what you are doing. You need to be able to find the value and meaning in your hobbies or your work. Ask yourself “Why am I doing this”, “What value am I providing in this position”. Only then can you be motivated to invest your best into whatever it is that you decide to pursue. Understanding why you do something, your purpose, will also allow you to put effort into your work even when you don’t feel particularly motivated.


People can’t be resilient just by themselves though. Its also important to surround yourself with supportive family and friends. Since you are only human, its unrealistic to think that you can be strong by yourself all the time, and when it gets bad, sometimes you have to rely on others to support you before you can find resilience in yourself.


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Resilience is also characterized by optimism. This means that you are generally hopeful and excited about the possibilities of your work. A positive outlook and approach is essential for facing problems and change because it will help you find solutions instead of folding under the pressure.


Habits that Build Resilience

Resilience is all about building habits that help you succeed, and one of the habits that I though was really important was serial mono-tasking. This is when you schedule blocks of time specifically dedicated to one task. Scheduling and organizing time is beneficial because it forces you to focus on singular tasks and it allows you to block off time for breaks as well. Having dedicated breaks are just as important as the time you spend working as it provides time in which you use to take a step back, de-stress and relax.


Another tip I learned from Hiren that I really like is the idea of rephrasing negative thoughts so that they are more motivating and empowering. For example, if you think “I should have started this project sooner”, you should instead say, “I will schedule my time better for the next project”. Just by rephrasing a sentence, you are training your resilience and putting yourself in a mindset that is more conducive to your own success.


My Experience in the Workshop

Fist of all, I though it was great that this workshop was provided to us and I found that it offered lots of value for me. I have always believed that I should be motivated, optimistic, creative problem solver and have strong relationships, but I never though about them all fitting together under the idea of resilience. I think seeing how all these aspects work together and how they can build habits that lead to my success has made me delve deeper and become more invested in my own personal development. What I enjoyed the most was seeing how my co-workers answered the questions asked in the presentation. It gave me a chance to see what other people thought about resilience. For example, one of the first questions asked was “What does resilience mean to you?”, I answered ‘persistence’, but learned that other people saw resilience as confidence, adversity, bravery, trust, perseverance and mental strength, which are descriptions that I myself would not have thought of.


Future Goals

My goal, in order to build resilience, is to ask for help more. I generally don’t like asking for help, but that is not path that allows me to develop and grow in a healthy way. As Hiren said in the workshop, asking for help is important not just for getting the work done, but also to prevent over-stressing your mind and body. I have always felt embarrassed to ask for help and that is something I have to overcome. Additionally, I also want to be there for others when they need help. As coworkers we all need to be there for each other, whether that be listening, talking or offering help with the workload.