Do you know the story of one of Australia’s much loved Comedians Ahn Do? I didn’t either until I read his autobiography ‘The Happiest Refugee’ and wow what a harrowing and nspiring story. As a young kid Ahn travelled a refugee, with his family, from Vietnam to Australia. His family had set back after set back, from poverty to heartache. Life was not easy, but, rather than being worn down by it he learned to see the positives. The positives didn’t stop. As an adult he chose to leave a promising career in law to follow his passion and become a Comedian. This decision was full of set backs and knock backs but still he remained resilient.
Do’s story highlights just how important resilience is in work and life. His intelligence and skills were not enough to get through. He needed to develop grit and determination to learn from the failures and grow from them.
So why is it that some people thrive in these conditions and others withdraw? Why do some tread water or feel like they are drowning and others get ahead?
I love how Dr Sam Harvey, a psychiatrist with Black Dog Institute, talks of resilience. He says that; ‘Enhancing resilience removes the notion that employees are passive recipients of workplace stress without anything they can do about it’.
Let’s face it, workplace demands are not getting smaller or easier. Change is the norm, agility is no longer a buzz word. Some of us work ridiculous hours and the task list is, quite frankly, manic. So what’s gunna give? Well you and your people if you don’t learn how
to build your core inner muscles and one of them is – Resilience. It’s how flexible we are, how we adapt, how we bounce back like Anh Do and many others around us.
The Centre for Confidence and Well-Being, tell us that It’s not about our smarts, or working longer hours (phew!) or even experience. It is about building and growing your internal grit so you can face the set backs and deal with them as they arise.
This is good news! Resilience is not a characteristic gifted to some individuals and not others. It is not a passive quality, but an active process.
Building grit and determination can be taught.
Does that sound like something you or your team would be interested in understanding and building? Awesome! Our expert, Justine Coleman, has a program called ‘Thrive: Building Resilience Through Change’ that can help your people start growing their grit and moving through change better.