If you choose to become an entrepreneur then one of the certainties in life is that you will have difficult times. Some of these difficult times are much harder than others. But as one wise commentator remarked, ‘it’s not what happens to you that counts but rather how you react to what happens’.
This post looks at the qualities or the characteristics of people who are resilient. These are ordinary people just like you who when facing a difficult situation learn various techniques on how to cope. They not only cope, they cope well. Probably the best aspect of these characteristics is that they are able to be learned. These are not qualities that you only find in certain people who are perhaps born with them.
They are skills you can acquire.
2.Be aware of what is going on around you.
3.Know what is meant by resilience.
4.Be prepared to change, be flexible.
5.Step outside the situation and view the scene.
6.Are you a believer in being able to control the situation?
7.Do you have problem-solving skills?
8.Do you have contacts who are able to help you?
9.Are you able and willing to ask for help?
10.Do you see yourself as a victim or as a survivor?
11.Can you measure your resilience?
It may seem somewhat silly to ask the question about knowing yourself. But it is very relevant and particularly for an entrepreneur. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Are you a planner? Are you a procrastinator? Do you believe you have leadership expertise? Anyone who is a resilient person is somebody who knows their own characteristics. Sometimes it’s possible to be so caught up in your working situation that it’s the equivalent of you wearing blinkers. You don’t get a heads up when a problem suddenly arises. This is not a good position for any entrepreneur.
A resilient person is someone who is aware of what is going on around them. Do you know what it means to be a resilient person? It’s a bit like the first question about knowing yourself. If you have a clear image of a resilient person being somebody who reacts well to stress or difficulties or problems then it is easy to imagine yourself stepping into that position. A resilient person is someone who is able to change. If you are set in your ways and believe that there is only one particular solution to a problem then you will never be described as resilient. If change is necessary to overcome a problem then you must be flexible and willing and able to change. If the difficulty is so overriding or intense it’s possible to get lost in the melee of concern. If you have the ability to step outside the problem and look at it as an outsider, you give yourself a much better chance of being resilient. Are you a self-confident person? Do you believe that you have the ability to handle all sorts of situations? If so you are well on the way to being a resilient person. If not you may struggle. Self-belief or self-confidence is a vital ingredient of someone who is resilient. Let’s say there is an issue with members of your staff. Do you have people handling skills? Do you have problem-solving skills? Having these tools in your kit bag will enable you to become resilient. These most definitely are skills you can acquire. Having a network of colleagues or friends to whom it you can call upon in time of need is an excellent characteristic of a resilient person. It need not be a wide circle of contacts because quality is far more important than quantity. But having this backup network can help you foster your ability as a resilient person. Of course having some wonderful support staff or people with whom you can network to solve the problem is one thing; being willing and able to ask for help or advice is another. Some entrepreneurs are too proud to admit they need help. You must overcome this weakness. Imagine yourself in a time of difficulty. It’s the old situation where the glass is either half full or half empty. How do you see yourself? Are you a victim of this situation or are you a survivor? Finally, are you able to measure your resilience? Think back to a time when you were under stress or faced a crisis be it large or small. How did you react to that situation? Did you have a strategy or strategies to tackle the problem? What score would you give yourself out of 10 as far as resilience is concerned?