Building your Resilience

Resilience helps us cope when times are tough. The world events of the last two years have been incredibly difficult; they have taken a significant toll on our safety, security, and overall wellbeing. As such, it’s crucial that workplaces help their teams build a ‘toolkit’ of resilience-related skills that they can draw on for support. Just like any other skill or behaviour, becoming resilient involves training, development of positive daily routines, and on-going maintenance. HR consultants and business leaders are perfectly placed to assist their employees in the practice of resilience.   

Why Build Resilience? 

Humans have a natural capacity for resilience.  

However, we sometimes need direction to help us understand the factors that impede it, particularly when work environments go through periods of change. ‘Doing the work’ to develop positive daily routines does not have to be hard – we are all capable of setting realistic and achievable goals that help us achieve success in our work and personal lives. 

Where to start? 

There are many factors that affect our ability to be resilient.  

From a psychological perspective, we are influenced by our individual thoughts and beliefs and inter-personal relationships, not to mention a plethora of community, societal, cultural, and environmental elements. However, positive change most often begins when we become aware of our individual thought patterns and inner beliefs.  

Negativity, fear, stress, and anxiety are all normal feelings, but they do not have to dictate your behaviour. It is possible to change your outlook. 

Create Good Habits 

Creating good, beneficial habits takes persistence.  

Leaders, Human Resources teams, and employees may already have many tools to help them navigate change, stress, and anxiety. But bringing these into your workplace consciousness allows support to become ingrained at a grass roots level. Helping your staff to develop resilience-building habits, and creating a culture of support and understanding, takes time and effort which are well worth the rewards. 

Build your Resilience Bank Account 

Adding to your resilience account is making an investment in yourself.  

Like your financial bank account, you have the opportunity to make resilience ‘debits and credits’ – but remember that both are cumulative. Being aware of ‘debits’ – the thoughts and behaviours that chip away at your strength and ability to move forward – helps you to combat them. Intentionally building your resilience ‘credits’ give you a strong basis and the courage to make change, keep going, and tackle the tough moments when they arise. 

Encourage your Staff to make Resilience Deposits: 

  • Identify and use their strengths 
  • Do something nice for someone 
  • Volunteer in the community 
  • Include time for ‘fun’ in their day 

Make Friends with your Imposter 

Your inner imposter can damage your resilience.  

Your beliefs drive your behaviours 

Unhelpful thoughts of not being good enough, capable enough, or worthy enough affect your performance, and your health. Self-doubt is a pattern that repeats, time and again, until it becomes automatic. 

Making friends with your imposter combats the negative beliefs that tend to become more vocal when you are under stress. Consciously tell your imposter to quiet down and remind them that you are deserving of your achievements and any recognition you receive. Take the credit for your hard work and efforts. 

Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset 

Becoming aware of any limiting thoughts and beliefs, then challenging them, switches your psychology from a ‘fixed mindset’ to one of growth. This is where you can make change and create good habits that will serve you well in the workplace.  

A Growth Mindset increases productivity, creates motivation, and improves relationships 

  • Think about the positive words you can use to change your mindset 
  • Think about your beliefs, and work out how to make them constructive  
  • ‘Yet’ is a powerful word to create the space for change; ‘I haven’t done that’ is different to ‘I’m yet to achieve that.’ 

The Secret to ‘Taking Action’ 

People can talk themselves out of anything. The longer you wait to do something, the greater the odds are that you will never actually achieve it.  

The secret to ‘taking action’ is moving before the convincing voice in your head sabotages your motivation.

Overthinking, overplanning and procrastination are excuses to not take action. To move forwards, go with what you know is the ‘right thing’ to do without overthinking, or giving yourself time to talk yourself out of it.

Build Resilience with Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule 

This is a quick and easy tool for staff to implement in their daily routines. 

‘The 5 Second Rule is simple.  If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds, or your brain will kill it. The moment you feel an instinct or a desire to act on a goal or a commitment, use the Rule.’  

  • Think about your life in five-second windows.  
  • The moment you began to hesitate about something, count down from ‘5,4,3,2,1’ . This stops the flow of negative thoughts.   
  • Then move! Step into action!  

They key to create the change you desire is to use the five-second window in conjunction with the clarity to tune into your skills and experiences.  

Worry, procrastination, and self-doubt are all habits that damage resilience. But you can use science to break them – it all comes back to those five-second decisions. The next time you criticise yourself, be aware of your imposter-voice, and refuse to repeat the same fixed ideas. 

When you begin to take action every single day, you start to build resilience and see yourself becoming the person you want to be. This gives you the confidence to continue to take action and increase that skill. Even the most successful struggle with self-doubt. But you can learn to change fixed ideas, trust yourself, and make decisions based on a positive mental health psychology that will improve both your workplace performance and personal wellbeing. 

Catie is available for speaking engagements including facilitation of training on HR and leadership related topics. To book, contact Catie on +61 (0) 409 545 634 or