Adversity and resilience do not necessarily go hand in hand, says Katherine Sforcina. Here’s what she says about coping with adversity and remaining resilient.
Technology has thrown humanity into a permanent, ever-evolving state of flux. None of us really know what the future will hold, how technology will change our world or our lives or how we will be able to remain relevant in that world – things are just changing too fast to have the answers anymore.
Given this, we are moving into an era where we will all need to adopt the attitude of a perpetual learner and master generalist – there is not enough time to become ‘the expert’ at anything anymore before the very thing you were honing your skillset for becomes at least partially obsolete – if not entirely.
Instead, to go beyond surviving through the technological age, we will need skill sets that have extremely broad applications and enable us to understand / develop new technologies and how they can be applied to existing business models/processes/problems and a level of resilience and emotional intelligence that enables us to remain effective, even if we are not sure what is coming around the corner – ever again.
Our AQ2 (a term I have coined to represent a person’s Adaptability Quotient when multiplied by their Adoptability Quotient) will be the new yardstick we are measured against professionally in this new technological landscape. Courage, the desire/ability to fail our way to success, the ability to remain comfortable being permanently out of our comfort zones and being nimble enough to pivot our careers and / or businesses in any direction as the tides of tech ebb and flow, are all by-products of individuals and businesses having a high AQ2.
However, there is one character trait which sits at the core of our AQ2 and that is that thing called resilience; our ability to withstand and or utilise adversity to create positive impact and continuously thrive in spite of our challenges.
Can you build resilience without facing real hardships/challenges in life?
I believe the answer to this is no. Resilience by its very nature is a learned response to having been through tough and/or uncomfortable circumstances. You can’t fake ‘tough’ circumstance or being put out of your comfort zone but it doesn’t mean you need to wait until a Category 5 life levelling cyclone comes into your life to build your base level of resilience up either. There are many ways you can choose to build resilience by engaging in everyday activities.
Some things you can choose to engage in to build resilience include the following:
- A daily exercise regime that pushes your limits
- A daily yoga and/or meditation practise that causes you to apply the principles of routine and self-discipline and connect with yourself and any areas of self-development you have been avoiding
- Volunteering your time for worthy causes that expose you to other people’s hardships
- Taking on any task or challenge that pushes you out of your comfort zone in some way for an extended period of time
- Engaging with and remaining curious about ideas, resources, and people that challenge you to think differently about the world and/or various subject matter.
- Embracing a new career path
- Regularly exposing yourself to new experiences, places, and cultures
Even when you go about building resilience by exposing yourself in ways that you have chosen, it requires higher than normal levels of grit and determination along with a well-developed growth mindset.
With all of the above examples one thing remains true, the more you reach outside of your comfort zone and the more often you indulge in your curiosities to test your perseverance, problem-solving, stamina and self-discipline; the higher the level of natural resilience you will have.
Building resilience is starting to sound like a lot of hard work right?
Yeah, you’re probably right, it is.
The flip side, however, is when life, your career or the evolution of tech itself throws unexpected curve balls your way you’ll be far more likely to knock it out of the ballpark and use it to your advantage than crawl under the blankets and hide.
Perhaps not such a bad trade-off after-all.
Written by Kathryn Sforcina
Kathryn has a 20-year history as a serial entrepreneur and now devotes a large proportion of her time to supporting other founders and their teams in their journey forward. She regularly speaks and runs workshops on the topics of Rapid Growth Hacking, AQ2 and Business Strategy.
To inquire about how you and your team can work with Kathryn get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org