The Case For Building Resilience Through Conscious Leadership

There can be no doubt, resilience is on the tip of everyone’s tongues these days.  Resilience for students; CEO’s; athletes; new parents.  The category doesn’t matter - the desire to meet a ‘resilient state’ is high.

Resilience is not a new concept.  Over the years it has gone through various transitions with a noticeable shift in focus from internal to external influences.  However, one certainty remains.  Resilience is a process.

So, what does resilience actually mean?  Some researchers call it a ‘construct with two distinct dimensions: significant adversity and positive adaptation’ (Luthar SS. Resilience in development: A synthesis of research across five decades. Developmental Psychopathology: Risk, Disorder, and Adaptation. New York: Wiley; 2006).  This view requires the presence of substantial risk or adversity as the differentiating factor resulting in the ability to positively adapt in the face of adversity. 

As Conscious Leaders this is no foreign concept.  The skills required to adapt, persevere, problem solve and refrain from reacting as we face great risks and challenges are all in a day’s work.  So how can the attributes of the Conscious Leader support our quest for resilience?

The 3 Core Attributes We Must Work On

1.            Self-Love

Love, as we all know, is a powerful force.  When we act from a place of love, we can create greatness.  But loving others cannot really take place unless we learn to love ourselves.  Self-love is so intricately tied in with our self-worth, our self-confidence and our self-esteem.  All crucial elements allowing us to accept ourselves, be clear about who we are and what we stand for, understand our own limits and set our boundaries.  Self-love is character building, harmonious and optimistic.  It instils peace as it allows us to focus on our purpose.  We all have something to say and that something matters as we view ourselves in a positive light.

2.            Emotional Intelligence

Recognising, understanding and accepting our emotions is at the heart of our emotional intelligence.  When we increase our compassion and empathy for ourselves and others, our world takes on a different view.  Things don’t seem so impending and serious when we realise that we are not alone.  An expansive view allows us to see the bigger picture which in turn helps us to feel more in control, calmer and a part of the oneness of everything.  We are then in a better position to respond as we wish and not simply react to things that occur to us and around us.  We can better manage impulses and regulate our stress.

3.            Self-Awareness

Awareness of both our inner and outer worlds is arguably one of the most important skills we can master.  There is hardly a need any more to list the benefits of achieving this through meditation – the scientific research is mounting, and the results are clear.  Practicing meditation is a game changer.  Proven to improve our health, happiness, social life, self-control, productivity and increase our brain’s grey matter, meditation gives us perspective and keeps us authentic. (Emma Seppala PhD, Scientific Reasons To Start Meditating Today, Psychology Today, 2013).  An increased ability to be self-aware does wonders for our resilience training.  Being mindful of our well-being, our feelings, our experiences, our beliefs and our response to change, allows us to transition slowly into a managed and purposeful state of mind.

Resilience takes effort.  It is a combination of personal development, discipline and courage.  It requires a holistic approach to all that we do and the support network of whatever ‘tribe’ we choose to belong to.

Conscious Leadership can get us there and offers us so much more along the way.  The tools are available to us – the question is, are we brave enough to use them?