21st February 2020 / by Sarah Mundy

How Resilient do you have to be?

It’s long been recognised that resilience is an important capability for all individuals within the workplace.  And it cannot be denied that in our dynamic world of work, where change is the norm, the ability to recognise, adapt and manage your emotions is the norm.

But how resilient do we have to be?  In recent discussions with coaching clients I have been struck by the consistent message of “continuing to cope” even when it is obvious that both physical and mental health is being impacted.   So why do we do this to ourselves?  The instant response to this is that we must not fail or be seen as a failing; the ability to continue to perform at the highest level becomes the focus.  I find this interesting as we immediately internalise the situation and consider the difficulties to be within us; how often have we heard “it must be me; I clearly haven’t understood”, creating the need within us to try harder and “continue to cope”.  This cannot always be the case but it does open up and reveal the dichotomy we feel between our own capabilities and what the organisation is asking of us. 

A cornerstone to resilience is self-belief and the chipping away of this trait, by ourselves or others, can lead to a spiral of introspection, erosion of confidence in our own abilities and potentially impact on our mental wellbeing.  

So at what point should we recognise that “continuing to cope” is not the right path for us?

  1. You start questioning your ability to deliver and contribute;
  2. You hesitate to contribute for fear of criticism or getting it wrong;
  3. You start to realise your emotions are about to “spill over”;
  4. You begin to dread going into work or certain work situations;
  5. Your home life is suffering because of the work situation;

If any of this feels familiar, you may find it useful to find a sounding board or coach support you in building a more objective perspective of your situation and help you make decisions for a better you.


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