The term resilience became something of a buzzword from 2020/2021 onwards.

What we mean by that is this: resilience as a skill or ability in your wellbeing toolkit is important for your mental health. It simply means the ability to make your way through a struggle or challenge and come out the other side.

The term resilience was introduced into the English language in the early 17th Century from the Latin verb resilire, meaning to rebound or recoil.

The reason we say that it became a buzzword was that it was due to some of these reasons:

  • Unrealistic Expectations: The term resilience, when misinterpreted, can lead to unrealistic expectations of constant strength and the ability to bounce back quickly from any adversity. This unrealistic pressure may cause people to feel inadequate or guilty when they struggle to cope with challenges.
  • Cultural or Societal Factors: In some cultural contexts, the notion of resilience might be viewed differently or be at odds with traditional beliefs or values. People from certain cultural backgrounds might prioritize community support and collective coping mechanisms over individual resilience.
  • Individual Differences: Everyone copes with challenges differently, and not everyone may resonate with the concept of resilience as a central theme in their lives. Some individuals may prefer alternative approaches to personal growth and well-being.
  • Lack of Nuance: The term resilience might oversimplify the complexity of individual struggles and experiences. Some people prefer more nuanced language and discussions that acknowledge the unique circumstances of each person.

So how can we take a different look at resilience – from the perspective of wellbeing as something that can truly change lives for the better and positively impact a collective culture within an organisation?

Our Founder Jessie Pavelka explains his take:

So, we can look at how traditionally, resilience has been seen as being tough; able to face and then make it through challenging times.

Yes, in the workplace and in life there can be pressure, competition, conflict and burnout.

But, for your well-being, is it really best for you to feel like you have to ‘tough it out’? Instead, resilience can be seen as your ability to adjust, adapt and recover quickly from life’s inevitable challenges.

How do you gain that ability? There are different approaches that you can take – and it begins with acceptance.

The idea of being resilient might be comparable to being strong. However, you can start from a position of strength not by thinking that you can take on the world and win, but by accepting that you cannot control it all.

When we arrive at acceptance, we experience relief and a clear vision for what our next step needs to be. Knowing where we stand is key to our health and state of wellness.

Accepting that there are some things that you can control and some that you cannot, helps you to identify where you can have impact and what you can spend your energy on; so when those triggering moments arrive, you respond to the world feeling stronger, grounded and with resilience.

That ability to respond and to feel resilient doesn’t remain intact without being nurtured – and you nurture your resilience through rituals of self-care.

Resilience comes in the consistency of your rituals: your daily practices and commitments to yourself. It comes by giving yourself time for a morning thought or meditation, by giving yourself space for a mid-day walk, or by turning off distractions as you eat your dinner.

These are the rituals that will invest in the foundation of your well-being so, when you face a challenging moment, person or time, you have the equity to adjust, pivot or recover, from a position of confidence and strength.

Resilience is not a singular experience. The culture of your family, your teams and communities all impact how you show up and how you feel: your collective resilience.

An organisation that is aware of this creates a collective resilience so that even on the hard days you get energized and inspired by the people around you. If someone falls, you are there to help them up, and you know that they’ve got your back. When you feel part of something and connected to others, everything seems possible.

So how does a culture of wellbeing build such a culture? Speak to us and find out more.

About the Author

Pavelka offers a suite of accessible tools and proven techniques to help support the wellbeing of leaders, teams and individuals – in the workplace and at home.

Jessie Pavelka is CEO & Co-founder of Pavelka Limited.

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