I have just come to the end of a pretty stressful chapter in my career. Not because of anything going on in the job itself, which I have been enjoying immensely for the last year or so, but because of the nature of my employment being fixed-term with a clear end date.
Today, I am writing about Personal Resilience, something which I think is a vital life skill.
Much has been said about entrepreneurs who have failed many times before coming up with a product or business model that delivers success beyond their wildest dreams. The former UK Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
It is very rare in life to breeze through every challenge sent our way. Those who give the impression it is easy are either exceptionally talented but more likely masking the hard work and soul-searching they have been through in private to get to where they are.
I remember the first time I was unsuccessful with a job application – it was for graduate entry into the UK’s Civil Service – and it felt at the time like the world was falling down around me. Roll on almost twenty years to this latest challenge and I still experienced moments of self-doubt and the inevitable deflation from yet another “thanks but no thanks” but surprised myself with the resilience I showed, picking myself up time and time again until I landed a permanent role.
So what changed? I think it was a shift in my focus towards being in the moment of the job application, the selection test or interview and away from thinking about the spoils of victory or the disappointment of defeat. It also helped not to take rejection so personally. The recruiter will often already have an idea of the type of person that they want in their team and if you don’t match that profile then it’s not your fault!
Some of you will recognise the picture of the T-1000, a shape-shifting android assassin from the film Terminator 2. In the film the T-1000 experiences countless acts of violence and each time re-forms, stands up and keeps on going.
We’re not androids and human feelings make it all the more difficult but the next time you get knocked down, think of the T-1000…
…and get back up again.