Some of you might resolve to make a change this year and some of you might not. Change happens no matter what, because life is always throwing new challenges at us or at our businesses. Any kind of change is fraught with numerous challenges. I’m reminded of the graphic below, showing the iceberg with the top 10% above the water that everyone sees being the successful change and the 90% below the water no one sees being the blood, sweat and tears that go into making that success happen.

Iceberg illusion

Resilience Defined

Resilience is fundamental to not just surviving change, but thriving through it. Resilience defined:

The ability of an individual or organization to deal with stress and pressure in a positive manner and bounce back from adversity and successfully move forward.

Some people think of resilience as the ability to fight change and stay the course. I think that’s resistance, not resilience. Since change is inevitable, resisting it is futile. We can defer change, but deferring it indefinitely is unrealistic, unless you live alone, in an underground bunker, with limitless resources.

5 Basic Tools for Resilience

I’ve listed below the 5 tools for resilience. Use these and it’s like the magic armor for surviving and thriving through changes when they come. I know because I’ve been there/am there/will be there.

  1. Have some clarity as to why this change is happening. If you can’t get this, see number 5.
  2. Figure out what you want to be different after the change. Again, see number 5 for help on this.
  3. Being mindful of the process. (It’s all about the journey, so take notes along the way so you can do number 5 for someone else who needs it.)
  4. Maintain an optimistic attitude and positive outlook. No Chicken Little stuff here.
  5. Get support, reinforcement and coaching. No man is an island.

These 5 tools for resilience are for people and for companies, but I wrote them more for individuals. Change is always personal. In an organization, if individuals aren’t engaged and motivated the change will fail. But that’s another blog post.

If you want to improve your odds of surviving and thriving through change, use these 5 tools. If you’ve got more, send me an email or post a comment and I’ll add them to our list.

Here is an inspiring TED talk from Angela Lee Duckworth on resilience, which she calls “grit.”