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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

5 Pillars of Resilience


As 2021 continues, I’ve been doing some deep thinking about what resilience means to me, and what it might mean to my followers and friends. Mostly, what I realized was that I haven’t really been all that good at resilience. I was focused on completing my tasks, getting my work done, and keeping my head above water. I forgot about me.


Recently, I came across a blog talking about the five pillars of resilience, and I wanted to discuss them here with you because my keyword for 2021 is resilience. It’s how we are able to show up and bounce back from setbacks that we face in our lives, so let’s look at some ways we can cultivate resilience in our work.


Become self-aware


One of the most important parts of my message as a career coach is that folks need to do the deep work with themselves, look in the mirror, and take an accurate self-inventory. Be honest with yourself about what's working and what's not. Maybe that cutting remark at last week's daily standup is still bothering you days later. Maybe you're feeling frustrated and stagnant, and you need something to change. Maybe you need a new certification.


Ignoring these truths that are difficult to swallow isn't going to make them go away, and we need to build regular self-honesty sessions into our work lives to keep making progress.


Be mindful


I see being mindful in the workplace as the practice of looking at things that happen and finding the lessons you can learn from them. Perfectionism is truly not your friend, and all of us can benefit from our setbacks if we take a mindful minute and reflect on what they have to teach us.


So something didn't go well. How can you learn from that, be present with it, and show up strongly in the future?


Practice self-care


2020 really taught me how important it is to take care of myself. And I'm not just talking about skincare and bubble baths (although we all love those!), I am talking about taking time for myself and building margin into my day to let myself breathe and give myself some grace. Personally, I enjoy praying in the morning, but you could take time to journal, reflect, or meditate. I've been working out and drinking more water. These things aren't always easy, especially because I've never once had a client tell me that they had too much free time.


However, if you can do the work of self-care, you'll find yourself better able to respond to challenges and setbacks, because you have a practice built in to look after yourself. That's a huge asset in our chaotic world, so don't neglect it.


Have purpose


You have to have a why in your life. My "why" isn't a line on a business card, it's my vision of my long-term goals for my working life. That goes way beyond reaching a job title or getting assigned to a certain project. My goals are about leading, growing, and motivating a team. Helping people is why I'm here, and that's an incredibly key component to bouncing back from setbacks.


If you reframe your problem in view of your bigger plans, it helps put things in perspective. Is this setback going to be the thing that knocks you permanently off your course? Of course not. It might be inconvenient and painful, but your big-picture objective is still there. You can recover.


Cultivate positive relationships


Having relationships with people who support and motivate you is so helpful in building a resilient life. We can practice mindfulness, become self-aware, do self-care, and zero in on our purpose, but sometimes we all need a little help. Identify the relationships in your life that support you in leading a more resilient life.


Who are the people who can be real with you?

Who are the people who can tell you kindly when they think you're making a mistake?

Who are the people who can tell you to take a step back and catch your breath?


Those relationships are essential to do the recovering, course-correcting, and strategizing that are essential parts of a resilient life.



If you need a partner in your work life, you might benefit from having a career coach in your corner. If you could use some support in your resiliency journey, click here to book a one-on-one with me on your calendar, and we can start doing the deep work together.


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