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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

The Secret to Building Resiliency (That Nobody Talks About)

Updated: Jan 3, 2022

I believe that resilience is a superpower. Someone who can bounce back from a challenge, learn from what happened, and reframe their mindset to adjust, is an incredibly powerful person. Think about it: If you have resilience, you can recover from almost any setback you face. Problems don’t have to be roadblocks. You can overcome without burning out.

That’s powerful.

However, cultivating resilience requires one key ingredient that I don’t think we address enough as a culture: emotional intelligence.

Doing versus being.

In our careers (especially as women of color) we put most of our focus into developing our core competencies. We hit those sales goals, we nail those deadlines, we work harder than anyone else to prove that we have the chops to get ahead. But in that hustle, we can sometimes forget that “being” is just as important as “doing.”

Who we are as professionals matters just as much as what we produce, and that requires a deep knowledge-of-self. That self-awareness, that emotional intelligence is the thing that helps connect our “why” to our “what.” If you spend all your time doing the work and not enough time thinking about the “why” of the work, you miss the opportunity to grow in your own self-knowledge.

Your “why” will help you get back on your feet.

Having a deep knowledge-of-self means that you know exactly who you are, what you’re good at, what your strengths are, where your gaps are, and what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning.

That’s what builds resilience. Being great at hitting production goals is important, but if you’re knocked off your center, it’s not your competency that will motivate you to get up....It’s the sense of what matters to you, and why bouncing back is important to you.

How to develop your “why.”

Now, I know it’s easy for me to write about how self-awareness and emotional intelligence are the keys to resilience, but how do you actually cultivate it? I teach a method called the Peel Back, Connect, and Grow method, but the basic principle is that we have to dig deep into our own psyche. This means sitting down with a journal and writing down the ways that our personal lives are impacting our professional lives. This means finding mentors and colleagues who can show us our blind spots. And yes, this even means soliciting constructive criticism from our workplace (often in the form of a 360 review).

Emotional intelligence is a practice.

Learning about yourself and growing as a person takes time and effort. It isn't something you can do in one sitting and go on with your life; it's a daily commitment to reflect thoughtfully, get feedback, and try new things. It requires flexibility, and like all muscles, it strengthens over time. If you're facing the consequences of a lack of resilience in your life (volatility, anxiety, stress), it may be time to think about how you can practice resiliency.

Developing emotional intelligence takes time, and it requires help...perhaps in the form of adding a career coach to your network. If you're looking for an experienced professional to walk you through a PBCG routine, or even if you're simply looking for someone to bounce ideas off of, let's connect. Click here to schedule a one-on-one with me.

You might also like to read my free guide, "Workplace Confidence for Black and Brown Women," which I created to help Black and Brown women in the workplace overcome their stumbling blocks and identify their strengths.

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