Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
I do a lot of reading around the web and I devour business-related books and blogs. One of the themes that is arising again and again lately is resilience. More than ever, employees, entrepreneurs, and entire companies depend for their survival on resilience — the ability to bounce back from failure, to recover from setbacks or disappointments.
Writers are no exception. Resilience is something we all need to develop.
In today’s business environment, things change rapidly. Bombshells are everywhere. Publishing is part of the larger picture of a volatile environment. Rather than wring our hands when publishers’ imprints shut down, or when our books don’t become bestsellers, or our queries don’t garner the responses we hoped, we can bounce back. We can refuse to be deterred by setbacks.
But how do we develop resilience? Well-known Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter gives us an insightful answer:
“Complacency, arrogance, and greed crowd out resilience. Humility and a noble purpose fuel it.”
I’ve seen examples of this so many times. The people who cannot bounce back from disappointment often have unrealistic expectations, or are impatient for success, or may be too tired to give it another go. Writers who believe in their ultimate purpose for writing — who have goals more lofty than money or fame or bestselling status — are the ones who find the strength to dust themselves off and keep going.
Kanter also writes: “Resilience draws from strength of character, from a core set of values that motivate efforts to overcome the setback and resume walking the path to success.”
So the way you develop resilience is to go back to your values and your purpose, again and again. Don’t linger too long in setbacks. Your motivation to continue will, I think, be proportional to the strength of your commitment to your ideals.
I believe you can intentionally grow your own resilience. Practice it whenever something disappoints you. Remind yourself of your larger purpose. Stay humble. When you feel entitled or like you “deserve” success, be angry for a few minutes, then re-focus on your goal. Ask yourself if, in light of this latest development, you need to change anything.
If we don’t develop resilience, we risk developing bitterness. And I don’t think we’ll find the success we’re looking for.
Setbacks, surprises, and difficulties are around every corner. Resilience isn’t the only skill writers need, and it may not even be the most important skill — but without it, most of us will not reach our goals.
How is your level of resilience? What experiences have helped you develop it? In what situations have you needed it lately?
Setbacks, surprises & difficulties are around every corner. Do you have resilience? Click to Tweet.
To develop resilience, go back to your values and your purpose, again and again. Click to Tweet.
If we don’t development resilience, we may develop bitterness instead, says @RachelleGardner. Click to Tweet.
Quotes are from Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s article in Harvard Business Review blogs: Surprises Are the New Normal; Resilience is the New Skill.
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