Psychologists and business experts generally agree that resilience is a key trait that people need to have if they are to be successful in their careers. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from a failure, to continue moving forward even after experiencing setbacks. To have resilience is to have the ability to persevere.
Having resilience means getting out of our comfort zones. But this involves a radical change in the way we normally think. That’s because in our culture, the goal has become the reduction of discomfort. Being uncomfortable is something that we strive to reduce. In fact, we value the reverse, the increase in comfort, both material and emotional.
Any kind of circumstance that is uncomfortable for us we see as bad, as somehow wrong, and something that needs to be changed quickly.
But to build resilience, we need to be able to handle discomfort, psychologists say. Discomfort is not something to be avoided, but the exact opposite, something that is, in fact, vital to our well-being. We need to realize that life itself is not exactly comfortable. No matter how we try to control our lives, there’s always going to be discomfort, and we have to learn to deal with it.
Helping to Grow
We have to deal with adversity often in our lives, and this in itself involves a great deal of discomfort, but at the same time, learning how to handle this discomfort and work through it helps us to grow and develop as human beings.
So rather than trying to protect ourselves from discomfort, we need to actually experience it and learn to work through it. Our efforts should not be directed at reducing discomfort or avoiding it. Rather, psychologists say we should focus on developing the skills and the mindset for managing the discomfort more effectively.
Experiencing discomfort is actually an opportunity for us to build our resilience and become stronger. Discomfort is woven into the very fabric of life itself. It’s not going to go away, and dealing with it can become one of the most fulfilling and actually rewarding experiences that we can go through. Acquiring a new skill, improving our minds or our bodies, creating something of value — all of these things, all new challenges, involve experiencing discomfort.