When the going gets tough, do you get going?
What have you learned about resiliency?
My friend Joel Boggess recently asked this question, “What have you learned from past events, (good or bad) about your own resiliency?” As you can imagine when this topic of resiliency is discussed, everyone can reflect on times when they felt they were not very resilient and other times when they knew that they went further and endured more than those around them.
I would argue that most of us have more “in the tank” than we think we do.
If you have played sports, studied music or worked on a skill with a coach or mentor I am sure that at one point in your progression you reached a point where you thought you had nothing left to give. For me, I can easily remember back to baseball or football where we had drilled and drilled to the point of exhaustion only to be told to line back up for one more drill. Despite the fatigue, I would line up and execute the drill despite not thinking that I could.
The coach knew that I had more “in the tank” than I thought I did and in a game with stiff competition the final victory often goes to the person or team that has more resilience than the opposition.
When I talk with friends or coaching clients and this topic of resiliency comes up, I point out that it is at the point of wanting to give up or just stop the activity that we find out how much we want something.
Three reasons why some finish and others give up
There are three reasons that people do or do not cross the finish line.
1. The size of their engine or internal drive. I believe that there is a different sized engine in everyone and not only a different sized engine but a different engine for different tasks or activities. Think about the internal drive or engine people like the U.S. Rangers or Navy Seals have. They undergo all that training and hardship to become the best of the best often times being injured in the drive to join those groups.
2. Who they associate with. Are you associating with people who tell you it is okay to stop, you have tried your best? Or, are you associating with people who will push you to keep going, to keep reaching. These are the kinds of people who hold out water or encouragement to you while you are on your own marathon path.
3. The third reason why some people are more resilient than others is that they seek out and find a coach or mentor who can provide focused advice and accountability on the challenge that the individual is facing. The coach, mentor or teacher is different from the positive associations in that they are a single voice that has expertise and wisdom within it.
Coach’s Wrap Up
We all have moments when a task or challenge becomes difficult. It is at these times that we learn two things: how committed are we internally, and do we have the right associations externally to help encourage and drive us to the finish. It is often at the times when we have to make a choice to dig deep and find more in “our tanks” or give up that we gain enlightenment on our character and who we are.
So what have you learned about your own resiliency? What do you think makes some people more resilient than others?