“So you’ve had a bad day.
You’re taking one down.
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know
You tell me, don’t lie
You work at a smile, and you go for a ride
You had a bad day.”
You bet. And that’s not just because those are lyrics from Daniel Powter’s hit song, ‘Bad Day.’
It’s because we all have bad days from time to time. But the dangerous thing is when too many bad days add up and keep us from being the happiest and most productive we can be.
The key for us as busy professionals, to operate at our best, is to build resilience to overcome the challenges that life presents.
The number one reason why I train professionals on the importance of building resilience is that no matter how talented you are, failure is inevitable.
The first step is accepting the fact that at some point, you will fail and that’s ok.
Too many employees today are paralyzed by fear of making a mistake at work. In an online survey of 324 randomly selected American office workers, Robert Half staffing firm found that as many as 28% of workers shared this fear. That can snowball into a bigger fear of getting fired.
Its a fear I know all too well because I’ve been there myself.
I’ll never forget the day I was fired from my first full-time job out of college.
I was embarrassed, ashamed, and somehow left with the sinking feeling that I did everything I was told to do and yet it wasn’t good enough.
But today I’ve not only lived to tell the tale but also it to be a blessing in disguise as it gave me the space to reflect on what I valued and set me down the path to my true purpose.
Now I teach other professionals that not only is failure ok but it is essential to our growth.
Robert F. Kennedy said that “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
So how can we overcome our failures and begin to develop the resilience necessary to bounce back from them better than before?
The first step is to get outside your comfort zone. Break that down into micro experiments to test your resilience.
The key here is to start small to build momentum.
Raise your hand and speak up in that meeting, even if you’re afraid to do so.
Volunteer for a project that you know will stretch you.
Next weekend, practice going “unplugged” and see how you survive off the grid, device-free for a couple of days.
Or my favorite – deliver a speech to practice public speaking. My clients know that this one has been a game changer for them in building their confidence across multiple areas of their life and work.
So pick an area that is outside your comfort zone and choose a micro-task to start testing your resilience today.
Begin to build your resilience muscle because if life hasn’t thrown you a curveball yet, chances are that it’s going to happen.
But when it does, you’ll be ready to tackle it and rise up again better than before.