I nailed the interview. I knew I would be moving to Denver. The 30-minute interview went for almost an hour and we were all grooving together. As I got off the phone my wife said, “How did it go.” I was confident, “We can start packing, we’re moving to Denver!” Moving to the mountains of the West (Colorado, Utah, etc) would be amazing. The mountains and I have an agreement; I come to visit and rest in the magic the mountains provide to rejuvenate my soul as I hike, mountain bike, and swim.
Three days later I received the call I was looking forward to. Interviews take time and I knew there were other candidates. The conversation did not start out as I hoped. They liked me. I had the skills and knowledge, but I wasn’t the right fit. All the air had been sucked out of my lungs as I worked my way through the conversation. I understand…” is how it came out.
Resilience is the human capacity to meet adversity, setbacks, and trauma, and then recover from them in order to live life fully.
As I processed a sense of loss for this position, I started to question myself, my skills and abilities. I questioned whether I had what it takes to lead an organization forward. I allowed myself to dwell and ask questions about my leadership, who I am and whether I really am enough to make a difference, for about 24 hours. Then it would be time to regroup. I thought, pondered, sought counsel and journaled. I had set a lot of hope into that position.
The 72 hours after my introspection would be critical. The question would now become – How will I bounce back? Do I have the resilience to move forward? Resilience is good for humans (and especially leaders) to have. Resilience is necessary for us to strive for the life we want. Resilience is good. But, what do we do with it, how do we work with it so we emerge stronger?
My working definition of resilience is the human capacity to meet adversity, setbacks, and trauma, and then recover from them in order to live life fully. That sounds nice, but what does that mean? What does it look like to recover in order to live life fully? How do we live with resilience?
In this situation, I leaned into my values (or if you prefer convictions). Allowing myself time to reflect on the emotional high and then devastating crash of disappointment, gave me time to put life in perspective and lean into the values I hold.
Values are who we are no matter the circumstance. Values determine what we do and how we do it. Value statements reveal what is most important to you. They also help to work through situations like adversity and disappointment.
As a personal case study, my values and definitions are Authentic: Being whole and complete in Mind, Body & Soul. Candid: Being direct & tell the truth in all situations/circumstances; when asked. Justice: Doing something inconvenient & risky for others.
For the circumstance I shared above, I leaned into my Authentic value statement. It turned out not to be the right fit, the right position. Realizing I put too much hope in a position, created a dissonance in me that left me out of balance. After reflection I was ready for the challenge Body and Soul; but on reflection, I don’t think my mind would have been fully engaged. Without reflection back to my value statements, I might have continued to wonder what happened.
If you have not taken the time to discover and articulate your value statements, I encourage you to take the time to develop your personal value statements. If you have articulated your value statements, good. Because then you have another arrow in your quiver when life is attacking and resilience is necessary.