Resilience – or how we bounce back from setbacks

This week we’re focusing on resilience and what it means for you. Now you may be asking yourself ‘what is resilience?’ The dictionary defines resilience as ‘The ability to recover quickly from change or misfortune’. Ronnie Millar, Director of the Student Counselling Service here at Edinburgh, defines it as ‘How we bounce back from experiences of frustration, of perceived failure or difficulty”. So simply put, it’s our ability to bounce back from a setback. This might be being rejected from a job, having a hard time with a colleague or struggling with a project of some sort.

So we know what resilience is but why is resilience important to consider?

Successful people don’t sidestep failure; they accommodate it, cope with it and move on. Denzel Washington famously gave a speech to University graduates about failing big. Failing at something is normal. Everyone in some way has failed. It’s how you cope with it and learn from it that makes a difference. For Denzel, he followed his dreams, he focused his studies and graduated with a drama and journalism degree.
Albert Einstein couldn’t talk until he was 4 and one of his teachers once said he ‘wouldn’t amount to much’. Lionel Messi was cut from his childhood football club for being too small.

Everyone has faced adversity and failed. It’s your resilience that gets you through these challenges.

Resilience doesn’t just apply to your personal or academic life. Resilience is a skill that employers tell us they value and look for in today’s graduates. The modern work environment is filled with change and the need for resilience has grown. Resilience helps you adapt, stretch yourself, learn from failure and become more flexible professionally. All of these skills can lead to greater success in your career.

As you are about to embark on your career journey, you cannot predict where exactly it will take you, but you can be prepared.  Resilience will help you achieve success and cope with challenges you may face.

Remember, it’s ok to fail. It’s ok to be upset, to feel anger or any other emotion when faced with a setback. It’s learning from it that will make a difference moving forward.

Later this week we’ll be talking about how you can train yourself to be more resilient and hear from a recent graduate about their experiences.

To find out more about resilience visit our website.

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