The Burden of Resilience
From the age-old theory of survival of the fittest to the redefining of fitness to including emotional wellness, resilience has found its niche in both wellness and leadership discussions. 2020 amidst everything else has been a lesson learnt in resilience, for most of us, to varying degrees. While we pumped our learning arcs to be adaptive and creative in handling what came our way, we also subtly kept building our capacity to be resilient, to be able to sustain our own emotional health and motivation to keep going. The survival of the fittest for covid-19 and beyond, will definitely include the survival of the most resilient. It is no surprise hence that coaches and learning experts were heavily invested in helping people develop resilience as a competency. While we have gained from this, there is also a hidden burden of resiliency which often doesn’t get talked about too much. Some of the thoughts that I heard my clients share during these times were,
“I seem to be getting overloaded because everyone thinks I can handle it.”
“Sometimes I wish I was the less capable one – at home or at work – it would take so much of the burden to perform off.”
“I know things need to be done. If I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. So, I keep going. But then I get tired. Very tired.”
“I know everyone has a different capacity for action. But everyone should have the an appetite to expand as well. I am also doing things which I never had to do before. But I somehow get taken for granted because of my positive attitude.”
These statements from different people made me realize that some people felt the burden but not the joy of resilience. They constantly kept having to fulfil the need to expand, to take on more and to absorb more stress to keep the system functioning. They often didn’t find themselves at a point where they could choose to do no more, choose to slow down or choose to switch off. What impact would this have on emotional wellness, relationship happiness and work performance? Is this the burn out of resilience in another sense?
In the coaching sessions, I explored these themes and allowed that space for clients to reflect on the journey they have crossed and where they have reached. It was therapeutics when we reached a space that even though they found themselves facing new problems each day, which needed them to continuously learn new skills, when they were able to scan the growth they have had, they felt immensely happy. And self confident. And joyful !
Do you find yourself stuck in a loop of thoughts which feel like you are burning out with your resilience? Ask yourself what could help at this point:
- Getting acknowledged for the load you lift
- Seeing the benefit of your expansion in your family or workplace?
- How does being rewarded look like right now?
- What would add the joy to your struggle?
- What will help you get up and do this all over again, if you had to?
Connect with us at Human Dynamic for a confidential coaching session on such work-life matters as we find our pace towards managing change.
Director of Leadership & Learning, Senior Consultant
PhD (Clinical Psychology), MA(Psychology)