“A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.”
People have short memories. Everywhere you look, people talk about how different the world is in the aftermath of COVID-19. While the pandemic was unprecedented, it was not the first time the world was a turbulent place. Look back in time – the further back you go, the more you realize that things have never been simple or easy. There have been tough times for as long as there have been people. A tense and divided political administration, the 2008 housing crisis, 9/11, the Iraq War, the Cold War; the list continues the further back you go. Do you know what all these disasters have in common?
People who made it through those tough times.
Things have never been easy. That is the power of resilience. Every single one of us carries the scar from something that happened to us; some of us carry many of them. None of us deserved them, and yet, here we remain. Resilience is not about feeling positive around the clock, or being lucky enough to avoid the hardships life has in store. Resilience is getting back on the wagon, is giving yourself some rest and grace when you make mistakes, is staying on top of your responsibilities because you have people counting on you. Resilience is a million clichés, but if one of them rings true to you, then hold onto it tightly. We all need it eventually.
Most of all, resilience is a tool. Some of us have become more adept at wielding it because, unfortunately, life has given us practice. Resilience is a fickle thing – it is hardest to develop it further when we need it most. Also, not all coping methods are equally effective, let alone healthy. Unhealthy coping methods help preserve us in emergencies, but they can also leave us isolated, guarded, physically unhealthy, and potentially emotionally destructive to ourselves and others. Fortunately, there are paths forward.
Emotional Intelligence is a great entry point to learn more about yourself and how you interact with the world. It’s important to see resilience as something we do; it’s not a magical quality that some people are born with and others aren’t. If it’s something we do, then it’s possible to learn more and do it on purpose; a tool that we use in the right place and time. That’s where Emotional Intelligence comes in. The EQ-i 2.0 is a tool that examines how often we do or don’t do certain behaviors. It is designed to help us reflect and give us perspective on how we interact with the world around us. These insights usually tell us things we already know – but it gives us a new way of thinking about them, to turn them into something we have control over. For example, someone who is very shy around new people already knows they are shy and might not be surprised to see low Assertiveness or Interpersonal Relationships in their EQ report. The benefit of the EQ is that it provides a roadmap ahead – here’s how that shy person can practice Assertiveness or Interpersonal Relationships and overcome their natural tendency towards introversion.
In this way, Emotional Intelligence is very related to the idea of resilience. Engaging resilience against tough times is something that all of us must do at some point. Emotional Intelligence gives us a new vocabulary and perspective so that we can make more informed choices on how to practice and wield the tool of resilience. We can help ourselves and others by becoming more adept with this tool. You already are a resilient person. The world is not an easy or simple place, but you’ve made it this far. You should spend time in your comfort zone, but eventually you will be forced out of it. It is better to be prepared for when it happens. After all, a ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.
If you are interested in learning more, or seeing how you can bring more resilience to yourself or your team, then we have good news. OKA’s own Hassan Kamel has been collaborating with best-selling author, executive coach, keynote speaker, and consultant, Ryan Munsey to create a program around building your resilience. Learn more about OKA at www.oka-online.com, or contact our Vice President directly at firstname.lastname@example.org