Tip of the Month

Resilience: A Stepping Stone to Success and Satisfaction

Resilience is the ability to rebound, adapt, and ultimately thrive when faced with a challenge or adversity. Although resilience seems to come naturally to some individuals, it is a skill that can be developed and improved. Psychologists have identified several characteristics common to resilient individuals :

• perseverance: action-oriented, trusting of the process
• optimism: able to see the positive in most situations and be flexible in thinking
• emotional awareness: able to identify what feelings and why; and understand the feelings of others
• internal locus of control: feeling in control of one’s own life and find solutions to problems
• support system: high-quality connections that encourage and ground me as needed
• sense of humor: ability to find humor in difficult situations
• perspective: view failure as a form of helpful feedback
• positive outlets for stress reduction: exercise, meditation, hobbies, etc.

As you consider these characteristics, ask yourself, “Which traits do I possess? From which of these would I benefit from strengthening?” Identify and prioritize the characteristics you want to enhance and develop an action plan that includes outside resources, when appropriate, and periodic feedback from a trusted individual. Not only will sharing your efforts with another person provide you with an additional viewpoint and incentive, it will also enrich the quality of your support network.

Helpful resources abound on the internet (search for terms like resilience, optimism and emotional IQ) and these topics are explored in relation to the legal profession in books such as The Happy Lawyer (Levit & Linder) and A Lawyer’s Guide to Wellbeing and Managing Stress (Lyon). In addition, short-term, cognitive behavioral therapy can be particularly useful in dealing with negative thinking and perfectionism.

Most importantly, understand that the process of changing one’s behavior and thinking is not linear. More often than not, it is a gradual process— think two steps forward, one step back.

The Lawyer and Judges Assistance Program is a free service for all members of the New Mexico bench and bar and law students. NMJLAP offers confidential professional and peer assistance to help individuals identify and address problems with alcohol and other drugs, depression, and other mental health/emotional disorders, as well as with issues related to cognitive impairment. For more information, visit www.nmbar.org > for Members > Lawyers and Judges Assistance.


Referenced from http://www.nmbar.org/NmbarDocs/PubRes/BB/2016/BB_2016-09-07.pdf