Mental resiliency can be defined as an individual's ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity. Stress and adversity can come in the shape of family or relationship problems, health problems, or workplace and financial worries, among others.

By its very definition it can be readily seen as to why it's important.

But how do we access and improve upon it?

Developing this ability to handle a mental blow by putting it in its proper perspective can be done with a practice. A study of 1,500 chief executive from around the world by IBM showed that they felt the largest issue facing them was the "escalation of complexity". To combat this feeling of never-ending change and the fierce competition that comes with it to not only stay abreast of it but to stay one step ahead of competitors, certain attributes need to be developed.

This first one might seem to be a no-brainer, but it is the attribute of responsibility. Leaders have a lot of authority and take on a lot of responsibility, but a mind-set of being "able to respond", the true meaning of the word responsibility, has to be developed and honed. Believing and capitalizing on memories of past successful performance is key to developing that mental edge.

A second attribute that needs to be promoted is an unyielding sense of professional ethics. While this is a given for a lot of reasons, it has another benefit. In the face of tough decisions a well-developed stance before adversity, makes decisions making less demanding on our mental reserves. 

And lastly, believe it or not, as sense of sportsmanship. If we handle a set back do to a competitor taking a new lead over us by seeing it in the sense of "this was just a small skirmish" and that, "I will still win the match", you preserve your mental strength to fight the bigger battle.

As post appeared in LinkedIn's Upward Mobility forum last month.  

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