In the Mental Toughness MTQ48 definition, ‘resilience’ is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and failure. This translates in the workplace to also being able to more easily manage the endless distractions and diversions that prevent us from achieving our goals. It’s a hugely important trait but is being too resilient a bad thing? Is it as limiting a trait as too little resilience?
The excellent Harvard Business Review article “The Dark Side of Resilience” suggests that it is easy to conceive of situations in which individuals could be too resilient for their own sake.
These could include:
Resilient people could persist too long with unattainable goals
Most people waste a lot of time and energy persisting with unrealistic goals even when their experience suggests that the goals are unrealistic and probably unattainable. This is commonly known as the “false hope syndrome”.
Too much resilience could make people overly tolerant of adversity
Too much resilience can translate to people accepting difficult situations for longer than needed using their resilience as an excuse to make changes that are perhaps warranted.
Too much resilience can limit leadership effectiveness
Here the HBR highlights that some overly resilient people respond almost unnaturally positively to difficult and stressful situations but in doing so construct a rigid shield of denial, which makes it difficult for them to lead or be led.
So, whilst there is no doubt resilience is a really useful trait, like most things, there can be too much of a good thing because when taken too far, it may focus individuals on impossible goals and make them unnecessarily tolerant of unpleasant situations.
For more on being too resilient and building mental toughness contact us.