How to build resilience and grit

How to build resilience and grit can be the difference between success and burnout. I had the pleasure of chatting to Organisational Physiologist and Founder of Career Compass club, Gemma Leigh Roberts. She explained why we have been doing it all wrong!

How to build resilience and grit

When we think about grit we have a picture of someone climbing a mountain and working their way to the top. Nothing stops them, and no matter how exhausted they are, they keep going. This is what building a successful career can often feel like. Gemma explained that if we only focus on the grit part of getting to success, then we risk burnout and overwhelm. We also become bad at setting boundaries, and work life leaks into every waking moment.

In the podcast Gemma shares ways that you can prevent this right now, and for the future.

Download the podcast to get all the tips.

How to build resilience

We have an understanding of grit, but do we have a clear idea about resilience? I know that I didn’t. I thought it was more about being thick skinned! Resilience is there to help us get through the tough times. It also helps us to set boundaries. Gemma spoke about the need for boundaries when you are working with clients. I have spoken about this before to some of my mentoring clients. Think about how you would love your dream life to look like. Think about the ways that you would spend your weekends and evenings. Would you choose to answer emails at 10pm, or lying in bed? Or would you rather work ended at 7pm and you had time with your loved ones?

It took a while for me to learn how to set boundaries in my own career. Now I find it easy not to answer emails late at night, and I take weekends off to have family time. Does this mean that I still start Monday with a big to-do-list? Of course, but I am a happier and more resilient human being for having those times off. This is all about how to build resilience and grit, and it does take practice.

What makes you happy?

We forget to ask ourselves this simple question when we are building out businesses and careers. The work takes over, and if it is coming from a place of passion and identity, it can be hard to switch off. I’ve been there myself and had burn out. Learning to recognise when you are offering too much and not setting clear boundaries is hard but vital to do. Start by thinking what makes you happy. What are the moments of joy in your day and how can you create more of them? How can this help you to build resilience and grit for the long run?

Being clear with your work boundaries will make it easier in the long run to work with clients. If boundaries are set at the beginning then everyone understands what is expected of them. It also helps to have an agreement to refer to, so that if a client is being demanding, you can remind them what you agreed to. This is really helpful if you are someone who creates graphic design, photographic or film work. Explaining the costs up front and what extra time costs, can really help as well. Clients often don’t know what it takes to do what you do. Educate them and both of you win.

How to be successful

Setting boundaries, learning what you like and don’t, and giving yourself time off for reflection is all part of building resilience and grit. Grit is about putting your head down and getting on with the task in hand, and resilience is all about reflection time and recuperation when you have worked hard.

As creatives and freelancers I know from experience how difficult it is to build in reflection and relaxation time. You worry that you will never work again, and struggle to say no to jobs that aren’t perfectly aligned with your boundaries. It is really important to learn how to say no, and take refection time if you are to succeed.

If you don’t know where to start, there is a free workbook for you to download to help you. 

How to build resilience and grit

If you would like more help with any of these topics there are a few mentoring slots left for his year. You can find out more about them here: Yes Please! 

And you can find out more about what Gemma does here: More about Gemma