Aug 03, 2015


Latina Cubicle Confidential™ Are You Flexing Your Resilience Muscle?

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build your resilience

You juggle, you multi-task, you burn the candle at both ends, and you live in the fast lane—and yes you do this in high heels or even sensible heels!  What happens if you drop the ball, miss a deadline, or disappoint a loved one? Ay mujer, no me digas!  It happens to the very best of us because failing is part of striving to be the best we can be.  If you don’t fall down once in a while, then you are not striving to run your best race.

So how do we get up, dust ourselves off, and start pacing ourselves for a better run?

¿Que es Resiliency?”

Resilient Latinas are all around us.  Our resilience is the result of a blend of personality traits, skills, and attitudes that help us move through some of the biggest challenges and remain optimistic, focused and yes, delighted in our life.   The personality trait most associated with resilience is whether we assign events to external circumstances—good luck—or internal factors—personal skills.   Women who believe in their own capabilities actually have a stronger sense of control over their lives and thus take negative events in stride by planning for better outcomes next time because they believe they can do so.   High self esteem—believing in yourself and generally feeling good about yourself—is also as a strong determinant of resilience.

Cultural values also play a role in the resilience that Latinas can demonstrate.  Our community links much of our personal character with determination to succeed.  We tend to grow up with a message to be resolute in life.  Some of the dichos or sayings we heard from our elders speak to this: Si se puede.  Yes we can. No te ahogues en una gota de agua.  Don’t let yourself drown in a drop of water.  These messages can encourage us and allow us to think the best outcome is possible.

Up Your Resiliency

If you want to build your resilience muscle even more, the good news is that you can do so with practice and the help of your trusted friends.  At the top of the list of skills to develop is the ability to evaluate an event for what it is and manage the meaning or significance you assign to that event.   Was your presentation a “total disaster” or did you just forget a couple of points you wanted to say?  If you have a strong drive to be perfect in every moment of your day, chances are you may be your worst critic.  Stop. Get some feedback and look for ways to plan for the next presentation.

Next, look at how much time you are dwelling on a problem, a negative event or a mistake.  Are you ruminating all day about something?  Are you letting this define who you are by repeating it to yourself or others constantly? While the only way to learn from a mistake is to indeed assess all the factors leading up to it, there is the potential that it can overpower everything else you see about yourself.  Look for ways to contain that event or situation—perhaps write a letter to your self about how you want to grow from this and file it away to let it go.  Or, you might give yourself just half an hour a day to think about an event or circumstance and then move on.  This is about containing the negative self talk to minimize the power you give it in your life.

Resilience is a skill for enduring the inevitable days in life when yes, you will be human and fall down or fall short of your expectations.  Tell me how you build your resilience at Latina Cubicle Confidential or join me live at the next LatinaVIDA™.

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Dr. Maria G. Hernandez has 20 years experience consulting in both the United States and Mexico to senior executives in Fortune 50 companies and facilitated change initiatives for elected officials and their staff. She has worked in academia, business, nonprofits, technology startups, and public agencies. Visit the Latina Cubicle Confidential™ Facebook (link below) or join Dr. Hernandez live at the next LatinaVIDA™-Visibility, Identity, Direction, Action.

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