The Ugly Side of Resilience

As I’ve been writing all month about resiliency and all the great things about this great habit that works to make you that way, I began to study the other side. Is it possible that resilience has an ugly side? I assumed it can be like any habit that if over used can be as damaging, as not having it at all.

Resiliency is a very sought after trait in my work circles. Anyone that has a great capacity to adapt in the type of velocity I work in is a great thing to have on your team.

Seneca notes:

“…difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”

And Nietzsche is famously credited with:

“…that which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”

And the Marine Corp uses:

“…pain is just weakness leaving the body.”

It doesn’t seem like too much resilience could be a bad thing. But, what if it makes you hardened? What if it takes away from your capacity to empathize and show compassion? What if all that pushing to the edge put to much strain on you and did irreparable damage?

As I stated above, to much of a good thing can be bad. They can literally become weaknesses versus our strengths if we over use our skills to much. You can become to resilient. You can waste to much energy with your overconfident approach to something that may be unattainable.

What if in your quest to be so resilient you lose the foresight with which to know how much tolerance to adversity you, your social circles, or your coworkers could take? What if you let your team work in a crappy unhappy environment for to long and they become resilient to the ugly? What then? You will never get to hear what those people really want, dream to do, or want to become because they could become just to used to the mundane. They’re thinking, “Why does it even matter any more?”

Could to much resilience in someone give them a superhero complex or over inflated ego? What if they become to unemotionally detached from the reality in front of them because they’ve hardened themselves just to accomplish a fearlessness like quality to leap tall building in a single bound?

It is conceivably possible by over focusing on resilience skill building we can lose self-awareness, lose a realistic view of the reality of our social surroundings, and yes even a sense of our own self-worth. We can become to closed off to information coming in around us and lose that which could help us make break throughs in our social evolution to lead change.

There is indeed an ugliness to resilience when taken to far. We should not judge someone on their resiliency alone, but their ability to balance it and use just the right amount to adapt or overcome.

Hope the week is going well. Welcome to Friday! You made it! Now it’s time to recognize that and look back on how you accomplished it.

🙌🏻 Shawn

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