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6 Incredible Principles To Increasing Your Resilience At Work

Written by: Kelly Perry, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Researchers tested a group of working professionals and discovered a statistically proven way to measure and improve resilience[1]. They developed 6 key principles valuable in managing uncertainty and adapting faster to setbacks and challenges.


Optimal cortical performance happens when we focus on our vision and goals rather than being driven by our fears and problems. This approach (towards) rather than avoidance allows us to draw more significantly from our creativity, attention and energy levels increasing our work performance and satisfaction[2].

Self-efficacy (our self-belief) was also mentioned. Constant practice, receiving positive feedback, success visualisation and being around those successful in what we are trying to achieve can improve self-efficacy and in turn resiliency.

Emotional Regulation

Our setbacks and challenges at work can be distressing at times. We are all human and showing emotions is a natural response. We may require time to step away from the situation to manage the overwhelm, gather assistance with our task, or apply grounding and calming techniques. As a Registered Counsellor two common techniques I use are grounding, such as becoming aware of your body and surroundings to bring you back to the present moment, and a series of breathwork techniques.


Setbacks and challenges can create painful and negative experiences that may cause a desire to change directions. This might be the right thing, or it might not. Only we know the answer to this. Deciding is more effective though when emotions are in a calmer state, which is where the emotional regulation techniques can be handy. The ability to then return to the vision and ask what was the original motivation? Does this still exist? Can an alternative path be taken to reach the vision? Can someone else assist? These are all questions which might decide about perseverance.

Realistic optimism can also be a key to resilience. The belief that the situation will get better, even if in a different form, that we have the skills to adapt to the situation, that we may have learnt something valuable, and that failure, setbacks, and challenges are a part of the career journey.


Setbacks and challenges can arise from situations beyond control. For example, COVID impacted many people’s careers. Having an adaptive, problem-solving, and resourceful mindset can assist in helping bounce back, however as mentioned, to achieve this it helps if in a grounded and calmer mindset. Plus, the pressure of coming up with all the solutions on our own can be stressful and this is where the next principle of collaboration becomes so important.


Our support networks can enhance self-efficacy and problem resolution. When we feel overwhelmed, stuck or in a helplessness state turning to our support network can create the support, encouragement and ideas we may need. Professionals such as counsellors and psychologists give us a safe, non-judgemental space to explore our thoughts and how we might manage the situation. Humour has also been found to be effective in assisting with psychological balance.


The initial research in 2016 was prompted by the hypothesis that health was an influencer on resilience. This hypothesis was proven true with the level of sleep, nutrition and frequency of exercise found to be significant in the resilience level of work professionals.

These 6 resilience principles are incredible keys to how we manage career setbacks and challenges in a faster and more effective way.

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Kelly Perry, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Kelly Perry is an ACA Registered Counsellor and creator of the Business Women’s Resilience Program. She was inspired to create this program after founding the Sports Science Education Institute and discovered it wasn’t her technical knowledge or business skills which were the most impactful but the ability to handle tough business challenges. Today she educates businesswomen on how to gain resilience and counseling techniques to enhance their business and life.



  • Rossouw, P.J. & Rossouw, J.G. (2016). The predictive 6-factor resilience scale: Neurobiological fundamentals and organizational application. International Journal of Neuropsychotherapy, 4(1), 31-45.

  • Rossouw, J.G., Rossouw, P.J. Paynter, C, Ward, A & Khnana, P. (2017). Predictive 6 factor resilience scale – Domains of resilience and their role as enablers of job satisfaction. International Journal of Neuropsychotherapy, 2(1), 24-40.



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