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Developing resilience to thrive in veterinary practice

12 Jan 2017 | Carolyne Crowe


Developing a resilient approach is key to thriving both personally and professionally. But what does resilience mean and how we can we become more resilient?

Vet with a horseDeveloping a resilient approach is key to thriving both personally and professionally. But what does resilience mean and how we can we become more resilient?

Resilience is quite the buzz word at the moment, we read articles about how the profession needs to be more resilient and how graduates aren’t as resilient as they used to be. But is this true and if so how can we all develop a more resilient approach?

The world in which we work can be draining, it’s emotionally charged, it’s frequently busy, it’s demanding but why is it that some people seem to thrive, some just survive and some break in this environment?

What is resilience?

Tackling one challenge after another can be soul destroying especially when it seems the challenges are relentless and obstacles just keep on coming. When we feel this way we need inner strength and determination, we need a strong attitude and the ability to see the positives in the situations we are exposed to. We need resilience. My resilience trainer Professor Mowbray describes resilience as:

“The capacity to maintain personal control and robust attitudes in the face of challenging events and behaviours.”

For me resilience is:

  • The ability to remain in control of our emotions to the situation and the environment we are exposed to no matter what is happening
  • Being able to maintain performance even when exposed to challenging events
  • Learning how to deal with life’s imperfections and 'fail' safely, to overcome obstacles and see the positives in the situation
  • Knowing what we need as individuals to set ourselves up to succeed on a daily basis rather than hijacking our own personal performance through lack of attention to our basic human needs, such as sleep, diet, exercise
  • Being self aware, open-minded and flexible in our approach and our attitude
  • Learning and growing from past mistakes - developing the confidence that comes from overcoming challenges and the self belief you can bounce back and do it again next time
  • Controlling our mindset, our emotions and our behaviours when faced with adverse events

It’s important to remember that “The Problem isn't the problem, the problem is our attitude to our problem”.

No one is born resilient, resilience is a process

It’s also essential to realise that resilience isn’t a personality characteristic - no one is born resilient, resilience is a process. No one is resilient to everything all the time, they have resilience to the environment or situation they are currently in, but they aren’t necessarily resilient to everything. So we can all learn to be more resilient through understanding ourselves, our current situations, the threats to our resilience, our strengths and by learning techniques to remain flexible, adaptable and ready to manage the next situation as it arises.

Resilient people demonstrate considerable energy for everyday life, but it doesn't mean they are immune to adverse events. But they do posses:

  • A proactive, positive, enthusiasm for life and work
  • The capacity to see the future and go for it
  • The capacity to deal with the curve balls and not to be disabled by the situation
  • Determination, direction and purpose in their thoughts and actions
  • Ability to be flexible, adaptable and to see options to meet and overcome challenges

Which of these characteristics do you have? Which areas do you need to develop? What would make your life easier and more fulfilling?

So if you or one of your team members would benefit from developing a more resilient approach, to learning the tools and techniques to thrive in veterinary practice, then join us on 14 March for The key to building a resilient you.

This interactive and practical course is ideal for all members of the practice team. The day covers how you can develop the above characteristics, the practical tools and strategies you can use to develop a more robust mindset, to become more flexible, to be more in control of your emotions, thoughts and behaviours. You will identify the threats to your resilience and what you can do to build and develop a more resilient approach so you can thrive both personally and professionally no matter what curve balls life continues to throw at you.


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