The Connection Between Acceptance and Resilience

The Oxford Dictionary defines resilience as being able to recover from a setback. The definition of acceptance is the willingness to receive.  Life and wellness coaches tie these two definitions together by also describing the lack of resilience as negative willfulness.  With negative willfulness on one end, the willingness of acceptance is what connects it to resilience.

Negative Willfulness

Psychologists have identified negative willfulness as the underlying reason for non-acceptance. Negative willfulness involves:

  • Laying Blame
  • Avoidant Coping
  • Maladaptive Coping

Negatively willful people often lay blame for their situation on other people or life or fate.  Instead of accepting their role in a situation and accepting responsibility for their actions, they blame their misfortunes on anything but themselves.  People who don’t accept their part in how their life is, are not resilient to life’s challenges and obstacles.

Because they can’t admit they have control over themselves and then work to make changes, they have much less resilience than someone who accepts that their life and achievements are within their control.

Because non-resilient people give control of their life’s outcomes to others, they often avoid doing the things that would help them to succeed.  This avoidant coping style may keep them from disappointment, but it also doesn’t allow them the opportunity to learn, grow, and change their lives.  Avoiding coping is seen when a person doesn’t feel they are worthy enough to try for a new job, a promotion, or any other goal they don’t believe they can reach.

Acceptance allows a person to engage in activities and makes them resilient when they face obstacles because they know they have the power to overcome them.

A person who engages in maladaptive coping may use alcohol or other drugs to lessen their hurt and pain.  Because they don’t accept their ability to change, they look for different, maladaptive ways to cope.  Maladaptive coping is the opposite of resilience, with acceptance being the critical difference in a person’s perception.


Characteristics of Resilient Workers

Resilience is a positive, healthy way to react to stress. Life’s challenges place stress on people and those who are resilient:

  • Focus on Control
  • Take Action
  • See Acceptance as Strength

Negative willfulness allows control to move from the individual to outside forces or other people.  The willingness of acceptance focusses on what a person can control, namely themselves, and directs their energy toward their actions and reactions.  Resilient workers recover from a setback because they accept the power and responsibility to make changes and improve their situation.

Resilient employees take action when faced with an obstacle or challenge in their work.  They research, plan, learn, and adapt so they can overcome life’s difficulties.  Because they accept this responsibility, they are resilient in the face of adversity.  Negatively willful people may blame and complain, but they don’t take action needed to change their lives.

Most people are taught not to let others push them around or stand in the way of their success.  Accepting that other people are not always kind and helpful is seen as a weakness.  Allowing someone else to receive a promotion or succeed instead of your is also seen as being weak, less determined, or less worthy.

But business leaders and relationship counselors say that teamwork, togetherness, and acceptance have greater benefits than only looking out for yourself. Accepting other people’s contributions and praising their accomplishments isn’t a weakness; it’s the strength of resilience.

Negative willfulness can also lead to the belief that fighting against others or competing with them is strength.  When everything at work is a competition, acceptance of the times someone else achieves more appears weak.

This attitude doesn’t provide resilience when a worker doesn’t succeed. Instead, it excuses their failure and blames others.  Acceptance allows a worker to gracefully cope with their setbacks and use their resilience to grow stronger and achieve more in the future.

Need Assistance Hiring Resilient Workers

If you need some assistance in recruiting and hiring more resilient workers in this uncertain labor market, contact Flexicrew Today.

Recommended Posts