For the last week or so, something odd has been happening: the Like count on our Facebook page has gone up by one, and down by one, and up by one, and down by one — several times.
It could be that the incessant schmooze nudging has gotten on a nerve or two (as obsession has its price), but my friends in various quadrants of the social media universe tell me that this has been happening all over — could be a glitch in FB’s system, or it could be cybergremlins. Or, of course, it could be someone who’s really indecisive… So I’m trying not to take it too personally.
But this little fluctuation shines a light on one of the realities of being in business, especially as a performer. It’s not just that we want to be busy, popular, in demand, and successful. Deep down, most of us actually want to be liked, as well. As performers, we’re more likely to be driven by emotion than corporate types, and this is a whole new facet of what motivates us, whether we’re in an audition, singing a simple church solo… or posting to a blog or social media page. (Ahem.)
So as much as we need to be in touch with our emotions so that we can communicate fully and effectively when we perform, it’s just as important to develop a “thick skin” as we travel through the real world, network and promote our work. That metaphorical epidermis is just as often called resilience, a buzzword that has shown up in recent years in everything from TED talks to research in childhood development to areas of civic government. The way this concept is valued across diverse sectors shows how basic and universal it is, and paints it clearly as an ongoing need, a skill to be constantly nurtured.
For developing, emerging and even mature artists, the daily reality is this: we must focus on the work. Know who you’re creating for, and do everything you can to reach and to serve them, and forget the rest. Keep your eye on that ball, and you may be astounded how much stress just falls away. We cannot possibly please everyone. So your biggest effort must always go toward connecting with those who really matter to you.
Now that we have that out of the way…. would you please Like our page? Please? <:p
Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back, by Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy (2013, Simon & Schuster)
Reporting firsthand from the coral reefs of Palau to the back streets of Palestine, this book relates breakthrough scientific discoveries, pioneering social and ecological innovations, and important new approaches to constructing a more resilient world. Zolli and Healy show how this new concept of resilience is a powerful lens through which we can assess major issues afresh: from business planning to social development, from urban planning to national energy security—circumstances that affect us all.
Provocative, optimistic, and eye-opening, Resilience sheds light on why some systems, people, and communities fall apart in the face of disruption and, ultimately, how they can learn to bounce back.
— From the publisher’s description
Try Positive Change Guru‘s list of 10 great videos about resilience (starting with one we’ve featured here before).
Of that list, here’s a particularly good explanation of what happens when “fight or flight” takes over, and how to develop better coping skills:
Featured image used as post header by sanja gjenero / Free Images