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The Resilient Start-Up: Building Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Flexibility

Learn how to build resilience in your start-up team through a deep dive into the factors that influence mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility. Discover how to positively adapt and bounce back in challenging situations.
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Min Read
February 2, 2023

The Resilient Start-Up 

What is it that makes some people and teams falter and others easily bounce back from real hardships and setbacks? The question we all would like answered is – how and why? As resilience is more important than ever in times teams, companies and the world seems to fall apart. 

Resilience is one of the great puzzles of human nature, just like creativity or instincts. We may not understand the whole picture yet, but we come closer piece by piece. By sifting through psychological research, conducting our research, and working with teams for years, there is more or less a scheme to learn and maintain the qualities of resilience. 

Why you need it and what it is 

As life, and especially the start-up life becomes quite often a roller coaster, we need to train those abilities that let us survive difficulties. 

Resilience is generally known as the ability of an individual to bend but not break. To bounce back, and to act on challenging situations and through life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility to adapt to external and internal demands. Those three areas – mentality, emotionality, and behavior, can be influenced by you. This means you can improve your resilience, individually and collectively in your team. 

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How you can build resilience in your start-up team

To make yourself and everyone survive. 

To improve our ability to positively adapt and bounce back in life, we first need to understand the single influencing factors of resilience and how we can have an impact on them. These factors include post-experience, relationships, ownership, optimism, self-efficacy, and re-charging. 

Post-Experience – remind yourself of experiences in which you solved tricky situations for your good in the past. Plus, you also faced situations where you did not change everything for good and you are still here, gathering new life experiences and creating new options to live your life. In a mindful way, this means that you and others are facing different situations from time to time and your life still keeps on going. 

Relationships – we have connections to others who believe in us even if we do not know it. Every one of us can support the people around us, and vice versa – these connections can help each other through difficult times. Teammates, family, and friends, or even those casual kind strangers we might meet along the day. Supporters, already on a minor level are essential when navigating personal or collective challenges. Offering help to team members when you just observe their struggle establishes these kinds of relationships within your team if you offer help. It’s each individual decision to take or reject the offer and still, it makes a difference when it’s there. 

Ownership – accept your situation and realize that you own the outcome of every situation you are in. As you decide how you act on external factors in your surroundings, which doesn’t mean you have to stay in a situation and solve it. Even walking away from something is taking ownership of the situation, because you decide that you do not want to stay in this situation. Another possibility is to set boundaries and to communicate them, so people know when they are crossing them. Therefore, you need to know your tendencies to become clear on your boundaries. 

Optimism – is also a process. It’s not about being toxically positive and blindfolding the things that make you angry or sad in life. Also, anger and sadness can be used to change things for good, plus difficult situations will not last forever. With you being the owner of your situation, remember that you can direct your actions today to improve your future situation. Outline the state of your bright future, what it looks like and what has changed from today to this future. 

Self-Efficacy – the awareness to own the skill set and being able to take actions that lead to the desired outcome. Each person on earth has had at least one winning situation in which they managed to be better than millions of others – otherwise, you won’t be here ;-) But not only this situation, but there are also several minor ones where you took action and you achieved your desired outcome. Having this awareness lets you transform every situation into a self-efficient one for you. Write down these situations to remind yourself about them from time to time. Outline these situations as a team. 

Re-Charging – your inner energy level. Being resilient is not only about how to endure, it is also about how you recharge. To know how to refuel yourself with enough energy to take the next step. Every one of us has things, whether it is time alone reading a book, meditating, or time with friends playing board games – or sports or writing poetry. Whatever fills you up with energy, establishing room for it during your day is crucial. Have at least one session of it per day and reward yourself for taking the time for it. 

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What we do to support you 

At soft.fact we give you the best tools by your hand to visualize, understand and use your personal characteristics. We start with personality traits, social role tendencies, values, way of working communication, and motive patterns. This gives you a deep dive and a holistic understanding of yourself and a great basis to reflect and build the resilience you need. When you even want to go further you can get an external perspective from anyone you invite to it. The great thing is, it’s free of charge – you can directly start at

You can even invite your whole team to it and understand your team dynamics and build your collective resilience! 

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Written by
Urs Merkel
Written by
Urs Merkel

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