Ecologists in general are familiar with the concepts of resistance and resilience. Communities that are resistant are minimally impacted by a disturbance, whereas those that are resilient recover quickly after a disturbance.
When thinking about my response to the rejections we receive all-too-frequently in academia, I often think in terms of resistance and resilience. I find that I am not very resistant – getting a rejection hurts, and I often can’t read reviews carefully right when I receive them. I just can’t process them properly right away. However, I think I’m pretty resilient. I get over the hurt feelings pretty quickly and move on.
I’m guessing most people will choose resilient, but maybe I just view that as the typical reaction because that is how I react. Hopefully “neither” won’t be the modal response! A high degree of resistance or resilience is probably necessary for survival in academia.
While I say that I am more resilient than resistant, I would also say my resistance has increased through time. My impression is that this is a pretty typical change*, and I think it makes sense: early in your career, a lot of your science identity is tied up in each individual paper or proposal. As your career progresses, there will still be papers or proposals that you care particularly about, but less of your science identity hinges on any one thing. In other words, old growth communities are more resistant to disturbance. 😉
*While I was searching for the Female Science Professor post on this topic, I found this video, which I’d seen before but forgotten about. It’s always reviewer 3, isn’t it?