Today’s conversation is about Resilience
I am sure that during the past four months, you, like me, have been learning a lot about yourself and others around you as we continue to navigate through this pandemic. As humans, we learn to adapt to situations by developing coping mechanisms to get us through. Some of us really struggle to cope and others thrive in “stressful” situations. Somewhere along this spectrum is where the value of Resilience becomes very apparent.
You are probably hearing and reading a lot about RESILIENCE these days, as it is the focus of many professionals who are recommending that we do more self-care and nurture our mental health. During these times, it is very sound advice, and we also need to be reminded that Covid-19 is not the only personal and economic challenge or setback that we will face in our lifetimes. There have been many of these “black swan” events in the past 20 years, and we can realistically anticipate there will be more to navigate. Being personally ready and capable is critical, and now is a good time to take stock of our personal approach to resilience.
Accurately described, RESILIENCE is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. Many years of research on this topic by renowned psychologist, Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology, states that resilience is prevalent in individuals who are naturally optimistic vs. pessimistic. They are more able to assess that a setback or challenge is an opportunity to be overcome vs. a catastrophe, and the actions they take in response.
Why is being resilient so important? Simplistically, being an optimist allows people to view situations through a healthy lens which leads to good life choices, sound decision-making, and setting better personal boundaries.
The great news is that Being Resilient…is a CHOICE. We can shape our thoughts and our approach to how we navigate through setbacks and challenges. In recent conversations with some of my clients, we are taking time from our regular leadership-focused conversations to increasing their own personal resilience, which will ultimately positively influence their leadership effectiveness.
What we know for sure, is that resilience can only be developed or improved when we have the “foundations” in place so that we are able to handle the challenges, and by that, I mean our physical and mental health.
The following are key foundations of individuals who are resilient:
- Acceptance that change, setback, and unfortunate situations are part of life vs. being a victim of circumstance.
- View events as less threatening due to the belief that some things are in our control and that we always have choice.
- Optimistic, seeing mistakes as opportunities for continuous growth and development.
- Problem solving and decision-making capability while under stress.
- Emotional regulation. Stable emotional control that moves past negative thought patterns.
- Social connections that value strong relationships.
- Positive sense of self. Confidence in the ability to tackle challenges.
- Healthy self-care behaviors and choosing to create and lead a balanced life.
- Setting boundaries from a values-based decision-making process.
- Doing the things that bring joy in life.
As you reflect on your resilience, how have you typically adapted to challenges and setbacks? Where do you think you would rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 right now? Have many of the key foundations can you confidently say are prevalent in your life? Do you see ONE foundation as an opportunity to improve?
I can help you! Please reach out to me if you need a conversation to explore how you can improve that ONE foundation to become more resilient. A positive increase in even one area will make your life more stress-free.