Resilience is the coping mechanism you must learn to help you manage stress. Whatever the cause of your stress, your task is work out your personal strategies to foster the resilience which will help you through your tough times.
Eighteen months ago I had a professional and personal watershed moment. It was a hugely challenging time, but having got through it, I have had time to reflect on how I have risen above it to meet the world on my own terms. It has been transformational to say the least!
I’m not saying we should rejoice when life is tough, but acknowledging the opportunities to learn from the path we’re walking whatever the scenario, and choosing how we react and respond is a powerful foundation in which to grow and develop.
Resilience is a set of skills which can be taught. Here are my 10 key learnings I am passing on to help you engineer a hopeful tomorrow.
1. Make connections. I work hard at and am appreciative for the strong network I have around me. Good relationships with family, friends and others are the safety net of love and support that surrounds you when life presents obstacles. Very helpful when you’re in the business of reclaiming hope. Helping others helps me too.
2. Put one foot in front of the other. Little things matter, and can add up to make a big difference. Turn up, keep going.
3. Nothing is insurmountable. We can’t change the fact that highly stressful events will occur, but we can choose how we interpret and respond to them. Focusing on the little things and being right here right now helps manage difficult situations. You are not alone.
4. Change is the only constant. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter. Accept what you can’t change, then change what you can’t accept.
5. Self-discovery presents opportunities. We wouldn’t know the depths of our strength, humility and resolve if it wasn’t for what we learn through digging deep to find our hidden reserves. Self-worth and self-awareness underpin a more developed appreciation for life.
6. Keep things in perspective. Keeping things in perspective (as best I can) helps me see things in a broader context – also, taking time to breathe has been key to seeing things for what they are and helps me maintain a long-term perspective on a stressful situation.
7. Take decisive actions. Being present and taking decisive action following adverse situations helped me make good decisions. It also fosters strength and builds resolve.
8. Be kind to yourself. Having a positive view on yourself and the unique contributions you offer builds confidence in your own abilities. Like attracts like and we must aspire to be the change we want to see. It’s our responsibility to pay it forward in both exampling and nurturing self-respect in others.
9. Take good care of yourself. We must fix our own oxygen masks before we can help others. Pay attention to your own needs and emotions. Do things that you enjoy and find relaxing. Being of strong heart and mind gives us a strong foundation to deal with situations that require resilience.
10. Be hopeful. Never lose sight that the best might just be yet to come. You’ll never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. There is always hope and hope gives us the energy to act.
I am thankful for the opportunities I have realised from knowing my own strength, focusing on the small things and concentrating on being right here, right now.
I’ve found meditation and breathing practise has helped enormously both in processing change, and being a more considered leader. It’s ok to be happy and it’s ok to be sad. Just remember that neither one lasts forever. There is always a rainbow after rain and in every tomorrow lies infinite possibilities.
Take a moment to look up and see the blue sky. Whether it’s visible or not please know that it is always there and there’s enough for all of us.
By Jane McCarroll
Wanting to become a more considered leader?