INCREASING YOUR RESILIENCE IN 2021
If you are anything like me, you don’t like to think of yourself as being much different than everyone else when it comes to how you deal with difficult situations. I tend to be a bit self-deprecating and I’m pretty sure a lot of it comes from my Midwest, Scandinavian upbringing.
As I got out in the world a bit, began to experience other cultures, different ways of doing things, I began to realize that perhaps, I was a bit different. Not in a bad way. I just had an ability to push through high stress situations and keep a level head.
This became apparent as I got more and more involved in motorsports.
There were several situations where I was around very serious crashes at the racetrack. One involved my then boyfriend who was barely recovering from a crash on the road in Colombia. I witnessed him crash at the track, right in front of me. Because I remained calm paramedics allowed me to fly in the helicopter with him to the hospital.
It wasn’t that I was not scared, worried for him, or even wondering how this was going to impact his ability to race again. I just knew that me getting upset at that moment would not help him.
There have been many other instances like this over the course of my life. In business, personal and casual situations. I’m sure you can think of a few in your life as well. So how do you build more resilience into your life? What is resilience anyway?
Let’s dig into both of those questions now.
WHAT IS RESILIENCE?
Merriam Webster defines resilience as: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
For many of us that sounds like all we have done during the last year. Am I right?
You didn’t know you were working on your resilience skills, did you?
While the pandemic wasn’t quite the intentional exercise I had in mind, it certainly did create lots of opportunities for us to work on resilience.
HOW CAN YOU BUILD MORE RESILIENCE?
Other than experiencing a global pandemic what are some ways that you can work to become more resilient?
Here are three helpful strategies to get you started:
1. Perspective – Often when we are in the midst of a stressful situation our minds get caught up in what is called a feedback loop. This refers to the same thought or thought pattern repeated over and over. This can actually happen with positive thoughts too but for the sake of this example…it’s the stressful thought we are focusing on. It can be helpful to interrupt that loop and give yourself some perspective on the situation. I have found that asking clients what significance the event might have in 1 year, 3 years, even 5 years can greatly help to provide a break in this loop and give some perspective. Additionally, trying to avoid being overly dramatic about situations can also help. Is it really that bad or does it just feel that bad right now?
2. Sleep & Exercise – There’s an Irish proverb that says, “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures”. Have you ever noticed how much better you are able to deal with just about anything when you are well rested? Your brain needs that time in order to repair itself, your body, etc. Exercise is also important as it keeps the rest of your body functioning optimally. It is much easier to adjust and recover from stressful situations when you have given yourself the proper preparation to do so. Prioritize self-care of your mind and bod and you will be better equipped to deal with stressful situations when they occur.
3. Prioritize Relationships – Things are going to get difficult at some point for all of us. Making time to work on your relationships will ensure that when things do happen, you have the support to get you through. If you realized through this pandemic that you might need to work on some of your personal relationships, now is the time to start.
Becoming more resilient is something that you can develop and improve over time. Some of us are naturally gifted in this area certainly, and some of us had to come by our resilience the hard way. Either way, resilience is a bit like a muscle. Once you begin to develop resilience it grows stronger.
If you need help building your resilience or developing other areas of emotional intelligence and leadership skills, I can help. Click here to schedule your complimentary call to discuss! I look forward to speaking with you.