Resilience for Life

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Resilience, as you probably know, is the ability to ‘bounce back’, to recover from difficulties.  Resilience is something we don’t usually give much thought, that is, until we need it.

Perhaps, like me, you think of yourself as invulnerable, a superman or superwomen? But even Superman had to face Kryptonite, the rock that robbed him of his powers.

Kryptonite  in the form of tough times comes in many forms; health , financial, emotional, relational and career. This blog was prompted by me being unwell for the last 4-weeks and being confined to my bed and couch. You can’t keep a good man down, and my resilience is kicking in, however facing this latest kryptonite challenge, got me thinking about and researching the link between self-leadership and resilience.

Build your Resilience before you need it

Life happens! So you should be prepared, so that you can bounce back faster and even better.

Just as life has different facets, so does resilience and in this blog we will look at some self-leadership strategies for:

  1. Physical Resilience
  2. Mental Resilience
  3. Emotional Resilience
  4. Social Resilience
  5. Career Resilience

Are you sitting down? Stand up now, punch your hands in the air and march on the spot!
If you did this, you just made a deposit in you physical resilience bank account, because moving and exercising are foundational to you ability to handle the stress of life’s challenges. If you do not currently have the habit of moving your body regularly, then start today, it could just  save your life.

In today’s connected world we are overloaded with choices and excessive stimulation, not surprisingly, it can be hard to focus. The solution is low cost and low tech – meditate. Just 15 minutes a day of sitting quietly and focusing on your breath builds mental acuity and reduces stress. I believe this is a small investment to reduce making a costly poor decision, because we were stressed or unfocused.

Are you happy? Happy people are more resilient and less emotional when tough  times hit. Research on happiness shows that if you are grateful for what you have, and are engaged by life, you are much more likely to be happy. Build emotional resilience by ensuring that what you spend your time on engages you and, even better, has some meaning beyond yourself.

Happy people also tend to be social people. Having good friends and connections makes ‘bouncing back’ so much easier. Do you spend some time each week nurturing your relationships? Have you reached out and told somebody that you care?

Are you learning a  new skill? The current wisdom is to  specialize, specialize, however with the rapidly changing nature of the workforce, having breadth of talent and experience is a great insurance policy. What will you develop this year? Presentation skills? Leadership skills? Stand up comedy?

Whilst these are just a few suggestions for resilience building activities, my hope is that as you plan your year, these ideas, and others, take hold and you invest in building yourself up.

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