Resiliency: How Well Do You Bounce?
Over the past 3 years, most of us have been stretched, pushed, pulled out of shape, knocked down, and stressed out by such things as:
• Loss or potential loss of employment
• Uncertain financial future
• Reduction of net-worth (devaluation of investments)
• Doing 2 or more jobs to make ends meet
• Illness and death in our families and with friends (even our self)
• Loss or potential loss of our home
• Broken relationships
• More demands and change at work
• Etc., etc., etc…..
These and other challenges, obstacles, disappointments, failures along with successes, joy and happiness is what makes up our lives. As the saying goes, “No one said life was going to be easy or fair.”
The question before all of us then is, how well am I at adapting and responding to the stresses in my life? Do I bounce back quickly from setbacks or do I languish in response to them and become a victim to life’s circumstances? Well if you are like me (and probably like most of us) you will probably answer by saying “a little bit of both depending on the situation.” What I’m really asking is, how resilient are you in life?
Let’s start by defining what resilience is:
• Springing back into shape
• The ability to recover quickly from significant changes in one’s life
• The capacity to thrive in spite of life’s difficulties
So our challenge is: How can each of us become more resilient in order to find joy in living/working and be productive in spite of what life throws at us?
After delivering a workshop on resiliency in the workplace and reading a few books on the topic, I offer you the following 10 suggestions in building your personal “resilience factor”:
1. Focus on those things that you can control and influence and let the others take care of themselves (have faith).
2. Be responsible for your own attitude, thoughts, emotions, and behavior and let go of blaming and/or trying to change others.
3. Keep yourself strong and healthy through some form of regular exercise, eating light and often throughout the day, and getting adequate sleep.
4. Keep life events in perspective through knowing that most things are temporary and that “this too shall pass”.
5. Adopt an attitude of gratitude by starting each day taking stock of all your blessings.
6. At work and at home, be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. Embrace change as an opportunity to learn and grow stronger – preparing you for the next challenge that is lurking around the corner.
7. Set written goals that are harmonious with your values and life purpose. Share them with those you trust for support and accountability. Get into action and move forward!
8. Get involved in helping others who are less fortunate by volunteering your time and giving of your talents and treasure (if appropriate). Taking the focus off of your own problems for awhile can build perspective and peace of mind to move powerfully ahead in life.
9. Surround yourself with positive people. We are not only what we eat but the company we keep. Misery loves company but so does excellence!
10. Laugh and have fun, even if for a moment. Strive for balance between work and play – you deserve it!
In closing, resilience is really an attitude, a state of mind that can be shaped and developed with time and attention. Build your “resilience factor” each day by putting into practice one or more of the 10 suggestions offered above. Having a coach or advisor in your corner isn’t a bad idea either.