Resilience; what does it mean to you?
Resilience centres on the ability to adapt in the face of adversity, disappointment or uncertainty. It could be small scale such as managing stress in your day to day work, or more significant such as making difficult decisions that could affect both the future of your business and your employees.
Resilience allows you to adapt your plans, be flexible and bounce back from difficulties. It provides a degree of ‘toughness’ that enables you to carry on.
Leaders face challenges every day, and so resilience is a critical skill to ensure you can take difficulties in your stride and deal with them effectively.
In this article, I’ll look at the key steps to managing and developing your resilience ‘gene’ for the coming year.
Keep Perspective & Focus
As Stephen Covey suggests in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, starting with the end in mind is pivotal in becoming more productive.
To be a more resilient leader, you need to focus on the bigger picture and embrace a vision which filters those everyday tasks in light of the ultimate goals you are trying to achieve.
Knowing what your aspirational aims are will enable you to organise your own and your team’s work objectively, rather than just dealing with those individual tasks that tend to pile up on your desk.
Accelerate the Positive
Looking at things from a positive angle will enable you to build your energy levels.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, people who are more positive in life may be better protected against the inflammatory damage of stress. They also tend to make better health and life decisions and focus more on long-term goals.
So, there are benefits to maintaining good working relationships, actioning problems rather than letting them resolve by themselves (that never happens by the way!) and just accepting that sometimes things don’t go as planned. The ability to keep thinking positively can boost your bright side!
Be Influenced By The Positivity Of Others
Additionally, external positivity from others can lift your mood and help you see things in a positive light. Being around positive people will ‘rub off’ on you – raising your levels of positivity.
Keep Healthy And Stock Up On ‘Nanny’ Neurons
Its common knowledge that exercise reduces stress, but did you know that it also stores up ‘nanny’ neurons in the brain which are released during stressful moments?
Exercise will keep you upbeat and positive, as well as help you fight stress in the workplace.
It doesn’t have to involve strenuous weightlifting sessions in the gym or a five-mile run every day – it’s a fact that just eight weeks of meditation can help grow the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that regulates emotional response.
So, exercise does prove beneficial in building your resilience.
Allow Yourself Time To Think & Secure Creative Space
It‘s easy for days to flash by when you’re dealing with multiple tasks, but allowing yourself some creative space in your mind will free you up for inspirational ideas to flourish.
So, block off time in your diary to do some big sky thinking; to mull over ideas and process information. You could leave the office, go for a walk, and allow your brain time to de-fog from the clutter of daily tasks – giving yourself the capacity to think out of the box.
You never know when inspiration will strike!
Allowing yourself this time will enable you to build resilience against getting bogged down in the minutia of everyday life, and will help you organise your time more effectively and increase your productivity.
When Good Is Really Good Enough
If you’re always believing you could have done something better, you will never complete anything. Although we all strive to be perfect sometimes, to develop your resilience and your equilibrium, sometimes you need to cut yourself some slack.
In other words, sometimes good is good enough.
Being too judgemental of yourself and your actions will result in achieving less and being disappointed with what you have achieved. And this will only bring your mood down further.
So, when you’re doing a task and that voice in your head begins to question it, ask yourself if you’ve done an excellent job already, and would revisiting it time and time again really make that much difference.
Will you really know better tomorrow than you do today? Or are you just reinforcing your own self-mistrust?
Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
So, allow yourself time to change your mindset to facilitate developing your resilience.
Check your overall purpose and the goals you are working towards.
Be self-aware; noting your strengths and weaknesses, motivation and emotions to allow you to understand yourself and others.
Developing positive relationships will give you support and a sense of fulfilment, and most of all, looking after yourself will provide the energy, focus and confidence you need to succeed.
And a final note, stay positive. Remember the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”
It may seem obvious, but keeping these strategies in mind will develop your resilience and see you through to success.
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