You may have recently experienced the need to be resilient in order to bounce back from a setback or failure or to work or to overcome adversity in some shape or form. However, if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, out of control, under appreciated or even bullied then you need some practical strategies to develop resilience.
Here are five that you can use next time. They all work but they don’t all work for all people every time and so some experimentation is required to find out what works best for you.
1. Name your setback or adversity
One way to develop resilience is to give your setback, failure or adversity a name or a label so that you can easily recognise it, visualise it and deal with it internally. Go one step further when it happens again by scoring it out of 10. This familiarity in recognising it for what it is helps you reduce the size of the problem and scoring it out of ten helps you to build your perspective. How big a problem is it in the grand scheme of things and how big a problem will it be tomorrow, in a week, a month or a year’s time?
Sometimes it also helps to write down your feelings about your setback or adversity in a journal. It feels much safer to manage the words on paper than to try and confront the situations in your brain. By transferring some of your anguish and disappointment to a page you become less emotive and more reasoned and resilient.
2. Build a more resilient you
This starts with a promise to yourself to be more resolute and mentally tougher. It’s a promise to take back control of your life and be resilient enough to bounce back or work through setbacks or adversity. You then need to keep this promise to be in control of your life and your emotions which is the Control C in the MTQ48 4C’s mental toughness framework.
You need to be in control of your life to make the decisions that affect how you live and work, what goals and targets you can set and which outcomes you can realistically achieve. Being in control gives you the power to set your direction and your momentum. Being in control enables you to be accountable for the life that you want to lead rather than letting someone else or something else setting your agenda.
Following on from this promise you need to build a more resilient you through a strong purpose and understanding and then protecting your boundaries. You need to be able to answer the questions “Why am I doing this, Who Am I, What do I stand for and Why ?” and learn to like and respect yourself. You need to construct the boundaries around what you will and won’t stand for. And then have the courage to protect them when someone threatens them.
This promise and purpose and a set of clearly defined boundaries is your anchor, which helps you to maintain your position and feel less overwhelmed and out of control.
Being resolute means you are determined and you can reaffirm this resolve daily with the use of positive props – words, mantra, songs, quotes, fridge magnets, poetry. These help to counteract the brain’s negativity bias and greater sensitivity to unpleasant new.
3. Make yourself a priority with ample ‘care and repair’
One of the challenges of being constantly ‘on the go’ and at the behest of others at work and at home is that you feel less important and lose definition in your life. The relentless ‘daily grind’ can easily get you down and reduce your resilience.
To counter this you should create a personal ‘Care and Repair’ Plan to take care of yourself – mentally, physically, emotionally so that you maintain your balance and don’t become ill or rundown. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Spend an hour a day engaging in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience.
4. Change your mindset
Life is like a game of snakes and ladders and by choosing your mental state every morning to be positive you enhance the likelihood of you feeling and acting more positively on the way up and especially on the way down. A positive mindset helps you become more focused and less distracted or diverted by a whole range of mental obstacles and interference. It also helps you deal more confidently with the unexpected situations that arise in your day-to-day world.
What you go through, is what you grow through !
5. Build a resilient routine
If you are overwhelmed and hit by adversity or a setback you need to get moving again and leave it behind. One way to achieve this to build a resilient routine that you use during the good times and the bad. This routine will include goal setting, focus and making it happen to achieve your ideal outcomes and if you use this consistent routine it becomes a comfortable and certain habit that gives you a positive confidence. This resilient routine enables you to focus on the process and be less likely to be distracted or dragged down by setbacks, failures and adversity.
For more on how to develop resilience contact us.