I guess you like many people at the moment are facing some challenges as a result of Covid-19. Whether it is concern about loved ones, supporting your children’s learning, getting enough exercise, feeling stressed or even confused and indecisive, just know you are not alone. I know that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.
It can be hard to remember that it’s natural to have obstacles crop up from time to time, and yes, this is a somewhat more significant obstacle than normal (whatever normal is). Everyone has setbacks, disappointments, and tough times. But going through a rough patch doesn’t have to spoil your life.
The key to thriving in the face of adversity is how you respond to the obstacles in your path. So you allow yourself to learn from this event, as they say, it would be a shame to waste a crisis.
Here are 4 suggestions to help you ride through and come out on top.
1. Decide to welcome the obstacle
If you’re having a tough time, it can be easy to feel helpless, even that you’re a victim.
So it is your choice to rise to the challenge and decide that you won’t be overwhelmed. The first step in overcoming any obsctacle, is choosing to identify, take control and embrace your challenge. I know the idea of embracing Covid-19 sounds weird, but that is not really the challenge. The problem is your response to that thing - Covid-19 - outside you. This is were ‘identify’ comes from, what are you feeling: fear, confusion, uncertainty, sadness or something else, only you know. Once you identify your feeling, your response, then you can look your obstacle square in the face and resolve to meet it.
2. Be okay with discomfort
The proof that you’re embracing your obstacle is acknowledging it doesn’t feel good. It can feel uncomfortable, heavy, even painful. There are lots of life experiences that hurt at the time but end up being for your best and highest good. From marathon training to going to the dentist to public speaking, even facing your debtors, you feel so much better once you’ve encountered the worst. Remember it won’t last forever. Don’t shrink from the bad feelings, learn from them and build your resilience. You can ride them out!
3. Make sure you have a support team
You don’t have to face your obstacles alone, and this means you ask for help, support or an ear to listen to you. It can make all the difference to have people around you who are supportive, who’ll stick by you and cheer you on when you want to give up.
If you have a cheer squad, you’ll find that extra level of energy to help get you through. And when you reciprocate and are there for your family, friends and colleagues when they’re facing their challenges, you’ll feel so good about yourself. Once you’re part of a team who have each other’s backs, none of you will have to face life’s ups and downs alone. You’ll fight together and celebrate success together.
4. Be grateful for your obstacles
Feeling gratitude for the challenges in life might sound counter-intuitive. But think about it. Accepting the challenge, resolving to meet it head-on, and overcoming it makes you a better, stronger person. Think of how good it feels to deal with a problem and solve it. To face fear and overcome it or simply let it go.
Without obstacles in your life, you would not grow and learn and become even more of who you are. Obstacles, even this current one, are a natural, regular (well hopefully irregular) part of living your authentic learning life.
A question for you
Which one of these suggestions is most useful for you?
During this pandemic with 24-hour news bombarding our senses and concern for ourselves, family, friends and colleagues, we are bound to feel stressed and a sense of loss of control. So the critical question is; what habits can you develop to support yourself and increase your resilience through this challenging time?
Even if you are the most mindful and resilient person, the low-level hum of stress may mean you have days when you don't feel your best and overreact emotionally. It is all a part of being human and your emotional responses at play which are currently more tightly wound. As an emotional being, you're programmed to feel, and it is essential information. But there are also times when situations can get the better of you, and instead of empowering you, they make you feel limited and powerless. When this happens, and you feel emotionally trapped in the moment, you may make decisions that could be unhelpful to the situation. And remember any decision is the best decision you can make at that moment in time with the information you have available to you. It is only in retrospect you can judge it, even if it is only a minute later. So if you find you have barked at your partner, for no good reason, take a step back, breathe and reorient yourself.
Being able to be resilient becomes all the more useful during these times. It is during emotionally-charged situations that your character often gets tested. While it's not only about character, your emotional strength and maturity to handle these situations is also at play.
One thing is for sure, emotional resilience is key to success. It helps you make sense of situations and enables you to choose the best decisions without being limited or feeling trapped. Overall, it is vital to maintaining a sense of balance in life. Being emotionally resilient empowers everyone and helps preserve a sense of hopefulness and positivity no matter the situation.
Why not experiment by modelling emotionally resilient people who have these 5 similar Resilient Mindset Habits in common.
1. They Pause Instead of Acting Impulsively
The value of the "pause" becomes even more pronounced amidst stress and adversity. It's during high pressure and emotionally charged times that character often shines through. During these passing moments of suffering, emotionally resilient people turn to the pause, not out of fear but wisdom – knowing that making a hasty decision influenced by what they're currently feeling and experiencing right now, could turn the scenario for the worst. This capacity for impulse control empowers them to make better decisions when they're in a better place and state of mind.
2. They Can Work Through Discomfort
The patience and the wisdom to willingly work through emotional discomfort is not for the faint of heart. And yet, this is one of the classic traits of emotionally resilient people. It's an inner strength that is admirable and worthy of being modelled.
Not everyone can sit through a storm peacefully and with wisdom, without potentially turning to a bottle of alcohol or another form of unhealthy vice. A lot of people wreck themselves momentarily in trying to cope. Resilient people's strength empowers them to gain a sense of perspective out of a difficult situation.
3. They Practice Self-Care
Emotionally resilient people momentarily cope with difficulty by turning to self-care. This self-soothing is a very positive and proactive form of coping, rather than drowning their sorrows or indulging in a 'pity party'. By giving themselves the tender loving care their inner self needs in the moment, they create even more strength. It's a wonderful opportunity to come out of a challenging situation more enlightened and refreshed.
Sometimes, the most productive solutions come out of these instances. A physically healthy person who establishes a more flexible mindset has more edge over a difficult situation. Whether it's enough sleep, exercise, going outdoors or enjoying playtime with a pet, emotionally resilient people master self-care, making it their weapon of choice amidst tough times.
4. They Know How to Turn to Humor
Apart from self-care, emotionally resilient people deal with life and the realities that come along with it with a bit of humor. The ability to laugh may be a form of survival. Some people manage to reframe their mindset from a situation at hand by telling jokes and getting their giggles on. They know even choosing consciously to smile fully can influence how they feel. Humor goes a long way and can be a great form of distraction in the meantime. Share it with people around you, and it also helps create positive bonds while fostering better relationships.
5. They Accept the Present
Contrary to what some people might think acceptance doesn't mean complacence. Instead, it is the flexibility to allow the wind to temporarily take a person's sails where they may not have originally planned to go. While it's good to plan and prepare for life at all times, nothing is ever certain.
A sense of calm and composure enable you deal with changes and situations beyond your control. Emotionally resilient people allow temporary situations and even suffering to pass without letting it break them. While they allow themselves to feel emotions, they don't let the circumstances overwhelm them.
Three Questions for You?
When you feel angry or frustrated at work, home or even socially being able to manage your emotion in a way that allows you to communicate effectively and create the outcome you desire is a useful skill. Have a look at the video for a few tips.
You want to improve your performance at work but you start noticing your energy or motivation is slipping and its getting in the way of your high performance. When you drive your car there is a fuel gauge that lets you know how much fuel you have left in the tank. How about you, what lets you know it is time to stop?
Written by Julie Silfverberg
Thinking is like a bit like writing; it is a process. A lot depends on the order in which you do things either on the page or in your head. So if you were to write, “The dog bit the man” I suspect you would expect your reader to have a different experience, than if you wrote, “The man bit the dog” even though you have used the same words and only lightly changed the order. So as you can see the order and sequence is important.
Also if you were to add colour to your to writing by using adverbs and adjectives – you do remember those, don’t you – by saying “The big black dog charged the man and grabbed him by the arm…?” now you have even more of a response from the reader, possibly even a slight quickening of the heart rate (an unconscious physiological response) and a more detailed picture in the mind’s eye.
In your mind you can also adjust the quality of your thinking by adding or removing colour or other details. Now that may strike you as a bit odd. But just think about it for a minute – let’s pretend you have decided to buy a new barbeque and you want to get a gas barbeque but definitely not a charcoal one because you think they are slow, smoky and often don’t deliver a great result. As you think about it now, notice the pictures you are making inside your head....I suspect the picture of the food from the gas barbeque looks bright, big and maybe even a movie, in other words attractive, while the food from the charcoal one looks less appetising. Or think about ordering food in a restaurant, you possibly have a picture in mind of what the food will look and taste like. Now of course if the served food does not match your imagined picture - depending on the qualities of your reference pictures - you will be either disappointed or delighted. Of course this may be just my mind’s eye talking.
You might be thinking, so what? Just think about it, as you discover you can change the picture qualities in your mind’s eye you can learn how to change your motivation, make your goals more compelling and generally make it easier for yourself and others to achieve their goals and ambitions. So as you think about a future event now and if you discover you are feeling a bit unsure about it, just ask yourself are you seeing it completing the way you want it i.e. successfully? If not change your outcome picture until you are seeing the best result for you and notice how it feels. You might find any anxiety you had been experiencing simply dissolves and you have positive anticipation now.
Experiment Alert :-)
As you choose to begin noticing your anticipatory pictures more I would love to hear what you discover, so do comment below.
By Julie Silfverberg
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Julie Silfverberg has worked in the field of personal and professional development for more than 20 years. She works with a diverse and exciting group of people. Each with their own unique talents and potential.