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Building Resiliency

‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.’ 
Viktor Frankl, psychiatrist, holocaust survivor 

Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from adversity. It gives people the psychological strength to cope with stress and hardship.

This past year has given us plenty of opportunities to strengthen our resiliency muscles. Collectively the world is facing climate change, a global pandemic, economic distress and increasing mental health concerns. And for many, job uncertainty and redundancies have added further uncertainty and stress.

It would be easy to feel defeated and helpless, so actively developing our resiliency is more important than ever.  Those with strong resiliency can marshal the strength to not just survive but to prosper. 

Three Steps to Build Resiliency

1. Reframe thoughts to the positive

Reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts and emotions to find more positive alternatives. For example, rather than think, ‘I’m sure I’ll be made redundant and I’ll never find another job’ instead reframe it to, ‘Redundancies may or may not occur but I will use this time for self-reflection, self-discovery and to seek learning opportunities.’ Learning new skills and identifying your strengths and motivators will give you satisfaction and confidence regardless of the future decisions made outside your control.

2. Seek Support

Find a friend, family member, or a trusted colleague to talk with. Join online networking events, explore therapy (group or individual) or consider hiring a life coach. If covid has disrupted our lives in unwanted ways, so too has it made it less stigmatizing to seek support or therapy than ever before.

For those looking for inspiration in exploring your aspirations, use Aspirations Guide activity template:   

3. Focus on what you CAN control

You do not know the future. Thus, you cannot control it.  So what can you control?

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left list everything you have complete control over. On the right list all the things you do not have complete control over. Review the left side. You will find everything you wrote falls into two categories: your thoughts and your actions. That’s it. Anything else is outside your direct control.

Perhaps seeing the long list of things on the right that you can’t control will raise your anxiety. I hope not. Rather, I hope that by recognizing and accepting there are only two things you can control, you feel liberated and get a sense of peace. Many 12 step programs use a form of this with the serenity prayer: ‘grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’    

Look Forward

Unfortunately, no one has a crystal ball to assure you things will work out how you want them to. But by committing to a daily practice to build resiliency, whether you remain in your current role or company or not, you will be ok. 

YOU WILL BE OK. 

As the cliché goes, when one door closes, another opens.

Put another way:   

When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment it grows in, not the flower.’ 
Alexander den Heijer, inspirational speaker