There’s been a lot written lately about “unprecedented times and unprecedented measures”, about being in this together and about how to survive working from home, schooling your children and feeling distanced or isolated from others.
Business life, family life and social life has changed significantly – for many it won’t ever go back to the same. This means we need to make some massive changes around how we live and work, which goes completely against the grain of how our brain naturally acts.
The human brain is a complex and tricky thing, made worse by the fact it has a negative bias – meaning, if something new or unknown presents itself (hello COVID19) it automatically defaults to finding the negative in the situation. This default trend by our brains makes it more difficult to focus on solutions during stressful times – so our own brains are working against us!
This is where resilience comes in. By understanding the different facets of resilience and how to build them, we can start to overcome the natural path our brain takes us on – we can actually begin to see opportunities in change and become stronger and more adaptable.
So, how can you build your resilience and what are the areas that will have the most impact? How can you personally accelerate this process so you can recover and bounce forward in times of massive change? It’s not simply enough to say “have a positive mindset” – you must be intentional about building resilience, like any other skill.
Resilience is made up of nine characteristics.
I’m going to focus on one key aspect today –one you can impact the most simply – that of Personal Responsibility.
This is the belief that successes or failures (at work) are determined by one’s own talents and motivations as opposed to external forces. Those who are high in personal responsibility; believe they control their own destiny and take a more active approach to life. For example, they initiate projects and new business connections.
The first step to building this part of resilience is to recognise your mindset about it and the areas where this mindset might be holding you back. Certain patterns of automatic thinking (led by our brain’s negative bias) can slow our motivation and leave us feeling helpless. This approach would apply to many of the impacts of COVID19, we naturally feel helpless when faced with significant business or personal impact.
Making a concerted effort to challenge these self-defeating and deflating thoughts so that they are more reasonable and rational – not by ignoring them or pretending they don’t exist, but by taking yourself out of the passenger seat and into the driver’s seat. Once you have talked yourself into a stronger position, it is more likely you will have a more hopeful mindset and can take charge of the situation with renewed energy. An example might be – a business owner sees their scheduled work dry up overnight when COVID19 impacts their industry of corporate training.
The immediate and automatic response is to panic – cash flow dries up overnight and bills still keep coming in. However, by stopping, and challenging the automatic response, taking a breath and considering what can be controlled or influenced, you stop your brain from running away with negative responses. Then you can take a measured and rational approach.
Looking at resources, providing a solution in the form of online training, contacting clients to provide self-paced modules for staff working at home, or online group workshops is a proactive solution and buys some time. It also assists your clients to stop their automatic thoughts, meaning you present them with a different intention. This positive mindset shift enables you to approach things like looking at stimulus packages and different options more rationally, rather than emotionally. It has a flow on effect!
This is one of many solutions and strategies that can improve resilience and make you more adaptable to change and stress.
Talk to us about Resilience Training for yourself or your business and bounce forward during these challenging times! You might also like to check out The Resilience Lab for more resources.