If transitions in leadership, careers, and organizations are inevitable, why do they test our resilience, causing the sturdiest among us to doubt and fear? This is true of any disruptive event, including a personal loss like my own, which, at the time, diminished my confidence, optimism, and ability to meet my goals. Being widowed young with preemie twins and no life insurance just wasn’t the narrative I imagined. One thing only allowed me to move through this experience: I learned to summon the resilience I never knew I had.
While some level of anxiety is perfectly normal amid times of upheaval, be on guard for signs of apathy and stuckness. Here are two questions to reflect upon.
Do challenging events feel disproportionately large or even insurmountable?
Are these challenges impacting other areas of work and life?
It’s important to understand the range of emotions people feel during periods of change, stress, and uncertainty. We're all hard-wired differently, and yet...
I've taken up boxing. This is me practicing my jab.
Let me be clear about something. In no way do I have any intention of fighting for real. I took up boxing for three reasons:
1) because it's a heck of a workout and I tend to shy away from intense cardio activity
2) because it challenges and balances my brain, and
3) because it pushes me to be my strongest, most capable, resilient self.
You might actually see me laughing during these workouts -- at myself and my own clumsiness and poor coordination. Even so, I take these workouts seriously and appreciate the lessons borne from trying something new that pushes me way beyond my comfort zone physically and mentally.
There is no straight line to a strong self. There is only the persistent work of showing up and being resilient.
Take time to summon your strength every day and especially during periods of stress.
What you do doesn't matter so much as what you think....
I know what you're thinking. Yeah, right. Who, after all, is grateful for challenges and welcomes adversity?
Some people are luckier than others, that's a fact. But at one point or another, most of us will be felled by a challenge so crippling it hurls us to our knees. A health crisis. A personal loss. A business setback. A moment of clarity when we realize we aren't where we wanted to be. It doesn't take much.
While the challenges themselves feel significant, what matters more is how we respond to such disruptive circumstances. In other words, we needn't be paralyzed. We might feel that way, but feelings aren't facts. And we have more power than we realize at even the hardest moments. We do.
Here are three things you can do to build your resilience when faced with challenges:
1. Think of another time when you were confronted with an obstacle that felt insurmountable. How did you...