2020 will go down in history as a year of intense challenge and hardship.
I also think 2020 will be remembered as a year in which we all developed a better understanding of what it means to be resilient.
Psychologists define resilience this way:
The process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.
Layoffs. Health issues. The loss of a friend or a loved one. Major changes at work. Financial concerns. Not being able to go to school. Who isn’t dealing with at least one of these stressful situations this year?
The standard recommendations for building resilience include:
- Exercise more.
- Stay connected.
- Focus on what you can control.
- Choose optimism.
- Clarify your purpose.
- Serve people.
All great suggestions, but my experience in 2020 as a coach and a business owner leads me to the conclusion that there are two keys to resilience that most people overlook. As simple as they may seem, many people with significant life experience (including me) overlook them.
#1: Admit Your Feelings
I doubt many of the chronic complainers in this world are subscribers to True Insights. More likely you are someone who will keep doing what you have to do, even when you feel worried or uneasy.
This is not good for you. Not at all.
If you want to be at your best, you have to acknowledge what is going on inside of you, emotionally. You have to own it, not suppress it.
The best way to do that is to tell someone how you feel, someone who is a good listener and wise enough not to try to give you advice.
Once you tell someone how you feel, the negative feelings will start to go away.
Voicing our true feelings has the remarkable power to make us feel much better, and helps us prepare to shift from a state of melancholy to a state of optimism and energy.
#2: Reflect First, Then Act
The cure to the stresses we experience lies in the actions we take.
Most everyone knows that taking action is always better than not taking action in times of crisis. The problem arises when we don’t take enough time to reflect before acting. If we are honest, we might admit that many times we act without really thinking about it much beforehand. In those cases, the actions we take often serve only to create more stress because they aren’t the right actions.
A simple formula for action taking:
My favorite form of reflection is to talk with a smart friend about the problem I want to solve. I explain the problem, then summarize the information I’ve collected and the solutions I’m considering. The discussion that follows always helps me clarify my thinking.
Your preferred form of reflection might involve more than one person, going for a walk, or meditating. It doesn’t really matter how you reflect. It only matters that you reflect before you make your decision and act.
I hope my words today were helpful to you.
If can be of service to you in any way, please reach out to me.
Yours in Learning,