Last time, we overviewed resilience and proposed a multi-pronged response involving mental toughness, emotional self-awareness and volitional decisiveness as key to developing resilience.
We also proposed emotional self-awareness as a starting point, since without the acknowledgement of stress, resilience strategies and other effective responses will not be deployed.
Here are 5 steps to take:
- Acknowledge the stress. Admit to yourself the feelings of anxiety, distress, overwhelm, etc. In one sentence, describe the situation to yourself. Elaborate in three sentences why this situation is such a big deal.
- Give yourself permission to feel the stress. Tell yourself, “It’s okay. It’s understandable to feel this way given the stakes involved.” Repeat this a few times, attending to your heart rate and try to feel a measure of composure before proceeding.
- Challenge yourself to push through the emotions. Resilience is all about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable AND pressing through the discomfort to take action when you feel like giving up. Decide that you will take positive action in spite of fears and uncertainties.
- Focus on one thing at a time. Deal with one situation at a time. In fact, break it down further: divide one challenge into smaller components and deal with one component at a time. The key is to keep moving forward, no matter how small each step is.
- Notice the learning. Keep asking yourself, “What am I learning here?”, “What else do I need to learn to take this next step?”, “What sort of a person am I becoming as I press on?” Life is ultimately about growth and not just achieving our desired outcomes. Don’t lose the opportunity to grow through the tests and challenges life presents us with.