3 simple steps towards building resilience as a leader
December 8, 2021
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We’ve all become far more able to adapt to life-changing situations just by living through the Covid-19 pandemic. And the entire experience has proven how useful it is to build up your resilience ahead of challenges, so that you’re better equipped to deal with difficulties as they crop up.
When we talk about “resilience”, we mean being able to learn and take action. But the official definition is “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”
I’ve been working on my capacity to bounce back quickly for a while now, which I discuss in this podcast episode. Have a listen or continue reading to discover 3 simple steps towards building your resilience as a leader.
1. Acknowledge the situation
Even if you have a job you like and good health, you might still be exhausted and struggling. And you should be allowed to talk about it! I’m not saying we should all start whining about our lives, but we should be able to vent and speak honestly about our state of body and mind when it’s helpful to us.
It’s OK not to be OK. So don’t hesitate to say “Today, I’m feeling down”. “Today, I struggled to get out of bed”. “Today, I’m super sensitive”. It’s not an excuse; it’s communication. The people close to you can understand this and it will raise feelings of empathy and compassion instead of tension and incomprehension.
2. Take care of yourself
This is basic but important stuff. Nobody can function properly with an empty battery, so you need to start building up resilience as a leader by looking after yourself.
The best analogy to drive home this point is to think about the emergency notice on a plane. Ir says you need to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping the person sitting next to you, right? When you take care of yourself, you feel better, behave better and are a better partner, friend or colleague.
So, list the things that make you happy and do them. Do them enough that it feels like your batteries are filling back up. Personally, I focus on yoga, relationships, raising a happy dog, taking baths, reading, eating and napping as part of my self-care routine.
3. Define or update your WHY!
A difficult situation often forces you to reinvent yourself in many ways – which is often confusing as hell! It can be a struggle to make sense of your daily life when everything starts to change.
To circumvent this, make sure you have a solid understanding of your main purpose at work. What really matters to you?
Figuring out your mission statement is very powerful as, no matter what’s coming your way, once you create it you can get a better grip on the choices you make.
Because I can pinpoint my “why”, I feel like I can manage decisions instead of just letting things happen to me. It also helps me to remember why I wake up every morning. And when I’m feeling down, I loop directly back to my affirmation…
A crisis can be terrible and painful, but it’s also a good time to seize the opportunity to start a new page – or even a new book. What are your tips for building up resilience as a leader? I’d love to discuss this a little more with you. Come and tell me on LinkedIn or Instagram.
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