Resilience has become one of the buzz words of the 21st Century. Some people see resilience as the ability to overwork, to keep going when other people have fallen by the wayside. This is not a contemporary interpretation. Resilience is the skill of not just surviving hardship and challenge but the ability to call on your inner strength to keep functioning and then rebound. It comes from team or community.
The US invested heavily in resilience after 9/11, so that, should similar events ever occur, not only would people and communities be able to cope better but that the “spirit of the American people” would thrive. It is now commonplace within governments and business management training. Even sniffer dogs now have resilience training.
Within US army studies, it emerged that everyone suffered stress but some people became worse, some stabilized and some thrived on it. Natural optimism was identified as a key factor as without it, people gave up, alongside the ability to control emotions and see failure as a learnin platform.
Specialist Dr Martin Seligman developed the P.E.R.M.A model of keys to happiness and his training programmes have become widely adapted. P is for positive, optimistic viewpoint to give you emotional security. E stands for the activities that give us such Engagement that we lose the sense of everything around us, being in FLOW, the state now known for producing the best results. The R is for the authentic and close relationships which see us through difficult times. M stands for Meaning and sense of purpose and the A is for accomplishment, which we need to give us focus. S.M.A.R.T setting is a big key to happiness.
Here are 9 ways to develop your own resilience, which will in turn enable you to cope with and even capitalize on the stresses that come with running a business.
- You can develop your own resilience by looking at how you react under stress. Think back and identify things that stand out as having caused you stress, and how that stress manifested itself. Consider how the people round you have reacted and how they have or have not helped. Look at what you learned from the experience and how it has helped you cope in other situations and if it has or could have made you view things more positively.
- Look at the five areas identified in P.E.R.M.A; physical, social, family, spiritual, and emotional. If you score yourself out of 10 as to how happy you are on each, you quickly become focussed on where you may want to spend some time. It is really important that you identify where you are happy with your lot and where you are particularly unhappy. You can then make a list of steps you are going to take to change those till you attain a positive perspective in all aspects of your life.
- Look after yourself: Eat well. Ideally add more superfoods to your diet, such as broccoli, eggs, blueberries, tomatoes, oily fish and wheatgrass. Exercise regularly. Find things you enjoy and relax doing.
- Connect: Focus on your relationships and work hard at finding more ways to connect and enjoy their company. Re-introduce family mealtimes and have stimulating, positive conversations. Work on your relationships with the rest of the family, your friends and others you come in contact with. Accept their help and give yours. Really listen to them and talk to them. Spend time with the people you love and from that gain support and encouragement. Get to know their strengths and weaknesses and make the most of them. Learn to trust that can rely on them but also trust to trust that you can rely on yourself.
- Set good goals and move towards them: Develop your goal setting ensuring all goals are always realistic. Revel in the fact you are achieving more. Make sure big goals are broken down into bite size steps so that you are continually feeling achievement. Concentrate on achieving the next step if you are worrying about getting to the huge, end goal. Take action even if the problem seems insurmountable. Be decisive rather than
- Practice being positive: Developing belief in your own problem solving will help you with your overall positivity. Practice keeping things in perspective and making sure you don’t blow any event out of proportion in the big scheme of things. When something is next coming up that is worrying you, ask yourself what could be the worst case scenario possibly be, rather than just stress about a great unknown. When something big is looming, concentrate on getting everyday things done and think of the time the other side of the problem, rather than the problem itself. Allow yourself to feel the emotion the stress generates but at the same time ensure it does not affect you functioning. Visualise positive outcomes. Work on relishing challenges rather than dreading them, seeing them as opportunities to develop.
- Get in FLOW: Find those activities in your life that make you so happy and engrossed you forget your other problems. Do more of them!
- Find more Meaning: Identify something that gives meaning to your life and a sense of purpose and focus on it. Do more of it. Look at how you are impacting on the world and other people around you. See if you can make that impact even greater and more positive still. Relish your spiritual side by trying meditation if you haven’t already. Spiritual practices are a great source of strength to many people, even if they are not based in any particular religion.
- Accept change: Change is indeed inevitable. Learning to accept this and other things beyond your control will massively reduce your stress levels.