7 Tips for Becoming a More Resilient Person

How is it that some people can face a major setback and simply bounce back, while others are completely floored and disheartened by exactly the same set of circumstances? I have marvelled at Richard Branson, whose failures are numerous – Virgin Cola, Virgin Megastores, Virgin Flowers and Virgin Express – was he disheartened? It seems not, as he got right back on the proverbial bike and found another opportunity. I marvelled, until I started to pay a little more attention and actually research the subject. What I found was not really new and was basically common sense; but despite knowing the basics we all too often fail to implement. Here is a taster of what I have found:

Values: Probably our greatest stressor is failure to live by our own values. While there is no right or wrong, it is important that we live by our own values and not by those of others, or those we perceive we should live by. If you care about your loved ones and then spend fifteen hours a day hunched over your laptop and arrive home grumpy, eventually you are going to cost your soul dearly. Think about the things that are important to you and design your life accordingly; maybe the potential negative impact on your income will pay you back in spades, maybe your lighter soul will make you far more creative and increase your income, maybe your income is not important…

Good relationships are indeed critical for human strength. A good social support network can both bolster us when we are down and enrich our lives when we help others. Being present in the moment for others around you (not thinking about the next thing, or how to solve some problem) and actually paying attention to the other person. As a business leader, surround yourself with good people and avoid the energy sappers – we all know them, the ones who drain the room of energy the moment they step over the threshold.

Being aware and in control of our emotional state is important; such as recognising when we are losing equilibrium and logical reasoning, as the ‘red mist’ descends for example, and removing ourselves, even momentarily, from the stressor before it takes over. There are many simple techniques to achieve this. In addition, having a positive outlook and being alert to the constant possibilities and good that surrounds us is also helpful in bolstering us to face adversity when it arises.

Connection to something greater. Since we are social animals, most human beings feel the need to be connected to something beyond themselves – simply taking, without thought for others, does not tend to lead to satisfaction. Whether it’s volunteering, doing something for your team or simply making time for others without thought for your own benefit, all help to make us more connected and resilient people.

Look after your physical well-being – much like any moving thing, we need to be maintained well. For humans this means:

Getting enough sleep (the macho idea of four hours is enough is outdated and plain wrong – fatigue kills creativity, as well as relationships).

Eating well – rubbish in, rubbish out. We all know that plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and water keeps us healthy and alert, so why do we go for the quick McDonalds fix and expect our bodies and mind to perform for us?

Taking regular exercise – again, use it or lose it; our body is our transportation vehicle, and a whole lot more besides – we don’t get to trade it in for a new one when we’ve abused this one.

Make time in your schedule for relaxation – take some downtime in which you don’t have to achieve anything, but simply slow down and enjoy. Take a relaxing bath, wander in the woods, stroke your cat or dog – whatever slows your heartbeat and relaxes you.

Finally, don’t forget to have fun – nothing recharges the batteries like a really good belly laugh and connecting with others for no useful purpose beyond the activity itself.

If you would like to become a more resilient person, arrange to have a chat and a coffee with Fran McArthur (07789 520205) or sign up for our Resilience – Fitness Training for Business Leaders workshop.

Pointers

  • A failure to live by our own values can be a major source of stress. Think about the things that are important to you and design your life accordingly
  • Good relationships are critical for human strength. As a business leader, surround yourself with good people and avoid the ‘energy-sappers’
  • Being aware and in control of our emotions can help us to recognise stress triggers
  • Having a positive outlook and being alert to the possibilities around us can also help bolster us to face adversity
  • Activities that bring a feeling of connection to something greater can improve wellbeing and resilience, such as volunteering
  • Looking after your physical wellbeing will improve your mental and emotional strength
  • Try to get enough sleep, eat well and exercise regularly, take some time to relax – and don’t forget to have fun
  • We can help build your resilience – arrange to have a chat with Fran McArthur (07789 520205) or sign up for our Resilience – Fitness Training for Business Leaders workshop

Apr 14, 2015