In today’s world, we are facing unprecedented levels of disruption. From climate change to global pandemics to economic uncertainty, it can be difficult to feel resilient.
“We go through three dozen life transitions in our lives; one every twelve to eighteen months. That’s more often than most people see a dentist.” – Bruce Feiler
I’m glad I was able to enroll in one of the courses being offered at my school. It is about strategies for building a resilient life.
But what is resilience, and how can we build it?
Resilience is the ability to adapt and bounce back from adversity. It is a skill that can be learned and developed over time.
One of the most important things we can do to build resilience is to change our mindset. When we view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning, we are more likely to persevere and succeed.
I took down notes on how to be more resilient in uncertainty:
- Accept and depersonalize. This means accepting that change is a part of life and that we cannot control everything. It also means depersonalizing negative events and not blaming ourselves for things that are beyond our control.
- Regulate your nervous system. When we are stressed, our nervous system goes into “fight or flight” mode. This can lead to anxiety and other negative emotions. To regulate our nervous system, we can practice deep breathing, meditation, and other relaxation techniques.
- Build and nurture relationships. Strong social support networks are essential for resilience. Make time for the people you care about and connect with others who share your values and interests.
- Cultivate self-awareness. Understanding our own strengths, weaknesses, and values can help us to cope with challenges and make better decisions.
- Mobilize your resources. This includes identifying and using the resources we have available to us, such as our skills, financial resources, and social network.
We did an exercise to develop a more resilient mindset. First, we identified our negative thoughts and anxious feelings. Then, we reframed those thoughts and feelings into a more positive perspective.
Here is an example of how I did the exercise:
- Thought: My move is harder than I thought because it is full of variables.
- Feelings: I feel anxious because of this uncertainty.
- Action: I act in ways that affect the present by thinking too much about the future.
- Result: I sabotage what good I have in the present.
- Thought: I have resources (family, friends, finances, skills) to support my stay here.
- Feelings: I feel more at ease. I can’t control the opportunities that come my way, but I can definitely take action to make myself ready for it. And you know me, if there are no opportunities, I make one myself.
- Action: I actually sat down and plotted out a structured diagram (path, options, resources) – a personal guide to make this a success. I just need to focus on the work that needs to be done. Everything that I do now, is an investment to a better future.
- Result: I’m actually inadvertently attracting opportunities because I feel my energy shifted from gloom and doom to grow and bloom!
Changing my mindset still does not remove the uncertainty, but it does make me feel more confident and resilient. I know that I will be alright, no matter what challenges come my way.