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Resilience- 15 things you can do to top up your Resilience Bank Account

I was recently asked to run a workshop for The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) on resilience.  A dictionary definition of resilience is “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”.  The concern was that employees have tools and resources that can make them more resilient.  This not only makes them more inspired and empowered in their personal lives, but also more effective, creative and productive at work.  Resilience is a multi- faceted quality that can be tackled from numerous angles.

Resilience Bank Account

Your Resilience Bank Account will have resources coming in and going out

As is so often with complex ideas, a metaphor helps to simplify.  I like things to be simple.  So, as a working example I use the idea of a Resilience Bank Account.  Like all bank accounts, the Resilience Bank Account has to have money coming in and going out.  We are all familiar with our own bank accounts and the many demands for withdrawals there are.  Often, our source of income is limited to only one or two.

Any strategist will tell you, this is a weak and vulnerable place to be.  If that single source ceases due to redundancy, illness etc., suddenly there is no way to top up the account and the demands for withdrawals remain the same- perhaps even increase.  So, it is good practice to have as many sources as possible.  To be truly resilient, the more sources of income your bank account has, the better.  If one source of income dries up, you have others to buffer the loss and give you some time and wiggle room.  This might be in the shape of savings, stocks and shares, part time jobs and other investments.  You may even have passive sources of income.

Your resilience and your Resilience Bank account are the same.  You want to top them up from as many sources and as often as possible so that in the event of withdrawals, you have plenty there to cover the cost.  If one of your sources is not delivering at this time, there are others to cover the shortfall.

Resilience Deposits

We will look at the withdrawals later.  For now, let’s look at the deposits.  Deposits are the things that build your confidence, grow you, strengthen you, make you feel enlivened and empowered, move you forward, get you thinking with positive focus and intention. Here are some examples:

Mindset

The attitude you bring to a situation often determines how successful you are, how quick you bounce back when derailed, your ability to adapt and generate positive outcomes. So, a positive mindset which is solution focused is best.  This leads to more creative thinking.

Goals

Setting goals is a positive step to help you move forward. Large goals get split into smaller manageable pieces.   Achieving these smaller goals bolsters your confidence.  Savouring the victory has even greater positive psychological impact.   You may not achieve your larger goals.  Whether you do or not, these smaller steps moved you forward in life, created experiences and learning which all add to your Resilience Bank Account.

Values

It is important for your values to be honoured and appear in the goals and activities in your life. Doing so leads to feelings of fulfilment, contentment and well- being.  Gaining awareness of your values means you can make life choices aligned to them. More deposits for that account.

Boundaries

Have strong boundaries and keep to them. These are the things you don’t want to negotiate on based upon your goals and values.  If you value health and fitness you may want to say “yes” to exercise and “no” to sugary and fatty food.  If family is important to you, you may want to say “no” to working evenings and weekends and “yes” to individual time with each family member (for me details see bogs on “yes” and “no“).  There is no right or wrong.  It is simply a question of creating boundaries for yourself and others to respect and honour so that you live with integrity and contentment.

The Body

Feeling great in your body is a powerful resilience tool. Good diet, exercise, sleep, rest and relaxation are essential to this end.  Correct hydration and breathing are invaluable.  Use massage, meditation and mindfulness to aid in health, rehabilitation and restoration.

Emotion and mental health

Do not suppress your emotion. It leads to all kinds of mental and physiological distress.  Gain awareness and notice your emotions.  Build an emotional vocabulary that becomes more discerning over time.  Finding the right word to describe how you feel is a liberating experience.  It’s like you can “name” it, see it for what it is.  As a result, it loses some of its power.  Find ways to express your emotions appropriately in writing and speaking to the right people who will really listen and give you time and space.  Develop emotional mastery and your life will blossom in SO many ways.

Family and friends

Surround yourself with supportive, positive and nurturing people. One’s whom you respect and enjoy and enjoy and respect you.  Have mentors that can guide you.  Cheerleaders who are in your corner.  You want to have limited access to people who leave you feeling “less than”.  Instead, surround yourself with people around whom you feel great.  Make deep and meaningful connections with people, share life’s moments with them and the bond will deepen.

Environment

Make sure your working and living environments are tidy, clean and ordered. Have calm spaces, places for family activities and space to be alone, restful rooms for sleep and garden space that allows you and the family to do more of what you love to do.

Self- Care

Ensure you have “me time”.  What do you want?  Go out and get it.  It’s so easy to put others at the top of your priority list while never meeting your own needs.  Sometimes put you at the top of the list.  Buy yourself gifts sometimes.  Take yourself away or go on a trip with a friend.  You’re worth it.  So often, you forget about your needs.  Please don’t.  Sometimes it’s because you cannot think of what you want.  This is something I struggle with.  It may be because you are out of practice recognising what you want.  Please, get practising and begin to notice what you desire in life and go out and make it happen.  Like all things it gets easier with practice.  If you are not well cared for by you, you cannot be fully of service to anyone else.

Spirituality and Contribution

Do you have a spiritual practice(s): Meditation, prayer, contemplation, reflection, mindfulness, writing, music, charity and movement?  Anything that connects you to something larger (Source, God, Universal Energy).  If that seems too big, what makes you feel like you contribute in a significant way?  Moments shared with others, or alone, nourish the flame within that burns in your heart or soul and makes you feel alive, connected and enamoured with life.

Hobbies

What brings you joy? What activities beyond work, with or without family, with or without friends, also makes you feel alive?  Adventure, exploration, learning, new places, people and cultures, exercise and fitness or things that bring pleasure to the mind and senses like gardening, collecting, making and designing. They all deepen your connection to life.

Short- term Stress

This is the good stress.  Things that make your heart pound and quicken your breath can really deepen your resilience.  The little things that scare you can give you a buzz.  Most especially if they are aligned to your goals and values.  You sign up to give a talk or attend a networking event and beforehand you’re wondering what possessed you to commitment to it.  Once you’ve done it you feel pride and achievement.  It also takes your life towards new directions, experiences and learning.

Balance this with Relaxation

It’s important to relax too. Sleep, rest and rejuvenation are essential.  Weekend breaks, holidays, spa days, adventure days with friends, dinners, lunches and get- togethers are all active relaxation opportunities that help you thrive. Chilling on the sofa, reading a book, watching TV or soaking in the bath can all rejuvenate your body and soul.  Just don’t do too much- it has the reverse affect if you do!!!

Education and Growth

Constant learning, challenging, experimenting and enquiry help to keep you sharp physically and mentally. Education can bring you all kinds of information and learning experiences that may come to be really useful as resources towards resilience.

Energy

You are not a robot. Nor can you work all hours, sleep little, rest little, eat poorly and drive yourself endlessly.  You are human- in need of change, variety, and diversity.  Humans adapt to subtle cycles and nuances through the day.  If you were a battery, you would need to recharge regularly (see blog: Recharge).  Much of the above points will do that for you.  Energy is an essential resilience resource.  Learn to conserve it as well.  Use your boundaries to protect yourself.  If your energy drops too low, your health and well- being will suffer.

Resilience Withdrawals

That is a list of the things I have learned to use to make deposits into my Resilience Bank Account.  Together they make a formidable set of resources that can give you a cushioning when life gets tough and set- backs occur so that you can bounce back.  The more of the list you use, and the more often you use it, the more resilient your Resilience Bank Account.  Not all of them will work for you.  Perhaps you have some of your own?

Keep track of them and use them to keep your Resilience Bank Account topped up.  You have control over these fifteen inputs.  You can choose.  Make changes to build your Resilience Bank Account up every single day from multiple resources.

You will enjoy better health, contentment, meaning and purpose.  Life will feel more fulfilling.  You’ll have more fun, feel part of something larger to which you positively contribute.  You will love and be loved.

And so when the inevitable pains of life come: the annoying work colleague; someone cutting you up in traffic; redundancy; relationship breakups; disloyalty; death; illness; financial issues; machines breaking down; internet going off- line and so on…….. you will have plenty in the Resilience Bank Account to ride the storm.  You’ll be able to make the withdrawals required for yourself and others and still have resources left.

And, if you run out of resources, you know there are at least fifteen ways you can build yourself up again.

Over to You

How do you stay resilient?  What do you do to keep your Resilience Bank Account topped up?  Which of the one’s listed do you use?  What one’s are missing?  Do you find that you bounce back from set- backs and challenges quickly or do you struggle?  What does resilience look like to you?  How could you become more resilient?  Why not post in the comments box or on social media and let us know your thoughts and experiences?

Pass it on

If someone sprang to mind while you were reading this because you thought it might be useful to them, please pass it on and send them the link.  Please share the tweets and posts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Thank you.

Little Signs of Greatness

Enjoy the process of expressing your talent rather than the outcome

Enjoy the process of expressing your talent rather than the outcome

The Little Signs of Greatness

Do you find that people have some really complementary things to say about you that you just don’t see?

When you compare your self- appraisal at work to others’ appraisals of you, do you find there is a gap?  Are there positive comments about your great results, innate skills and natural talents that aren’t in your self- appraisal?

Do you find that people suggest you’d be brilliant at such and such, yet you cannot see how you’d be any good at it at all?  Would people volunteer you for things you’ve never contemplated because they know you’d be great at it?

Do you find that people see qualities in you that you do not see in your self?

I see this time and again as a teacher, leader, mentor and coach. People are oozing their innate skills all over the place.  Very often they are totally unaware of the impact they are having.  Nor do they realise how they are using their skills to create productive meetings, meaningful connections at work and at home, inspired leadership in all areas of their lives and safe space for others to share, explore and learn.

In my experience, people do not recognise the true power of their innate skills and talents because they undervalue them. May be they have been told that these skills have no purpose or use or that they are inappropriate. Perhaps they exhibit skills and the outcome met with ridicule or punishment.

Maybe all that is needed is the chance to practise in a supportive and encouraging environment?

All skills have value, purpose and worth. Just because the value, worth and purpose of a skill is not seen instantly does not mean it is not there- it takes a wise teacher, mentor, leader or coach to take the time to find the true power of any person’s innate skills. Very often that requires you to take command at some point along your journey and take active steps to use those skills for a meaningful and compelling purpose.

From a personal perspective as a school boy, any attempts at creativity were laughed at to the point I believed I had no creative side in me at all. I busied my self with science and sport which I got better results at, thinking my creative days would never appear.

Yet, unnoticed by me, my creativity came out in play, inventiveness, problem solving and sparks of inspired conversation during self development training and workshop events. All this went unnoticed by me for decades, even though people would tell me otherwise.

Until one weekend workshop I was given the opportunity to write poetry. To my astonishment I really enjoyed the process. I was encouraged to continue enjoying the process without attachment  to how good my poetry was. That starting point has blossomed into published book writing, blogs and endless poems and stories I share with students, clients, family and friends over the subsequent twenty years.  That creativity has opened up other avenues in art, music, dance as well as continued exploration in martial arts.

So, before you dismiss these little signs of greatness, please consider these steps:

1). Listen to what other people say they see in you, especially the words of wise people whom you trust, respect and admire. If many people are saying the same things and you don’t see it, may be they’re onto something and you’re missing it.

2). Explore these possible talents without attachment to the outcomes. For an entire year I burned every poem I wrote without reading it- I’ve kept every one since over the last two decades.

3). Enjoy the process most importantly. It is the enjoyment that brings it to life and to light. The fun brings inquisitiveness, curiosity and exploration, encouraging you to delve deeper, learn and experiment.

4). Go with your instinct. This talent may blossom into other areas that feel even more fulfilling. In true self- exploration, the journey never stops as you uncover more and more talent buried deep within.

5). You do not need to publish, share, put on You Tube, do public demonstrations and speeches to own your skill. Yet I encourage you to own it by continuing to explore and develop your skill. Go public if you wish and remember it is the enjoyment and exploration that fuels the passion. It is your passion. Celebrate it in whatever way for feel inspired to do so.

Over to you

What skills are people telling you that you have? How are you cultivating the skills you do possess? What processes have you been through to develop your skills and talents?  Can you think of roles mentors, teachers, leaders of coaches have played in uncovering your talents. I’d love to hear your story and provide an on- line resource for people to find inspiration, support and guidance to uncover their potential and be all they can be.

Spread the word

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

When Inspiration Strikes

 "Passive Thinking" not only taps into the creative mind, but also allows for deeper subconscious thoughts and feelings to surface

“Passive Thinking” not only taps into the creative mind, but also allows for deeper subconscious thoughts and feelings to surface

I don’t know about you, but I find sometimes that I am so busy doing stuff- the next appointment, the next trip, the list of chores- that I give myself no time to sit back and look at my life and ask the question: where am I going and how am I getting there?

We live in a society of rushing and frenetic activity.  More often than not you may feel guilty for stepping out of the race.  This may include taking time to enjoy the view, to contemplate and reflect. You may feel you are not doing enough unless you are active in mind and body.

In spite of all this activity, it can still feel like you are not moving towards that fulfilling life.  If indeed you know what that fulfilling life may look like.

A little less action and more reflection

Action is important. Without it, nothing gets done. And yet, if not done in reference to a bigger picture, a greater context, a larger goal, you may do much and achieve a lot and still feel like you are treading water rather than moving forward along the river of life.  Quiet contemplation can give you the space to think in this larger context. Sure, meditation can be a great way to have time and space to allow new ideas and inspiration to bubble to the surface. There are other means of allowing that:

  • journaling is wonderful for jotting down ideas and reflections;
  • movies, documentaries, music, art and literature can offer ideas that spring board you into new creative directions;
  • walk in nature gives space for more open thinking;
  • good conversation with someone to bounce ideas off can be inspirational;
  • a spa day;
  • a retreat;
  • a holiday;
  • a day trip.

Noticing Inspiration

So you have a three stage process: the inspiration, the planning and the action- here I am talking about creating the opportunities for noticing that inspiration. I believe that inspiration is bubbling away beneath the surface of the mind- you just need the time and space to notice it and hear it. There is the “active thinking” of planning and working out the plan.  There is the opportunity for “passive thinking” which also has great value.  For as well as tapping into the creative side of the mind, it allows for deeper subconscious thoughts and feelings to come to the surface.  These are often the forces that bring us most joy yet we work in conflict with them because we do not give ourselves the opportunity to reflect on them and allow them time and space to grow and develop.

Coaching using the co- active model can offer that opportunity.  In coaching there is the chance to find that inspiration.  You can work out how to use it to drive your life in a fulfilling and meaningful way.  Towards greater personal and professional potential.

Over to you

What place does inspiration have in your life? How does it drive your goals and habits? How do you set time aside for creating space and allowing inspiration? What methods of contemplation and reflection work for you and what hasn’t worked? I’d love to hear from you. Please share your experiences and offer support and inspiration to other people in our community.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.