When it comes to cultivating resilience, the magic is in the very first step.
When cultivating your resilience become aware of your mental and emotional state. Remember that if you get into an anxious, or even angry ‘state’, you can easily go into a downward spiral where the negative feeling gets stronger. That’s called a ‘feedback loop’.
In these challenging times you could be feeling worn-out and experiencing low tolerance. Yes, we have also been warned that we will all be facing unexpected challenges for some time. So how do you navigate these stormy waters?
Here is an interesting and potentially helpful idea. In ancient Greece the helmsman of their old sailing vessels was called the ‘kubernetes’. That word is the source of the concept of ‘cybernetics’ – and that again has everything to do with feedback loops!
We can take a lesson from how they navigated stormy seas. In olden times sailors did not have powerful engines to pull them through rough waters. The helmsman could only use the natural elements – like wind, and tide – and of course the muscle-power of the oarsmen. Often it would be unwise to try to fight the storm – you simply had to go along with it. That’s called ‘riding the storm’ – waiting for it to blow itself out.
- Simply put, when you are faced with a challenge, you can proactively address it – do something to fix it! Taking any action already helps.
- Sometimes when you are faced by a threat you have to move away from it – take avoiding action.
- And, like the Greek helmsman who ‘rides the storm’, sometimes you have to just ‘hang in there’ until something changes – and in this dynamic world it always does.
So, given the long-term challenges we all face, rather than hoping things will soon be back to normal, empower yourself now with these six steps to build resilience:
Take a deep breath – get in touch with what you are feeling – then move to the next step.
Sit back and reflect – take time to ensure you have all the facts – not rumours or fearful imagination.
Take another breath and focus on solutions – think about the best outcome to the situation.
Record all your thoughts on a sheet of paper. Do not miss this step – it’s very important – it breaks the emotional state and switches on your creativity.
Now make a list of potential resources – people and organisations who might help. At the top of the list could be your EAP programme.
Get ready to act – identify the specific steps you can take within the next 24 hours. The solution might be a phone call away.