I’m always thrilled by the feedback we get from our HR Forums, and I can honestly say it’s been a delight to welcome each and every one of our speakers, who have all brought with them their own unique and inspiring perspective, and knowledge, to our breakfast gatherings. With that in mind, it was fantastic to see so many of you joining us again to hear Jo Kane of Trailblazers return to the Forum to talk about resilience, last month.
I think it’s fair to say, by the level of interaction from everyone listening to Jo whilst enjoying coffee, croissants and bacon rolls, her presentation hit just the right note with everyone at the forum. There was lots of discussion, nodding heads and laughs as Jo discussed the topic, highlighting the fact that often, we simply do not give as much care, attention and thought to ourselves as we do to our friends and colleagues. In short; don’t be so hard on yourself!
My thanks also to Malcolm Scott Walby for taking the time to add his professional thoughts and welcomingly unique and candid insight into employment law issues affecting our businesses.
Here, Jo has generously written a post forum blog for us, which I am sure you will take a lot from. As always, I would love to get your feedback, thoughts and suggestions on topics and speakers you would like to see at our HR Forums.
It’s well known that the great inventor, Thomas Edison, made many thousands of unsuccessful attempts before he finally came up with the lightbulb and subsequently many other inventions. He wasn’t deterred by his apparent failures but chose to see them leading him towards his desired outcome.
Resilience was clearly one of his attributes; that ability to keep going, to bounce back and not to let failures deter you or get in the way.
Why is resilience increasingly important for us in our lives and not just in the corporate world?
Life can bring many challenges and, in fact, it would appear to be part of the journey that everyone has to deal with. If we fall over at the first hurdle and let that define us then we wouldn’t get very far. Resilience is important as it helps navigate our way through the challenges and grow from those experiences. It’s a trait that many of us would like to develop within ourselves and can be closely linked to our levels of self-esteem and confidence.
Cultivating a strong sense of resilience gives us an inner strength and a trust in ourselves that we can recover and reconnect with a part of ourselves that is strong, adaptable and resourceful. Often people think that it’s something you were born with, and it’s true that there are some individuals who do seem to be naturally more resilient. However, it’s not just a question of nature over nurture, as we know that resilience is a trait that we can build and cultivate. It’s not set in stone and with a bit of focus and conscious awareness we can all become more resilient. For those of us who are parents, surely it must be one of the key attributes we would like to see our children showing up with. Therefore, role modelling that to our offspring as well as to those around us in business makes a lot of sense.
Tips for Building Resilience
Make sure you are getting enough sleep. It sounds so obvious but sleep deprivation can really impair your mental and cognitive processes. Given that resilience has a lot to do with how you look at situations then you can start to see how not getting enough sleep could really skew your perspective.
Are you actually moving around enough during the day? We weren’t designed to be sedentary all day sitting in front of a computer. Our bodies were designed for movement and we thrive when we can move about and the blood is pumping round. Even if you can’t fit in the time for exercise which really is the ideal then at least get up and walk around regularly. It’s said that even moderate walking can help your brain’s memory centre maintain its health and vitality.
Being able to manage the voice of your inner critic is also key to building resilience. Often when we are about to step outside of our comfort zone and take a risk, the voice of our inner critic usually has something to say. It might be along the lines of ‘who do you think you are?’ ‘`It will never work and you ‘ll end up looking stupid,’ or ‘What’s the point, no-one will listen.’ You get the picture! That voice is designed to keep us small, and if we want to build our resilience and feel confident on the inside then we need to learn how to manage that voice. A simple Clock It, Stop It and Swap It approach can help.
First you have to notice what’s happening as without that awareness the voice will run you. You then have to remember to Stop It – You have a choice and you can let go of listening to the limiting beliefs and negative self-talk. The final part is shifting to a more expansive perspective and swapping the destructive self-talk for something that’s more empowering. How would you speak to your best friend? Often, we are so harsh with ourselves and wouldn’t dream of speaking to our friends in the same way. Think about how compassionate, encouraging and supportive you would be with a friend. Adopt a bit of that for yourself.
The key thing to remember with resilience is that it’s not what happens to us but it’s how we choose to deal with it. A resilient person will make the most of their situation and look for the learning, and perhaps even look to how they can use what they have learned in service of others. It’s been said that a miracle is a shift in perspective. What perspectives may you need to shift in your own life?