Life is filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, joy and sadness – which is all part of being human. We are faced with constant uncertainty, without which, we wouldn’t be living. For some, change, uncertainty and the unknown cause fear, anxiety and panic, this is where resilience steps in.
To be resilient is to be open to the idea of ambiguity, embracing the challenges it brings, feeling the emotions, being in the present knowing that the future will be better. COVID has brought a huge amount of uncertainty on such a massive scale, that now more than ever, we need to be building our resilience.
Here are my 4 pillars to building better resilience.
There is always an element of trust when it comes to uncertainty, trusting that things will balance out and that the universe has a plan for us – when we lose something or we feel lost, and things feel weird or sad, we have to trust that this was not the path intended for us. We have to trust in ourselves, trust our gut and our intuition to guide us. Trust that you won’t stay lost for ever. In trusting, you build resilience by not getting dragged down to the bottom of the ocean where fear, anxiety of panic resides, you stay in the present and ride the wave.
At times when we need to be resilient, we ultimately have to connect with ourselves, we have to turn inward and reflect on who we are, what we want and need and how we can achieve this. Coaching is an excellent way to do this, to learn more about who you are and create a stronger awareness and connection with yourself. Connect with those people who really are there for you, who can see what’s best for you, or at least can assist you in the journey of discovery. Maybe it’s a shared connection of a shared feeling – COVID for example, share with your people and connect to build resilience together. Connect with nature and remind yourself of what it means to be alive.
I’m talking being kind to yourself not mean, building yourself up not down, speaking to yourself like you would to your best friend. Look after yourself, take care of your body, mind and soul. Practice mindfulness or meditate, get your body moving, sleep well, eat well and be kind! Try to steer away from “masks” such as alcohol or drugs, as these mask the problem and create more waves of uncertainty which ultimately means more resilience work. Take time to be there for others, be good to those that need you and bring some positivity into your realm. Become aware of your inner critic who is trying to sabotage things for you and reframe these thoughts, try thinking compassionately “what might a more compassionate solution to this be?”
Sometimes when life feels more of an uphill struggle, it is important to gain some perspective. Will I still feel like this in a year? What are some other ways I could view this? If I were to take a step back, what does the situation now look like? Try to think of a time when you’ve felt lost or stuck, or whatever you are feeling while you’re standing at the bottom of the mountain unsure of how an earth you’ll get to the top. What was useful last time? What have I learnt from previous experiences that could benefit me now? Part of gaining perspective is also about acceptance, change and uncertainty is inevitable, but by learning to accept, we are building our resilience. Try to spend some time visualising where you want to be, maybe try jumping forward into future you and try taking steps back to present you – a different perspective can bring new ideas which we can’t see from where we currently are.