My new favorite meme is one of Wonder Woman in full regalia laid out flat on her back with her eyes closed. Above her are the words “It’s fine. It’s fine. I’ll do everything.” Below her is a repetition of the sentence, “I’m fine.”
I don’t know about you, but I feel like there are a LOT of people who feel like this right now. Myself included! And although some people are getting tired of talking about resilience, the truth is it is more than just some recent buzzword. It is and always has been a critical skill for successfully navigating the workplace and leading others.
Resilience is action-oriented.
I define resilience as “One’s personal or a team’s capacity, recovery, adjustability, or elasticity. The ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change. The ability to act and adapt in the face of adversity and constraint.” It is a skill that can be developed, and it requires intentional action and effort to put it into practice.
Resilience is what helps us maintain progress and productivity in the face of challenges. Studies have shown that highly resilient work environments actually improve creativity, enhance decision-making, and lower stress. If you are looking to build your own resilience or the resilience of your team, try these five simple strategies and one quick tip.
Reframe your fixed mindset and activate your creativity
Try asking “What can we make of this?” when presented with a difficult situation or disappointment. If you’re having trouble shifting into creative response mode, fire it up by intentionally engaging in an activity where you need to create: cooking, sketching, or even taking a note from the little ones in your life and playing with blocks, clay or building an office fort can help you break your fixed mindset!
The same area of our brain that is activated in response to physical pain is activated during times of exceptional stress or high levels of uncertainty. First, understand this may be negatively impacting how you or those around you are reacting to the situation. Second, adjust accordingly! Give yourself some extra rest and be a little more cautious with your energy and what you’re tackling each day.
Understand what challenges your resilience
Spend some time pinpointing what really knocks you or your team off course in terms of responding resiliently. Then, identify ways you can solve for these problems ahead of time so you have a variety of helpful responses available when needed. If you find there’s not much you could do in the event of something happening, can you adjust your mindset instead and accept it as a possibility so it doesn’t totally throw you for a loop if it happens?
Celebrate the wins! (even the small ones)
Take time every day to celebrate the wins. Even if you have to dig deep to find them. The actual act of celebrating wins releases the feel-good chemical dopamine in our bodies. It also reinforces directional accuracy, essentially sending yourself or your team the message, “More of this, please!” It doesn’t have to be a major undertaking, either. A simple virtual high-five, enthusiastic fist-pump, or a hearty woohoo! will do.
Make sure you have an outlet
Studies have shown that recovery from adverse situations is enhanced by having one genuine connection with another person. Find someone you can check in with regularly who can serve as an outlet for you when you need a sounding board or a safe space to share some difficult feelings.
This one is pretty simple, folks. Go play. Do something that makes you laugh wholeheartedly. Lose yourself in an activity. If you are stuck for ideas, try thinking back to what worked for you when you were a kid, and try that! Play is one of the fastest ways to recharge and ensure you are ready to surf the next wave when it arrives.
This blog post is part of a four-part mental health series presented by Nicole Lance for Mental Health Awareness Month. Join Nicole and Eric M. Bailey, CEO of Bailey Strategic Innovation Group, for a free ICMA webinar on Friday, May 29 titled, Extraordinary Resilience.
Nicole Lance empowers individuals and teams to accelerate outcomes through strategy. She is the CEO of Lance Strategies and managing partner of EXB Team and serves those who serve by providing training, coaching, facilitation, and strategic planning services. Find out more about how Nicole can serve your team at www.nicolelancestrategies.com and www.EXBteam.com.