Building Your Resilience
Hello there! In our last lesson, we learned about the problems that occur when we over apologize. In this lesson, we’re going to focus on resilience.
So, What Is Resilience?
Resilience is about tackling difficulties and setbacks in your life. And, grounding yourself, bouncing back, and getting back on track. In studies on the strength of men and women in the workplace, men fare much better than women.
Why? Because women tend to have more self-doubt, lower self-esteem, and confidence. Making time for us to think, balancing family and work commitments, managing stress. Getting enough sleep and looking after ourselves. Can all help women to stay resilient and be confident.
Having resilience also means choosing how you respond to the unexpected things that life throws your way. And, adapting and thriving in times of complex change.
Our world is in flux. And we’re living with uncertainty. Being able to bounce back and adapt to ever-changing situations is an important life skill, as well as a career skill.
When we feel low and insecure, we’re programmed to focus on negative thoughts that back up the way we feel. For example, if you hand in a report and get mostly great feedback. But one colleague points out an error. This one negative response will weigh on your mind and blank out all the other useful feedback.
Your behavior, location, and thoughts can all act as inventions. If you can change one, then the others might follow. For example, suppose you change your behavior (focusing on good feedback, not the one negative comment). In that case, it will change your mood (good, rather than worried and insecure) and change the outcome (feel confident instead of beating yourself up and ruminating).
When you’re resilient, it’s easier to maintain a positive image of your future, a positive outlook. And imagine brighter and more fun days ahead.
How Can We Work on Our Resilience?
Embrace mindfulness: Professor Mark Williams is the author of a great book called Mindfulness, The Eight-Week Meditation Programme for a Frantic World. He says that mindfulness means knowing what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.
Some great apps can help you get started with mindfulness. But you can also make a conscious effort to notice your thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and the world around you. This is the first step to mindfulness.
Meditation can help with stress and anxiety. And, it can help with procrastination – which we talk more about in lesson six.
Stop apologizing: Women need to stop apologizing. How many times have you used an apology for a situation that didn’t warrant it?
Sometimes we women try to squeeze an apology into every sentence.
• Sorry, can I say something?
• Sorry, this might sound silly
• Sorry, can I interrupt?
• Sorry, I’m nervous, and I always talk way too much.
We’re encouraged to look and listen for other people’s opinions at all times. But it’s damaging to our own reputation and our status. And when we needlessly apologize, it makes others doubt us, and we draw attention to our flaws.
Start tracking how often you say sorry in a day or a week. Once you can see it as a number count, you’ll hopefully be more invested in doing something about it. Also, pop a pound in a jar each time you do it—as your money pot grows, this will show you that you’re doing it too much.
Say “thank you”: Say thanks instead of sorry wherever you can. Let’s say you make a mistake in a document or an email and someone has pointed it out to you. Don’t apologize, say “thanks for pointing that out”, or “good catch!”
If you want to speak up in a meeting, say, “I’d like to share my opinion”.
This can be easier if you set five minutes aside before each meeting. See if you can think of one question or an action point. Then you’re prepared to speak up.
Try to replace pointless sorry’s with accurate statements to communicate your point.
Practice self-care: Good self-care is something we do to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. And, it’s something we all tend not to make enough time for or not prioritize. Or, we do it for others, but not ourselves.
Suitable and relevant self-care is key to staying resilient and reducing anxiety. It’s also essential to a good relationship with others and ourselves. For me, it’s a lie-in, a regular run, a long bath, and time to myself.
Compassion: Self-compassion and compassion for others are essential in becoming more resilient. I practice a charming loving-kindness meditation when I’m feeling stressed. I direct this mediation to the people I care for and people I wish to be happy with, and I refer it to myself.
May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you live with ease.
Doing this kind of meditation is like exercising a muscle. It can help us to feel compassion for others and ourselves.
Your task: I want you to write down ten things that make you a truly brilliant woman. Maybe they are examples of times you have succeeded in a difficult situation, times you’ve shown strength, or a time you’ve overcome something. Think about your values and write about what you’re proud of.
That’s all for this lesson. In our next lesson, we’ll learn about the importance of our breath.
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