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How to be more resilient in 2021

Reading time:  3 Minutes

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that resilience is key. With a new year ahead of us, global resilience coach Karlin Sloan shares her tips for workers as we face 2021

From the Covid-19 pandemic to the wave of economic loss, personal loneliness, isolation, and deep uncertainty about what’s in store, this is a time when even the toughest of us can find ourselves struggling with stress. How do we recover despite the changing world all around us? We need to tap into our innate human capabilities of resilience.

Resilience is the capacity to bounce back from change and challenge – no matter what the circumstance. It’s our instinctive human hardwiring to stretch, to learn, to grow and to take our circumstances and use them to become better rather than crumble under the weight of stress. Resilience means that we can transcend present circumstances by accepting reality and focusing on a positive future.

Enhancing your resilience is all about your relationships: with yourself (are you confident, optimistic and able to manage your emotions?), with others (do you feel supported and connected?), and with your environment (how do you interpret the events that happen to you and around you?).

So, how do we boost the power of our self-confidence, awareness, positivity and optimism, to be more resilient in 2021?

1. Look after yourself first

First things first, our own self-care is critical. Think of the aeroplane oxygen mask analogy and remember to put on your own first. This might mean taking time on a daily basis to exercise, meditate, read something uplifting or listen to music that feeds your soul. If you’re not practising those basics, read no further because you’ve got work to do, starting with yourself.

2. Shift your focus to the good, the true and the possible

Make a list of what’s going right. Sometimes, during challenging times, we can go down a long trail of what’s wrong, placing all of our focus on things that reinforce our fear and uncertainty. Yet there are still good things in this world, even when they have moved into our peripheral vision. What we focus on and prioritise broadens and builds, so concentrate on what those things are.

3. Appreciate the difficult ones

Is there anyone in your life who has challenged you, abused you, angered you, or otherwise vexed you? Take the time to write down what you have learned or developed based on their presence in your life. Give thanks for what you have learned, how you’ve grown, or what you’ve been pushed to do because of them. This exercise can be difficult, but it helps us to develop a more resilient and growth-focused mindset.

4. Help generously

When you’re feeling hopeless, find an opportunity to help someone who needs it. This can be as simple as offering your support to a colleague who’s behind in their work or talking to someone who’s feeling lonely. It could also be taking the time to find a way to lend your skills to the world in a new way, perhaps through volunteering, if you have time. Donate if you have resources. Do what feels good and pat yourself on the back because it’s good to do good!

5. Tell yourself a new story

One of the most important tools in your toolkit is the power of stories to change how you perceive your reality. The more you focus on telling stories of growth, empowerment and positivity, the more access you’ll have to your own resilience.

Think of something that’s been difficult for you lately. Start small, with something in your personal sphere versus the larger world that may feel out of your control. Apply an optimistic style to whatever you’re facing by focusing on what’s happening as a temporary, isolated event that you will transcend.

Once you’ve mastered your ability to reshape your storytelling, your ability to bounce back will increase exponentially.

Karlin Sloan is a global leadership & development expert, CEO of Sloan Group International and author of new book, Inspiring Leadership for Uncertain Times.

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