Do You Have Personal Resilience?
There’s a feeling that many of us get when we’re in the grey zone.
Personally, I tend to start taking more shallow breaths (which you need to pay attention to or you’ll hyperventilate), then I get distracted, then I start to sweat. Are you aware of your response to situations or conditions that make you uneasy?
How we manage ourselves in this grey zone, or the unknown, is an important awareness-building exercise as we practice navigating our working-life with more ease and confidence.
I attended a workshop led by Gregg Braden this past year. His latest book is called The Turning Point: Creating Resilience in a Time of Extremes.
Braden says we’re living the emergence of a new “normal,” and the success of our transition hinges upon: (1) our willingness to acknowledge the shift, and (2) how we learn to adapt to it. He says the key is that when you know where you’re going, you know what to take with you. And when you find yourself going somewhere you’ve never been, you prepare for the unknown.
Our ‘Unknown’ here in Atlantic Canada has been Spring. Our wacky weather has had a negative impact not only on businesses, but individually it has created challenging and sometimes dangerous daily commutes. Just dropping our children safely at school amid snow banks twice their size has felt like a momentous chore. So using this wacky winter as an example, let’s do a quick litmus test:
Skill testing question: “If you think about the comments, attitudes and behaviors demonstrated by the majority over the past few months would you say that we as individuals and communities are resilient and prepared for potential extremes? “
Yes? No? Can you relate how you’ve handled the weather extremes in your personal life to how you handle unexpected events at work?
One way Braden speaks of building personal resilience is through a method called Attitude Breathing®.
Essentially we want to regulate our emotions to better cope by breathing through the unknown. If you’ve read my book, NAIL IT! , then you’re well versed in how to Name and Reframe. Now you just have to add in the breathing. Attitude Breathing® was developed by scientists at the Institute of HeartMath. Adapted and very briefly it goes like this:
Step 1. Recognize the unwanted attitude – eg ‘despair’
Step 2. Identify and breathe in a replacement attitude – eg.‘hopeful’.
Step 3. As you breathe in ‘hopeful’, try to centre the breathing through your heart area. Take many deep breaths and as you breathe, attempt to diffuse the drama from the negative word ‘despair’. Like, “I’m no longer getting a charge out of that word – It’s not that big a deal. I’m choosing to feel hopeful.”
It takes some practice, but give it a try; it’s one tool of many in my coaches tool kit. Cultivating our own sense of resilience and managing ourselves in the grey zone are essential skills to build if we expect to thrive in uncertain times. It’s well worth the investment.
Wishing You Full Career Alignment and Success,