Challenges can be like a little tiny stone in your shoe. It’s a bit uncomfortable for a while, and sometimes, you just ignore it, or forget it, or get on with something more important and at the end of the day, when you take your shoe off, the little stone falls out, and you say to yourself, “Oh yes! I forgot all about that, because I was…” Some days, you can’t forget about the stone, and it seems so uncomfortable, that you have to do something right there and then. You take your shoe off, a minuscule scrap falls out, and you say to yourself, “Really? That small? It felt huge! Why was I so bothered by it?”
Challenges are a fact of life
Whatever your business, you need to be resilient. Most of us are, to a greater or lesser extent. But, like anything else, there’s always room for improvement. When was the last time you took stock of your own resilience? It’s an essential cupboard full of wonderful products, designed to help you to cope with life’s inevitable challenges.
Ask yourself, and be brutally honest, how satisfied you are, on a scale of 1-10 with the following:
- what you do to take care of your physical wellbeing (sleep, exercise, diet, managing medical conditions etc)
- what you do to take care of your mental wellbeing (your ability to cope with stress, anxiety etc)
- your go-to group of friends, or special friend who would always help in a crisis, and who you enjoy spending time with, and do this regularly
- the way you relate to, and feel able to speak to, the people who are important to you (could be work, family, friends) and your ability to talk openly and without restriction
- how well you are able to relate to others generally; to walk a mile in their shoes
- what you do over and above the “usual” (perhaps some voluntary work or unpaid kindness)
- Your confidence and self-esteem
There are other facets to resilience too, but these 7 are a good starting point. Are there any key areas of stock which need “topping up”? How might you plan to do that? We often audit available personal “stock” at the beginning of a new year, calendar or financial, and make promises about what we’ll take up, give up, do more of, stop doing, and it might be helpful to categorise your plans to see where they fit in terms of building your resilience.
Always remember: you come first
You’re important. It’s important to build your resilience, and to carry out a regular stock-take, to make sure you can be effective in the multiple roles you are bound to have in your life. Start by choosing just one or two areas, and identify a small step you could take to start making an impact on your own resilience.
Think about what you might need to give up, or let go of. Consider what some call “areas for development”, aka the stuff you’re not so good at. Is it really worth your precious time, not to mention potential stress, to drive yourself to learn and do something you’re just not cut out to do? How much more fulfilled would you be if you used your strengths to work at the stuff you really enjoy, and you have a real talent for? Consider delegating, or outsourcing when you can. Or just say, “no” (have a look here )
For more information about a Resilience Audit, look here. In the meantime, consider what you could do to improve your own “bounce”. Those stones in your shoe won’t magically disappear, but resilience is your well-stocked cupboard, full of products to deal with them.