Mental Resilience :
Leveraging Mental Resilience to Take a Leap in your Leadership Excellence
Mental Resilience, as a concept has recently gained a lot of traction, especially, in the corporate world.
But, regardless of whether you’ve heard of this term or not, I would not jump into any common definitions so soon. Rather, I would like to start by asking you something: Caught up in the daily grind that involves several ups and downs, how much have you prepared yourself for the changes and challenges? Sample this: You are all geared up for presenting one of your breakthrough reports to your top management, and you get to hear about a distant, yet, dear friend’s severe illness right before the meeting. You can’t leave office and can’t forego the presentation either! Or, when you are all set to leave the office this evening to celebrate your son’s birthday, and you receive an email from one of your most crucial clients – citing an escalation. Your heart sinks as you read this email loaded with complaints and negative feedback on your recently delivered sprint. More so, what about times when all of this rather, becomes a routine – when you can’t communicate things to your boss or employees Or, you feel trapped in toxic environment and politics?
No wonder these are not Adam tales but real-life extremes that have happened with people around us. They seem impossible unless they happen with you. But the question that again arises here is, how much are you mentally-prepared to handle these sudden changes or challenges in your life? Do you yet know whether you will actually respond or merely react when a hard situation arises?
The Conundrum Inside your Brain
Before we delve into that, see what happens inside your brain when you hear something unexpected: Surprises or shocks can cause your brain to freeze for a few milliseconds, then trigger a reaction which is influenced by intense emotions such as anger and despair. It can cause a breakdown or violence, too. This is where you can improve your resilience and differentiate yourself in leadership traits.
Your Mental Resilience at Play
Introducing Mental Resilience: Any hard situations, as discussed above, are a real test of your Mental Resilience levels and a platform to show your strength against life’s oddities.
Resilience has to do with your Mental Toughness. While there are two schools of thought here – one saying you are born with it while another advocating that you acquired the toughness through life experiences – I would agree with both. We all have it in us, and situations put our ability to cope with problems to practice, but the question you need to ask yourself is how much do you realise and believe in that power that lies within you and how successfully you bring it into practice at the right time. Further, take this example of your workplace, where you spend about 40 hours a week – certainly because it a critical function in your life.
Now, this workplace is always conducive to changes as we know only constant is change. These changes could manifest in the form of new co-workers, new managers etc., and can sometimes be so daunting, especially, if you are someone never open to changes or if the new person has a completely contrasting behaviour. Your current supervisor, for instance, is under a lot of pressure from the top, begins to pass it on to you – in the form of sudden year-end goals, doubled number of deliverables, etc. These pressures slowly pile up into more hard-pressed situations when you have too much on your plate – that is full already, and you need to prioritise your work over all the commitments you made to your family or friends. This may increase your daily stress. And, there you are. It’s all about how you respond to these challenges – your resilience in the face of change – that further determines whether you will succeed or fail, whether you are resilient already or need to learn. So, are you really prepared to practice this in 2019 and take your leadership skills to the next level of excellence?
How you Practice Resilience in a Hard Situation
Humans react oddly when they see their control or support slipping out of their fingers and changes in management or responsibilities, etc at workplace are all examples of such situations. So, here’s what you could do about handling it:
First Step is to Identify and Accept the Change:
This is also about self-awareness; any challenging situation could initially make even the most profound leaders fall. But what is important here is that you know what this painful experience teaching you.
Second step is to start by asking yourself out of the box questions or Are you ready to ask yourself some tough questions?
• What is that one thing that is bothering you the most?
• What is the best and the worst that could happened in current situation?
• Define a storyline each for the worst and best situations.
• What can you personally do to bring about the better version of your problem to reality and prevent the worse one from manifesting?
• If the circumstance is hard to get rid of or beyond your control, how can you choose to experience it differently?
• What can you learn about yourself from this experience?
If you are truly seeking for change, your perspective to seeing your problem might already be broadened after answering the above questions.
Looking Ahead: When Everything is Still Okay
If you practice resilience in your day to day life, you use tough circumstances and rise above them. First of all, you accept job insecurities and learn ways to mitigate the risks. You do that further, by admitting that any unproductive approach may not serve you for long. You then make a choice. You cope constructively with job insecurities by throwing yourself into work – performing to your highest calibre, learn from experiences, and treating your co-workers as well as employers exactly the way you want them to treat you. Well, all of this may still not make your job shielded against any layoff, for instance, but it will guarantee your prospects for finding a valuable position in other companies – by imbibing diligence and conscientiousness in you, since you qualify to practice your resilience in harsher situations.