This year has certainly been a challenging one by anyone’s standards and, whilst this has been an extraordinary year, life is rarely without it’s fair share of challenges, twists and turns, uncertainties and possibilities. Over time, people generally adapt well over time to life-changing and stressful situations and this is, in part, thanks to resilience.
Resilience can be seen as the ability to be able to ‘bounce back’ but it can also be seen as an opportunity for exploration and profound personal growth. This is, by no means, to belittle or marginalise the extreme difficulties and heartbreak that individuals and businesses have experienced during the current crisis but eventually there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ with the promise of a vaccine…...but will, or should, life return to what it was previously or should we use this as an opportunity to explore change……?
Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stresses. Becoming more resilient not only helps you get through difficult circumstances, it also empowers you to grow and even improve your life along the way.
From my conversations with businesses within our Freedom Works community, whilst not all of them have suffered financially (and some have even prospered for various reasons) many have been required to reflect on their current path, their processes and strategy. While we have been unable to travel freely, we may now think twice about a long commute to the office or a plane journey for a business meeting. How many of us have now been forced to integrate new technology into our day-to-day lives in the form of platforms like Zoom, attending networking events, securing new projects and keeping in touch with our team whilst sitting in our home office or a coworking space much closer to home avoiding long journeys or the daily commute.
Recently I attended a brilliant short course with the amazing Sal Jeffries, Mind and Body Coach, around the subject of ‘uncertainty’ and how to moderate our systems response to threat, in whatever format that might take - currently a global pandemic. To quote the Indian-American entrepreneur and investor, Naval Ravikant, ‘We may not be able to control external events but we can control how we respond to it - change your mindset’.
Sal recommended that we should adopt the attributes of an ‘explorer’ mindset:
An explorer will go to a new territory which requires a mindset of curiosity and courage
To be successful they must understand the direction of travel, keeping an open mind and trying not to predict or fix the eventual outcome
An essential part of the explorers survival kit is a compass…..this representation is our values, our heart, providing for our family, the values by which we will be able to judge whether we are on the right course
….and finally ‘acceptance’ that this will not be an easy journey and it may be uncomfortable and, at times, unsafe.
By adopting the ‘explorer’ mindset, we are freed from our response to threat which could be to run away, to stand still and confront it head on or to be paralysed by fear. We can then start to look for new opportunities…….. whether this is to change our business significantly, to adopt new digital technologies to automate our processes or to take advantage of some of the extraordinary government support that has been on offer such as the Kickstarter scheme or the funding opportunities on offer.