The Secret Ingredient
April 2018 Insight
As I have shared over the years, there are “key” components and elements that I have come to learn, not only professionally but personally, that undoubtably lead women to greater success and fulfillment in there lives. But when asked the other day by my 15 year old daughter… “if you had to pick one of the most valuable tools and/or strategies you could offer to one of your clients what would that be?” Without hesitation I responded, the cultivation of resilience. AKA perseverance, tenacity, or as I like to call it the grit factor.
Yes, I have written about resiliency before in some shape or form as I’m all about the concepts behind a mastery mindset. But I have never really given thought to the “secret ingredient”, the one factor that without included, makes a subtle (as in most recipes) but impactful difference to the outcomes of our lives. Regardless, of how skilled, talented, proactive, and well intended we each may be, no one is excused from life’s ups and downs.
Competence under stress, using challenges for growth, not only recovering from trauma but becoming wiser and stronger from it, is how I would best describe the trait of resiliency. And contrary to popular belief, resiliency is not an innate characteristic rather one that can be acquired if cultivated and embraced. Here’s how you can too can access the GRIT factor…
5 Key Components To Becoming More Resilient
#1 Physical Wellbeing– If we aren’t feeling physically strong and capable it will be that much more challenging to take care of our brain and higher-order psychological functioning. Bottomline, the physical factors of sleep, nutrition, hydration, exercise habits, injury/illness as well as body image and even breathing play a vital roll in cultivating resiliency.
#2 Social Connection– Though people’s social needs and desires vary greatly, human beings are social creatures. Interdependency is why we continue to exist. On a biological level social connection leads to a release of oxytocin which dampens the affects of stress responses. Whether you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert surrounding yourself with those that support, motivate and inspire, is one of the most important components in becoming more resilient.
#3 Willingness To Learn – “You win some, you learn some”, in my mind, is a better mantra to live by. Or “there are no stumbling blocks, just stepping stones”, however you want to phrase it, the point being, all experiences whether you would describe them as positive or negative have value. And while pain is inevitable in life, suffering is optional. Of course, we all prefer “positive” experiences but most people would agree it is thru the challenging ones where we learn and then become stronger.
#4 Channel Your Strengths – What were the qualities that got you out of the last rough time in your life? How can you use those strengths to lean on in order to rise above the next challenge you come across? If need be take pen to paper and literally write down your attributes and don’t underestimate the value of building on what you do well rather than focus on what’s not working so well for you. Which brings us to the last component of cultivating resiliency.
#5 Reframe Thoughts & Words – The physical symptoms of stress and fear are remarkably similar to those of excitement- a raised heart beat, blood pumping, and sweaty palms. As Dr. Kelly McGonigal shares (check out her awesome TED talk or book, The Upside Of Stress), “When you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress.” One of the most effective ways to heighten resilience is to change how we speak. Changing our language can change our reality. Language originates from thoughts and feelings. Words, and the intention behind them are either negative or positive in thought. They convey an underlying message to our energy centers creating physical, emotional, and spiritual responses. By seeking the glass is half full perspective you’ll better be able to cope with any challenges, big or small.
Don’t wait for life’s next kick in the ass to come your way, start cultivating resiliency today. This month try practicing just one of these components….it will not only ease the blow but create unexpected opportunities!
Wishing You Always The Best Of Success