Maintaining resilience in uncertain times

Maintaining resilience in uncertain times

There are only 3 mindsets:

  1. Expecting to fail
  2. Trying to avoid failure
  3. Expecting to succeed

Merely by changing the way you think (your mindset) you can drive changes in your behaviour.  Yes, it is far easier said than done, but by coaching ourselves to adopt a more positive, helpful frame of mind, we can be more in control of what happens. And yes, it sounds cheesy celebrating small achievements and being grateful, but it’s led by science, our own biochemistry – helping our bodies release more happy hormones – endorphins, dopamine and serotonin – and dialling down the cortisol!

It is a very natural human reaction to feel anxious during times of uncertainty, our ‘fight or flight’ instinct kicks in – it’s there to keep us safe, to help us survive and be on high alert from danger. However, when we overload the brain with too much chatter, too much information, too many thoughts; our nervous system becomes frazzled, we’re overwhelmed, exhausted and decision-making seems like an impossible task.

How we think and behave is a choice and this is the part of the equation that we can control. Recognise how you feel, acknowledge any negative emotions but then consciously decide to channel your energy and focus into the intersection shown above – the bits that are important and that you can control.

What makes a person resilient?

  1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
  2. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity

Resilient people tend to display the following traits:

  • They get that s*?t happens
  • They don’t take it personally
  • They know what they can change
  • And they accept what they can’t

It can be easy to fall into the victim mentality. The “it’s not fair, there’s nothing I can do” stance is often more appealing and less daunting than the “what can I do about it?” attitude. Even if we don’t want to accept a situation, it doesn’t make it go away, we have to take responsibility and make a concerted effort to choose to deal with it.

Kubler Ross’ Change Curve

David Hare in a recent CIM webinar offers the following advice:

  • Focus on what matters and what you can control
  • Choose how you respond
  • Recognise where you are in the change curve (pictured above)
  • Expect to succeed
  • Use your imagination wisely
  • Celebrate wins and positivity
  • Stay connected

Ask yourself:

  • What one step forward could I take today?
  • How do I want to look back on this period in my life?
  • What support can I ask for?
  • What can I feel grateful for today?

If the current Covid-19 situation has taught us anything, it’s to be more mindful – to be in the moment and focus on the now.

Useful resources

  • ACAS the resource for free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice
  • GOV.UK – all government services and information
  • Money Saving Expert – brilliant advice on all things financial


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