Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
- Helen Keller

Personal resilience - the struggle is real

06.06.2018

Many people I train or coach on the subject of resilience (wellbeing) are high performers seeking to differentiate from their peers by “going the extra mile” and often the path they take is one of long hours… working harder, but not always smarter.  I did it too… who am I kidding, I still do it from time to time. 

We must repeatedly commit to maintaining our health and sanity in a world of high demands and high change.  Surrounded by peers who wear stress as a badge of honour it takes courage to be different – but we must be the change we seek.

Resilience is the ability to take the challenges and changes of life in your stride and keep walking forward with purpose and energy.

We all know we should exercise regularly, eat healthy food, stay hydrated, get good quality sleep and take steps to maintain our mental and emotional wellbeing. Why then is there often a gap between our intentions and our actions? Why do we keep falling off the wagon so to speak? And how do we make maintaining our personal resilience a way of life?

For many, a significant emotional event provides a strong anchor that helps them recommit to self-care. Losing a loved one, having a serious health scare, or actual ill-health can provide a focus. But still I hear of people who have had two heart-attacks already and still don’t take their self-care seriously.  I wonder what it will take to change their behaviour? 

I have had many conversations with people on the struggle for resilience... people list all the demands on their time, all the things they are doing with their life, the families they are raising, the teams they lead, the businesses they are growing, the good causes they contribute to, and how they are already maxed out living a full and interesting life.  I get it. I love being, and being around high performers too. However, maybe it's time for a quick sanity check that the level of demands you currently have for work, family, friends, lifestyle etc are something you can sustain long-term.  Even if you're driving a high performance car you still need to stop, service and re-fuel periodically.

What currently motivates you to give all your time and energy to others? A fear of missing out? A desire to be 'the best'? A passion for helping others? How much impact can you really have when you're not at your best... despite what the outward PR might convey?

What more could you be, do, have if you were fully fuelled every day and operating at your best?

What do you need to believe, to value you enough, to prioritise your self-care?

It takes courage to be honest with yourself about the gap between your intentions and your day-to-day actions on self-care.

It takes courage to set aside the habits of being insanely busy and people pleasing… they are often a shield we use, so we don't have to look inside at what's really going on.

Will you stop for a short while and listen to the wisdom within you that is calling you to self-care? There may be resistance or emotions that come to the fore, that’s okay, burying them isn’t working anyway.  Allow the emotions to flow and re-commit to self-care, every day if you have to.  It’s a crazy world out there and we need to keep recommitting to building resilience until it is a habit.

Stick with it, a richer more productive life is on the other side.

Take care folks, and please call if you could do with help on this, don't wait to learn the hard way.

Angela

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