Resiliency: The Superpower that will get you through this pandemic
Like so many of you, we have spent the last several days and weeks being consumed by the news and impact of the rapidly growing coronavirus (COVID-19). At this unprecedented time in our history it’s natural for us all to feel fear and concern for ourselves, our families, our jobs, our businesses and our communities as we live day to day with this constantly changing landscape. In addition, we are suddenly faced with having to navigate the possibility of homeschooling while adapting to changes in the workplace regarding our professional stability, working remotely and social distancing. The challenges and threats are real and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless when faced with such uncertainty.
The good news is that as humans we’re resourceful, strong and capable of overcoming the many challenges life throws our way. We even have the opportunity to come out stronger on the other side. The key is to dig in and build our mental resilience. There are many ways to do this and below we’ve shared some of the coaching tools that will help you not only survive but thrive during this difficult time.
Before we dig into how you build your resilience it’s important to understand what resilience is and why it’s important at this crucial time. Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. All of those things could be potential impacts of what we’re all facing today with the (COVID-19) pandemic. As much as resilience involves “bouncing back” from these difficult experiences, it is also the key to help us navigate the difficult experiences and an opportunity to experience personal and even professional growth.
According to the research of leading psychologist, Susan Kobasa, there are three elements that are essential to resilience or as she called it ‘psychological hardiness’: personal control, challenge and commitment. They are defined below with some practical resilience building tools that you can put into practice during this chaotic and uncertain time.
Challenge – Refers to the mindset and the perspective from which you view life’s challenges. We get t0 choose whether we see ourselves as a powerless victim of the situation or see it as an opportunity to use our natural gifts and abilities to creatively work through these difficult circumstances and be of service to others. The choice is ours!
“What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.” – Robin Sharma
COVID-19 Leadership Coaching Tip #1
What Have You Learned So Far?
- Ask yourself, what’s the gift in this situation? What have you learned about yourself so far?
- What’s the opportunity for your personal, professional or leadership growth?
Gratitude – According to Harvard Health, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
- Practice gratitude during this time by writing down three things each night that you are grateful for that day. Encourage your family to do the same and have each person share one thing they are grateful for during a family meal.
Personal Control – Refers to where you focus your time and energy. You can either focus on situations and events that you have control over or on the things you don’t. There are two types of control: internal and external. To have an internal locus of control is to know that we can’t influence all the external events in our lives; instead we know we have a choice in how we react to our stressors. To have an external locus of control means to believe that you have little control over what happens to you, and that fate or destiny dictates your circumstances. We get to choose where we focus and let go of worrying about things we can’t.
You may not control all the events that happen to you,
but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
– Maya Angelou
COVID-19 Leadership Coaching Tip #2
What Can You Control?
- Ask yourself what you can control in this situation. Make a list.
- Ask yourself what you can’t control in this situation. Make a list.
- Being honest and compassionate with yourself, on which of the above things are you spending most of your energy and attention right now?
- How can you focus more on the things you can control? What would that look like? Make a plan.
- Limit your time on social media and the news. It’s easy to unconsciously get caught up in all of the news and feel powerless.
Commitment – Research shows that when people faced with significant adversity are committed to finding meaning, and take an active, problem-solving approach to life from that perspective they are more resilient and are able to navigate life’s challenges better. Practically this means that during this crisis it’s important for you to remember what’s most important to you and stay committed to your values, goals and purpose.
COVID-19 Leadership Coaching Tip #3
Stay Accountable to Your Goals
- Make a list of the things that will keep you healthy and balanced during this time (ie. your values). Some examples to consider: health, family, learning, wellness, etc.
- Pick your top three values and come up with goals that will keep you focused on what them during this difficult time. Make them SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, timely and relevant)
- Make a plan to stay accountable to your goals. Post them where your family will see them, share them with your friends, find a virtual accountability partner (a coach!) or group.
- Share your additional tools for others in the comments below!
Be safe, stay well and remember that despite the chaos, we as humans always have the power to choose what we focus on. At Coaching 4 Good, we’re choosing to focus on hope, optimism and being of service. As a social impact business, we are even more committed to partnering with you on your journey by helping you to focus on the good and continuing to move forward both personally and professionally. Connect with us and let us know how we can help! www.coaching4good.com