There has been a great deal of change in all of our lives over the past 2 years, much more than any of us was expecting. In some way we’ve all had to become more resilient to navigate our way through lockdown, isolation, and of course the threat of COVID. At Collingwood we still have bi-weekly learning hours and a few weeks ago we watched another interview on ‘the high-performance podcast’ and they were talking about resilience. An interesting point was made that our environment influences greatly our need to be resilient. In other words, a kind and supportive environment will require much less resilience. 

Resilience enables us to react to a negative situation, perceived or real, in a more constructive way. Here are a few ways to ‘build’ resilience:

Challenge – How do we view and therefore react to challenging situations? There are times in our lives where challenge is exciting and times when it can be terrifying. I am reading a book at the called ‘Can’t hurt me’, which is the life story of someone that became a Navy Seal and took on countless physical challenges including ultra-marathons. It really talks about the mind as a muscle and that we can exercise our mindset in terms of challenging ourselves repeatedly, and really seeing what we are capable of. If we can respond to move challenges positively then this will make us more resilient.

Purpose – Its true to say that the COVID period has given us all a lot of time to re-evaluate and understand what is really important to us. May people have had a complete reset. Having a clear purpose or direction informs us of how we want to do things and also what we want to do. Having a clear purpose will help us become more resilient

Emotional control – In adverse conditions or situations we often respond in an emotional way as opposed to a rational way. Another book we are reading in our learning hour is a book by professor Steve Peters called ‘A path through the jungle’. The author is best known for the bestselling book ‘The Chimp Paradox’ and specialises in the functioning of the human mind. Its given me awareness of how my mind works when it reacts to situations and that it’s the emotional part that is first to respond but really it’s the rational part of the mind that will help us cope better with situations.

Balance – Having a balanced life that allows us to give time and attention to our life priorities will inevitably give us more resilience. Working from home either 100% of the time or in a hybrid working place could allow us more time to focus on priorities, as we no longer have the commute. Equally as there are increasingly blurred boundaries between home and work (if you are working from home) that can also create a potential problem. Being clear on our priorities, which ties in with purpose, allows to to plan time for those priorities and recognise when they are being neglected.

The COVID period has provided us all with time to reflect, be clear on life’s priorities and hopefully make some positive changes. The world is ever changing, and each day presents multiple challenges in and outside of work. Being more resilient can only help us in life generally. Being kind and thoughtful will also help others indirectly as well.