Finding my own pace and being anchored to my own needs.

Part of building resilience for me, at the moment in time, is finding my own pace. I am leaning into both consistency and flexibility and consistently quieting the pace of others. This is challenging, don’t get me wrong. The pressure of succeeding, working hard, achieving is ingrained and I still believe in it. As we all know, other things happen all around us that are not related to work but our work is impacted. So having resilience is important to all parts of your life.

We had a chat about resilience at our last team meeting. It is word we throw about but people often have different definitions for what resilience means for them. Simply. resilience is the ability to bounce back when faced with challenging or difficult situations. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), resilience is “the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands.”  The good news- resilience can be practised and learnt but is takes an individual approach.

According to George Bonanno, Ph.D., a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University Teachers College and director of the Loss, Trauma, and Emotion Lab, he tells SELF;

“Because resilience is ever-changing and also specific to certain events or stressors, it’s not necessarily the type of skill you can measurably build in the way you would lift increasingly heavier weights or become more fluent in French. Instead, the best thing you can do to boost your resilience over time is build a robust toolbox of research-backed coping strategies to help you manage stress and even trauma as it happens. Some options for those skills include:

Identify and use your strengths: “Identify your own personal, unique character strengths or your best qualities that come most naturally (e.g., bravery, humour, compassion, etc.) and try to brainstorm ways you can use those strengths to overcome adversity,” McGuire recommends. “If compassion is your strength, how can you use your natural ability to be compassionate toward others to help cope with whatever it is you’re facing? This idea comes from positive psychology research that suggests utilizing personal strengths can help enhance well-being.”

Building on the compassion idea as an example, if that’s a strong suit of yours, you could put it into practice with altruism. Helping other people is a proven method of feeling better in difficult times. What’s more, it could also be a way of strengthening your own support network—another important predictor of resilience.

Practice emotional acceptance: “We know that avoiding emotions can be harmful, whereas accepting our emotional experiences often frees people to focus their attention on what’s important to them,” McGuire says. “This means giving yourself permission to feel whatever emotions you might be feeling during a time of crisis. That permission or acceptance of emotional experiences can lead to a greater ability to decide how you want to respond to your circumstances.” This is known as emotional regulation, and it can be tough to wrap your head around, much less practice. Here are some tips that may help.

Strengthen your cognitive coping skills: Think of this as focusing on a group of skills founded on cognitive behavioural therapy, like better problem-solving and “positive reappraisal” (basically, reframing the situation so you can focus on any possible bright side).

How can you strengthen resilience to have a rewarding work life?

Central Test offers a solution:
Self – Acceptance + Growth Mind-set = Strengthened Resilience 

Self-Acceptance – it is defined as the ability of an individual to accept their attributes and personality whether good or bad. It acts as a protection from criticisms, challenges, and enables one to believe in one’s capacities. It enables an individual to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and have a clear understanding of who they are and where they are at present concerning work, relationships, personal life etc. Self-acceptance is a result of being aware of oneself.

Self-acceptance is not only acknowledging the imperfections, it is also seeking to improve them, if we want a rewarding life then we need to grow as well.

Growth Mindset – There are two mindsets, one being the ‘Growth mindset’ and the other being the ‘Fixed mindset’. Individuals with a fixed mindset believe that they are what they are and there is no room to grow and they get bogged down by failures. They avoid challenges, disregard feedback, have low self-esteem and do not believe in their capabilities. While individuals who have a growth mindset are more open to challenges, view failure as a path to success and actively excel during challenges.

With a growth mindset, it is easier to set challenging goals, and always look to strive, experiment and learn new things. This is why, when an individual is faced with changing times, she can quickly adapt and look forward to learning something new through the process.

Coming Back to Pace

Perhaps it feels easier with age and experience or maybe it has just taken me awhile to give myself permission to find my own pace. The rush and sense of urgency to get as much done, as soon as possible, has retreated, a bit. It feels good to be anchored in my own flow and needs. It feels good to say no to some pressures which really do not matter.  I believe it is a level of acceptance that enables me to feel rooted in my own pace. And truth be told, it makes me better at what I do and my pace adapts to what I need. The key point is that I dictate the pace. The big lie of more is more has never felt more wrong. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes finding space is exactly the missing piece, especially when it comes to creativity and being original.

I am my own anchor and the chain that connects me is fluid and moves with the strength of being safely grounded.