Have you ever been dealt a hand that honestly, well stinks? Where an issue continues to become more and more difficult, or a crisis just keep compounding? If you haven’t yet, you will because no one can elude adversity forever.

What I’ve seen to be true is that the more emotionally resilient you are the better you will be at effectively responding to and overcoming adversity.

When I say emotional resilience, I’m talking about the ability and willingness to adapt to stressful situations or crises. And this is a leadership trait that often goes undeveloped and has the potential to lead to some pretty negative outcomes.

When working with my clients who are facing adversity, we typically work through 3 things to help them build emotional resilience.

  1. “Righting the Mind” – taking a look at how they’re viewing or perceiving the adversity
  2. Their action plan for how to overcome the adversity
  3. Their inner drive or will to keeping moving their action plan forward

Righting the Mind

Righting the mind is all about gaining control over your negative emotional state and bringing a more rational and discerning view to the adversity. There are 3 great steps you can take to gain control of your negative emotional state:

Remain calm and do not knee jerk react.

I know this is easier said than done but it’s critical to put into practice. A calmer composure not only helps bring clarity but can also have a more positive effect on others around you. A few tips for how to calm yourself during adverse times:

  • Breathe: This is the most effective way to reduce frustration and anxiety. Breathing in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth can help relax your brain and avoid it from going into flight, fright or freeze mode.
  • Acknowledge you’re feeling frustrated or anxious: Often times when we simply recognize and state what we’re feeling and give ourselves permission to feel it, some of the negativity will dissipate. This is because you’re bringing in some rational thought to what’s happening.
  • Engage in physical activity: Going for a walk run or bike ride is helpful because these activities are known to release serotonin which can help calm you down.

Accurately frame the challenge or adverse situation.

You can’t make good decisions if your understanding of the challenge is flawed. Try these steps:

  • Gather data, perspective and root causes of the challenge as this will help you get the most accurate picture of the situation
  • State or write out the true challenge followed by the facts supporting it
  • Review the facts and ask how true they really are – this will help you ensure you’re not making stuff up in your own mind and open you up to things you might not have otherwise recognized

Breakdown the challenge into workable segments.

Now with a calm and clear perspective of the challenge, focus on breaking it down into smaller more manageable pieces – it’s much easier to develop solutions to smaller pieces vs. trying to boil the ocean.

Create an Action Plan for How to Overcome the Challenge(s)

Now with a calm and clear picture of the challenge and the smaller pieces you need to address, the next step is all about determining what actions will be most effective in overcoming each of the smaller pieces – create the best action plan for each piece that you can.

Develop the Inner Drive or Will to Keep Moving Your Action Plan Forward

As you work your action plan some things will go great but know and be prepared for setbacks because they’re common and very likely to occur.

When setbacks occur, many leaders want to just throw in the towel and walk-away – don’t do this! Instead, tap into your inner strength – these are the set of inner beliefs and attitudes you have that can keep you going. They might include things like:

  • “The things most worth doing are often the hardest”
  • “Difficult things take time”
  • “I’ve faced setbacks before and will face this one too”
  • “Setbacks arise to help me learn resilience”

And if you haven’t developed these types of inner beliefs and attitudes, try it now, then you’ll have them to reference when you need them most.

3 Tips for Building Emotional Resilience

Challenges and adversity are going to happen and your ability to overcome them will be the #1 factor in determining your future success. Just remember to:

  1. Right Your Mind – taking a look at how they’re viewing or perceiving the adversity
  2. Create Your Workable Action Plan
  3. Tap Into Your Inner Drive To Keep Moving Your Action Plan Forward

If you are interested in learning more about these principals or talking about a challenging situation, don’t hesitate to reach out, I’d love to hear from you. You can schedule time with me here.