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Creating Successful Leaders

If you’re like many people I know, you’re feeling a bit worn out and beat down. Maybe you’re feeling isolated or overwhelmed by work or life commitments. Maybe you’re sick and tired of cold weather. Or maybe you’re simply weary from the long pandemic and the unusual route our lives have taken over the past year. Whatever the case, now is the time to turn inward for a time and work on building up your resilience.

Building resilience takes time and effort. It’s an ongoing process–something you’ll have to chip away at throughout your life. But the effort is worth it. Your resilience will help you weather life’s storms and prepare you to overcome the everyday annoyances (flat tires, illnesses, burnt dinners, missed deadlines) that we often encounter.

How can you build your resilience and strengthen your mental fortitude? Try one or a few of these four methods:

1. Imagine yourself on the other side

If you’re staring down a particularly troubling problem OR even if you’re feeling less than your best, try thinking about the future. Take a few minutes to sit quietly and imagine life AFTER you’ve overcome your problems. How do you feel? What does life look like? What are you doing?

Thinking about a bright future does two things:

1) It opens you to the possibility that things CAN and WILL get better. This puts you in a better place, mentally and emotionally.

2) It gets you into problem-solving mode. Instead of dwelling on your current woes, you’ll be thinking ahead, which can help you begin to brainstorm how to get to your desired state.

2. Pay attention to your thoughts

You are what you think. If you’re constantly down on yourself, pessimistic, and hopeless, those thoughts will become reality. Thoughts are powerful. They frame our entire existence and carry us from day to day. If you are constantly thinking you can’t do something, you probably won’t do it. It’s really that simple.

Start paying attention to what goes through your mind. If you catch yourself thinking negatively about something, pause and take a step back. How can you reframe that thought? What narrative can you tell yourself instead? What silver lining or bit of hope can you focus on instead of negative aspects? Tuning in and challenging your pessimistic thoughts can set you up to be more resilient and able to roll with the punches.

For more advice on overcoming negative self-talk, please CLICK to read my past blog post on the subject.

3. Practice good self-care

When you’re feeling downtrodden, it could be that you simply need to take some meaningful time for yourself to rejuvenate and reinvigorate. Taking a break (even a short one) can renew your confidence, energize you, and prepare you to face the challenges that lie ahead. If you’d like a few self-care ideas, click HERE.

4. Reach out to others

You don’t have to build resilience on your own. In fact, it’s healthy to reach out to others when you’re feeling low and lean on them for a little support. Seek out those who are caring and compassionate, good listeners, and empathetic. At times, all you really need is a listening ear–someone to help you process difficult moments. Of course, it’s not fair to take, take, take and never give back. Be there for others when they need you, too. The best relationships are reciprocal, and chances are, you’ll find satisfaction in helping others on their journeys as well.

It’s best to reach out to multiple people (or even support groups or a counselor), so you’re not fully reliant on one person. This can be your web–a network of individuals who can catch you when you fall and help you bounce back.

You ARE a resilient person and you CAN make it through difficult times. Make a concerted effort to practice self-reflection, take good care of yourself, and reach out to others when you need a little extra support. You’ve got this.


MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

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