December is often a time for reflection.
As the end of the calendar year approaches it’s only natural to think about the successes and challenges we faced over the previous 12 months.
For many of us it has been a real struggle. And it’s important to acknowledge that.
Whether it was personal, professional, societal, financial or health related – the last 2 years have been really difficult. And they have forced us to dig deep into ourselves and think about what it is that is really important in our lives.
As the year started and vaccines rolled out it was possible to think that the pandemic would soon be over.
And yet here we are again with a new variant threatening our progress and the numbers of infections climbing over the 100k mark on a single day.
It may seem hopeless at times. But this is where resilience principles can actually really make a difference in every aspect of your life and help you find the strength to face all your challenges with dignity and resolve.
So as we approach a new year, let’s look at how you can apply them.
Perspective – Adopt an Optimistic Mindset
It’s simply human nature to respond to uncertainty with fear. It’s a fight or flight response that humans have evolved over millennia. And we’ve all had our share of uncertainty. Unfortunately a side effect of this is a negative mindset – a hopelessness.
But it doesn’t need to be this way. You can begin by enhancing your awareness of your thoughts and how they are affecting you. You need to make the mental shift from limiting beliefs to focusing on the possibilities, to what can be.
Purpose – Make a Difference
This last year has led many of us to question our sense of purpose. This is in no small part responsible for the “great resignation” organizations across the country are now struggling with. A sense of purpose necessary to thrive.
But we’ve been knocked off track. And a lot of us have lost our passion and energy for the work we do.
But you can rediscover and re-energize your sense of purpose.
Ask yourself, ‘How can I make a difference in the lives of others? Look forward to this time next year and commit to making your small part of the world better for those around you.
Perseverance – Take Care of Yourself
It’s been a hard year for everyone. It’s pushed many of us to the breaking point. But we all need to dig deep and find the courage to push through to the other side.
Perseverance isn’t about working harder, it’s about creating an environment in which you can persevere… psychologically, emotionally, and physically.
Stress and anxiety are huge threats to your overall wellbeing. Strategies such as good nutrition, exercise, sleep, meditation, and deep breathing can help you manage stress, frustration, and anxiety.
Partnership – Practice Empathy
Empathy is your ability to be fully present, listening to what others are sharing with you about their experiences, and relating to their experiences as if you were walking in their shoes. Now more than ever it is important to listen and acknowledge your friends, family and co-workers and let them know they ARE being heard.
One of the techniques I’ve found to be very effective is reflective listening skills, such as repeating or summarizing what has been said.
Empathy is powerful in its simplicity.
Praise – Generously Share Appreciation & Recognition
With everything in flux personally and professionally for so many of us it’s hard to even know where to begin. Everything can seem so overwhelming. It’s only natural – based on the fight or flight response I talked about earlier – to focus on the negative…all the time.
But it is critical to recognize both the effort of others and their accomplishments. When everything is dark – the smallest ray of light shines that much brighter. Being that ray of light helps you as much as it helps others.
How have you faced the challenges of 2021? What strategies have worked for you? I want to know.
Send me an email or respond in the comments.
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