How to Stay Resilient in the Face of Continued Challenge

1 February 2021|Resilience, Success

 If ever there was a time to test and build your resilience, 2020 was it. As it turns out, 2021 is also giving us a run for the money as the pandemic rages on and people worldwide grapple with life in lockdown or with severe restrictions. 

When no finish line is in sight, resilience is more than the ability to bounce back. We need to come stronger on the other side, we need to have the ability to celebrate small wins and pivot as and when needed. Sustainable resilience is much needed to carry you through endlessly trying times – much like what we’ve had thrown at us by COVID-19.

So, how do you keep going when the going will be tough for a longer time than you’re comfortable with? Our ‘Be Unstoppable’ cards have tips on how to keep adapting when the finish line is far ahead. Below, you’ll find three resilience tips along with the research that shows why these techniques work.

Focus on the immediate, smaller goals

Big goals often take a long time to achieve. Focusing on small wins can lead to big behavioral changes and the accomplishment of something great. Concentrating on realizing smaller goals helps to build momentum and the mindset needed to achieve bigger longer-term objectives. 

Little successes add up. They keep you motivated and working toward the bigger goal that you’ve chosen. So focus on the smaller goals leading to bigger objectives.

If you plan to complete a marathon but have never run a mile, you need to start small. Trying to run 26.2 miles in one go will rob your motivation, along with your breath. Instead, begin with building fitness and stamina. Step one is to find the right shoes and equipment. Step two is to start running 3 miles, maybe three days each week, and increase the distance each month. Step three is to incorporate other exercises – like biking or swimming – to improve overall fitness and endurance. You may also want to make changes to your diet. Hiring a fitness coach or taking advice from someone who has run the marathon before will also prove to be helpful.

These smaller steps over the year would add up to improved strength, stamina, and fitness. Achieving small fitness milestones along the way – like running 3 miles without getting out of breath – keeps you motivated and positive.

Similarly, aiming to increase your sales by 100% at year-end requires you to focus on the smaller steps that will take you there. This could include spotting and filling the gaps in your sales process and creating a lead qualifying process that enables you to spend more time with promising potential customers. A target to improve monthly sales by 8 – 9% each month also moves you toward the 100% increase goal. Each change and incremental increase adds up. Small steps help you grow in confidence and learn as you move forward.

Break down big objectives into smaller steps and celebrate these achievements as you walk toward your thousand-mile goal.

Manage the negativity bias

All of us have a negativity bias – a tendency to focus on difficult and negative situations more than positive ones. We have stronger reactions to adverse situations. We remember and dwell upon scathing comments for far longer than compliments.

This natural tendency is thought to have helped us survive as hunter-gatherers. Continually looking out for predators and threats kept us safe from harm. However, a similar approach in modern life can suck the joy from our triumphs.

While living a blinkered existence that denies difficult situations is just as unhelpful as over-focus on the negative; having a balanced view of life and its challenges supports sustainable resilience. One way to do this is by consciously looking for the blessings in disguise.

There is no denying that 2020 has been difficult for a lot of businesses out there. But, within all challenges lies opportunity – you just need to look for it.

The hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit by lockdown rules and stay-at-home directives. Some of the savvy restaurateurs looked for the opportunity and quickly pivoted to ensure their businesses were able to continue serving customers in innovative ways. Some businesses began offering takeaways or drive-thrus for the collection of meals. Others took to creating home cooking videos so diners could recreate their favorite meals in their own kitchens. Pandemic-friendly cooking videos are a new product that can provide additional income long after their doors open again.

Without the problem of forced closure, these restaurants may never have spotted a new opportunity for growth.

Remain open to possibilities | Stay Curious

When things get tough, it’s common for us to knuckle down and adopt a tunnel vision approach to achieving objectives. Part of being resilient is the ability to adapt, and you can do that by remaining curious.

Curiosity leads to new questions, connections, and a deeper understanding of our experiences. It’s a fundamental trait of resilient people because it allows them to become more aware of themselves and the problems they may face.

curious frame of mind is essential for building sustainable resilience. Exploring new things, making new connections, and asking questions keep us moving forward. It opens our eyes to new opportunities and avenues for adapting to changing circumstances. Reading books or articles on a variety of topics, following your passion, and asking simple questions such as ‘How’ or ‘What’ are all good ways to become more curious. When learning new things we make new connections between them and the things we already know – which can often further ignite our curiosity and passion for a familiar subject or a new topic.

Our resilience enables us to find the stamina we need to keep rising to a challenge when there is no end in sight. Where we choose to focus – the destination or the next step, how we manage set-backs and view them (failure or opportunity?), and remaining curious about our lives and the multiple challenges we will face are three ways we can build on our resilience to carry on working towards our goals – even when the end is far from sight. For a pocket full of motivation and helpful resilience tips, take a look at our ‘Be Unstoppable’ pack of cards.

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