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Mind hacks to building resilience

Now we have all heard the term ‘resilience’ thrown around from time to time, but what does it really mean?

Personally, I define resilience as the ability to overcome trying times.

But the question I get a lot is “How do I gain or nurture this ability?” In this blog, I will introduce you to 3 key mind hacks that you can add to your well-being toolkit, and use as and when needed, to build on this resilient ability.

Number 1: Choice

The ability to overcome trying times starts with the mind. The mind is so powerful that it can be our own prison or liberation. When we face challenges at work or feel overwhelmed with the situation we find ourselves in, the only thing that is really in our control becomes how we choose to respond. So this ability to overcome trying times and lean into the part of our mind that can be our own liberation then becomes the ability to recognise the power of choice.

'Choice' is a funny one because it's so simple yet it is one of the most difficult things for most of us to recognise when we are going through a challenging time. Often when we feel like we have no control over our circumstances when we allow those thoughts that hinder us to take control of our mind, that's when we stop taking any action because we believe there is no point, which is what breeds anxiousness and hinders our capacity to be resilient.

But it is precisely in these moments, that it becomes crucially important to pause, and notice what is going on for us internally- asking the question ‘What are my choices here?’

In my personal and professional experience working with leaders, I have found these 3 questions to be particularly helpful in bringing our minds back to the here and now, and focusing our energy and attention on what choices are available to us.

  • What am I doing now? (How am I reacting to this current situation? Which mindset am I in [fixed or growth}?)

  • Is it working? (Are these thought processes serving me or hindering me?)

  • Is it bringing me closer to my goals or further away?

The truth is as humans, each of us has the capacity to gain the perspective that transforms us from victims to thrive, so the trick is in recognising the power of choice within us to shift our perspective. This leads me to my next hack…

Number 2: Optimism

Every time I mention optimism as a tool for building resilience, people automatically assume I’m asking them to be happy all the time or they say to me “no thanks, I’m a realist” (maybe this is what you are thinking right now). However, optimism is actually the engine of resilience and it’s a skill that can be learned.