By Roger Crawford. This was originally published on Roger's blog.
Strengthening your resilience is like strengthening your muscles. Both can be accomplished with a program of regular stretching and exercises. Attitude stretching requires no special clothing or expensive equipment, just awareness. Here are nine keys to improving your resilience:
1. Believe Success is Possible. Resilient thinking is the foundation of resilience. Even if you weren’t “born resilient,” you can learn to reframe negative events into positive challenges, giving yourself extra energy and endurance. Start by paying attention to how you talk to yourself each day.
2. Flex Your Humor Muscles. Flexibility is essential for controlling stress, increasing business opportunities, improving personal relationships, and dealing with change. How can you limber up? Let go of the immobilizing perfectionism and give yourself permission to notice the genuine humor that is all around you, and you will automatically increase your flexibility and vitality.
3. Bank on Your Past. Draw strength and inspiration from what you’ve done and what has happened to you. We’re often told, “Don’t look back” and “Don’t dwell on the past,” but when you know what to recall and use the information positively, you can tap some of your most valuable assets.
4. Stay Hungry. The most basic human instinct is a powerful tool for maintaining resilience. Learn the difference between money and true wealth, and where and how to direct your hunger for knowledge, adventure, and positive personal relationships.
5. Use All Your Resources. Make a realistic inventory of your assets. As you compile your catalog, you’ll discover some surprising and important skills and resources that you never realized you had.
6. Seize Responsibility. Decide what you can control. Then take responsibility for it. What an important life skill, yet unresilient people fail to grasp it, and feel overwhelmed much of the time. When you learn how to these two decisive steps, you put yourself in control, no matter what life throws at you.
7. Harness the Power of Purpose. Having clear goals and an action plan to reach them is absolutely mandatory for success. “The Five E’s of Goal Setting” in chapter 7 of my book How High Can You Bounce, will show you an efficient new way to plan and achieve.
8. Develop Your Inborn Leadership. Everything you say and do affects the resilience of others. No matter who you are or what position you hold at the moment, you become a powerful leader at work, at home, and in your community when you learn to share your resilience.
9. Embrace Challenges. Learn the difference between planning and preparation, and how the resilient prepare for life’s many challenges. Even when fate delivers an unexpected blow, you’ll be able to draw on your storehouse of resilience to identify the new and exciting opportunities that await you.
Each of the nine chapters of my book show strategies for acquiring one of these nine skills. You’ll learn how to stay in optimal mental shape by nourishing and exercising these resilient qualities each day, the same way you nourish and exercise your body.
As you strengthen your skills, you are building an invincible core of resilience that will always be there for you to draw on. Too often, when people suffer a major loss, they also lose their sense of identity and purpose in life. But with a resilient core, you keep a clear inner vision of your strength and flexibility in the face of challenges.
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