Chances are, the story you tell about yourself doesn’t always match who you are. That disconnection can cause feelings of low self-esteem, poor confidence, or anxiety.
Learning about yourself and accepting who you are may seem daunting, but the anxiety you face can be a positive and powerful force. It challenges you, stretches you, and helps you learn every day.
Fortunately, there are five simple steps you can follow to ease anxiety, increase emotional stamina, and build resilience.
Five Steps to Boosting Emotional Stamina
Survey your world to pinpoint where the biggest changes are coming from. Are they economic? Personal? In work relationships? Changes in your industry? Sketch out best and worst-case scenarios for possible dramatic change. Devise responses for each, plus backup plans. Chances are you’ve been there before in one way or another. Stay confident and courageous and keep your perspective.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in external events, especially when there is a crisis. This is precisely the time when you must be aware of your emotions. Are you panicked? Passive? Overconfident? Confused? Your emotions can hijack you. Your emotions affect not only you but everyone around you. Being aware of them can help prevent you from being hijacked.
Enlist a Strong Support Network
You can’t withstand change and build resilience by yourself. Not only are you going to need help in terms of getting things done, but your support network will be essential in giving you realistic feedback on how you’re doing and where adjustments need to be made.
Sink Deep Roots
Continually nourish and develop your emotional values. Decide what is fundamental to your belief system and sink these beliefs so deep that nothing can upend them. Weave them through your work and your home. There is frequently no single core emotional value but a complementary collection, such as loyalty, honesty, courage, confidence, and fairness. Embrace and enhance whatever is important to you. Ask yourself: Am I aligned with my values and who I aspire to be? This will ground you in trying times.
How do you practice handling anxiety and withstanding unpredictable forces when all is calm? Seek out unfamiliar situations and new ventures. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Be a beginner at something you want to learn.
Resilience Makes Your Stronger
Whether you are coping with adversity, bouncing back from setbacks, or leading through uncertainty, these experiences make you stronger. When you rise to a challenge, you reveal your hidden agilities, strengthen your capacity to suffer through setbacks, and build character. Adversity and resilience also make you more sensitive and empathetic and open to other people’s challenges. Your difficulties also have a way of changing your priorities and perspectives about the present, giving you a kind of wake-up call that tells you to stop and smell the roses.
Resilience Can Be Learned
The brain learns to adapt by repeated exposure to hard times or crises if you can get through them. Studies have shown that resilience can be learned, and, like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets. 1Resilience is learning to bend and not break – to adapt to life’s challenges. Your agility enables you to shift gears, bounce back, and move in a different direction when faced with challenges that are headed your way.
Boosting Emotional Stamina is part of the Emotional Health learning module in our new Healthy Leader® Platform. If you would like to see how the virtual Grounded & Conscious Leadership Experience can help your organization drive high performance using a model based on the Human Psychology of Change, contact Susan Smith.
1 Resilience at Work, Maddi. 2005