Resilience is the quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and to come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes. Even after misfortune, resilient people are blessed with such an outlook that they are able to dust themselves off, and soldier on!
As a business coach, I am constantly seeing people through their hardships; some handle it excellently, and others not so well. However, some of the strongest people I know have had days where they completely crumble under the pressure. But if resilience is a fixed quality – you either are resilient, or you aren’t- then how can this be? I spoke to Jane Evans, a Stress Intelligence Transformer, to get some clarity.
In a world of increasing social pressures, economic restraints and austerity, the necessity of resilience is on the rise. This is particularly true for small business owners; where we are faced with high-stress situations, rejections and setbacks on a daily basis. Jane states that resilience is a state of mind that can come and go for all of us- it is not a personal trait that is set in our genetic makeup. So if this is the case, why are we more resilient some days than others?
In general, our thresholds for coping with different situations vary a lot: some of us are more experienced at dealing with upsetting or displeasing results, and some of us were just born with thicker skin. Our level of resilience and our abilities to be resilient also depend on other varying factors, such as how much we have had to eat that day, or how much sleep we got the night before but Jane suggests that the main cause for our occasional loss of resilience is stress.
Stress affects your ability to remember things you already know, to process new information you are learning and to apply both to analytical situations and physical tasks that require concentration. When you are mentally exhausted from all of the worries, anxieties and tension brought on by a stressful environment or lifestyle, you are more easily distracted and prone to make costly mistakes on the job- mistakes we can’t afford to make when we work on our own!
Stress Intelligence is something that repeatedly came up in my conversation with Jane, so I got her to explain what she meant by this and to give a little insight into how we can make ourselves more Stress Intelligent!
Stress Intelligence refers to our ability to handle stressful situations, and to turn this negative energy into a positive driving force: if we are Stress Intelligent, we aren’t overwhelmed but instead we are fully aware of how we feel, why we feel it, and we know just what to do with it. Janes work predominantly involves teaching her clients on how to become more Stress Intelligent, but I asked for her top tips for doing this on our own. Take a look at what she said:
“One of the most important things as an entrepreneur is being able to be physically and emotionally resilient- you need to be able to keep yourself going and must be very intentional in keeping up your resilience! Stress robs us of our resilience, so we can improve our resilience by reducing stress. A simple, but very effective, way of doing this is by plugging into other people and being connected to those around us.
We can develop basic practises that allow us to recognise symptoms of stress building up in our systems so you can do something about it and keep it at a healthy level. Really, it’s about getting the right kind of support and checking in with your colleagues and friends. It’s our connection with others that keeps us resilient, when we feel stressed we tend to pull away and turn in on ourselves- we can’t do it all on our own!”
Personally, I found Jane’s advice settling. Sometimes the hardest part of any uncomfortable situation is admitting to yourself that there might be a problem and having to be brave enough to ask for help from those around you when you need it. Resilience isn’t fixed- it’s something we all strive towards but is something that requires constant practice and attention. Being unaffected by distressing situations does not make you resilient, resilience comes from self-care, determination, and the ability to ask for help when you think you might need it.
If you need a little more help understanding Stress Intelligence or building up your own resilience, then please don’t hesitate to contact Jane. She truly is excellent, and an expert in her field! You can book your free consultation with Jane here.
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