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Developing Resilience and Creating Sustainability - Josie Thomson

Roslyn Loxton - Sunday, June 16, 2013

Developing Resilience and Creating Sustainability

By Josephine Thomson <josie@aexcel.com.au

Resilience...
the ability to bounce back when things get rough and come back stronger than ever...
Sustainability...
the potential for long-term maintenance for wellbeing...

Developing my new brand has given me a significant amount of change to manage.  I decided I needed a complete overhaul. My business structure was not supporting me in consistently delivering my best work. I was stressed, did not have systems or processes established, and I was often not coping well.

I recognise this predicament with clients I work with i.e. so much to do, competing priorities to manage, information overload, meeting after meeting, no strategic thinking time, no time to stop to eat properly, poor sleep patterns, juggling professional and personal life balance… and the list goes on. Does this sound familiar? Take heart – you are not alone!

That’s why I have dedicated this newsletter to the art of ‘resilience’ and the potential for developing a life that delivers a ‘sustainable’ platform that supports you in delivering your best self and your best work in your best life.

For myself, addressing my situation, I realised I not only needed a new look, but a complete assessment of everything I do and how I do it. I know that I need to get this important change right. I'm taking my time to ensure that whatever I set up now will carry me forward into the future with greater levels of flow and more effective ways of delivery. I'm handling my stress with regular walks with my dogs (Pixie and Shadow, who you can see in the picture at the beginning of this email) and having clear focus and faith in the outcome. I focus on the ‘what’ step of the journey and allow the ‘how to’ steps to emerge. I’ve even learned that I don’t actually need to ‘control’ everything! (Yes, read that last line again)  ;)

HOW RESILIENT ARE YOU?

The world around us is growing in complexity, the speed of information is boggling to the mind, the volume of information is more than our brain can handle. Relationships are taxed and pushed to capacity.  Stress and mental health-related conditions are now the second major OH&S issue for workplaces. How then, do we discern what we need to be paying attention to, and what should take priority at any point in time? And how do we balance our own needs and wellbeing into the mix?

The answer is simple. 

Quality results, requires quality thinking.
Quality thinking requires clear focus.
Clarity of focus requires clarity of mind.

Clarity of mind comes through paying close attention to what you are paying attention to, in other words, mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to cultivate awareness of the present moment while putting aside our lenses of judgment. It is being in connection with the direct experience of the present moment - the here and now.

Most of us can connect with the example of our minds feeling out of control at times, or our emotions feeling imbalanced. The practice of mindfulness offers us the unique strength of learning how to control our own minds, instead of our minds controlling us.

BUILDING RESILIENCE IN THE WORKPLACE

I’ve developed a practical neuroscience-based ‘Resilience’ program which draws from my studies in the Neuroscience of Leadership, and teaches people how to effectively train their brain to deliver optimal thinking and performance results, whilst delivering greater efficiencies with ease, contentment, wellbeing and flow in their days. This program includes practices in mindfulness and mind management techniques and is ideally suited for groups of 12 or more people as an in-house program. If you’d like to explore this for your workplace, contact me

BUILDING RESILIENCE AS AN INDIVIDUAL

I have personally drawn on a significant amount of resilience to handle the changes in my own world. As you know, I’ve overcome some major life threatening challenges over the years, which really put ‘life’ into perspective for me. What I’ve learned is that we must always keep perspective about the ‘big picture’. We can ‘have it all’ but perhaps not all at the same time! It’s about stepping back from all the detail and busyness, re-connecting with your truth and values, and getting clear about what you really want and what is most important. 

Quick check: how do you know if you need to build resilience?

  • Increased stress and low moods of depression and anxiety
  • Your attention is often in multiple places at once
  • Boosted emotions of sadness, irritation, frustration, crankiness, shame or guilt
  • Increased conflict in your relationships, work and general enjoyment of life
  • Poor health and physical tension
  • Your mind tends to venture backwards into grievances of the past or forwards to worries of the future
  • Life feels out of balance and overwhelming at times
  • Diminishing performance and quality of outcomes

4 ways to build your resilience, handle stress and change....

  1. Keep the ‘big picture’ focus in check – know what’s really important to you - don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t let others dictate your priorities!
  2. Make some time to think and get out of the busyness of life. Become more mindful of what you are thinking about and what you are paying attention to. Shift your focus from problems, details and drama to outcomes and solutions.
  3. Give thanks and be grateful for your life and circumstances. Everything in life serves as a curse or a blessing – you get to choose! Exploring what you are being invited to learn from adversity and then giving thanks, serves as a reminder of the things you’re grateful for, redirects your attention and rewires your brain… which hopefully results in more smiles. 
  4. Accountability helps to eliminate overload and assists your brain to commit to supporting you along the way.  Write down your top 3 things to achieve each day, work with a buddy, mentor or coach to challenge your habits and enable fresh and proactive new thinking and steps to be taken. 

WHAT’S NEW?

I’ve already mentioned my Resilience program, and next month, I plan to launch my complete CLR (Change | Leadership | Resilience) series. I'm really excited because it's a culmination of years of study, development, working with outstanding leaders with amazing courage and will to make things better for future generations.

If you have reviewed the points above and you've decided to take action, then I look forward to sharing this with you. Delivered via coaching, group workshops and/or private consultations, the skills I teach will give what you need to harness and navigate your way through the toughest changes, the most demanding leadership challenges and build resilience to deliver your absolute best - every day!

And as for my brand, my new web site is underway, I have a sparkly new logo and many fresh ideas I'm absolutely bursting to share with you. Progress is being made one step at a time, and these steps I KNOW will take me to levels of greater purpose, difference making, joy and fulfillment. 

With Love,


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