Roadmap to a Resilient Mindset
In 2011, George S. Everly, executive director of Resiliency Sciences Institutes at the University of Maryland, was asked, 'What's the difference between those who choose to sink or swim in times of adversity?'
He stated two factors:
- A lack of perspective stemming from inadequate preparation and tenacity.
- A negative attitude
I've created a roadmap (my new speech) that will guide you or someone you know in creating a resilient mindset and overcoming the two factors mentioned above. I love explaining in acronyms and my new 'roadmap acronym' is PROOF™
- Plan Ahead
Fit your life to what you want rather than what you don't want. In my blog about Roadmap to Productivity, I've explained how I plan my year ahead in 90-day goals and then chunk them down further into monthly, weekly and daily tasks.
If I don't do this then I'll always miss my target and never get anything done!
When I had made up my mind about taking control of my weight, I realized my default behaviour would be to go to a fast food drive-thru for breakfast so I could eat it while driving.
I changed that behaviour and decided to wake up 15 minutes early so I could prepare a protein smoothie and take that with me while I drove to work and prepare my healthy lunch the night before.
If you're struggling with getting things done or losing weight or keeping it together, it's time to ask:
'What specific outcome do I want?'
Reframing is about stepping back from what's being said or done and consider looking at the situation from an alternative lens by effectively stating, 'How can I (we) look at it another way.' This is about challenging one�۪s belief systems around the situation.
Here's a short video where I explain reframing. (you'll need to turn up the volume)
If you're feeling hopeless, facing adversity or dealing with a co-worker who has a negative attitude about a situation, consider these questions:
'What's the worst thing that could happen, but may not?'
'In the past, can you recall a negative experience and how did that cause positive things later?'
'What's great about this problem?'
Make it a habit to look ahead and take note of any obstacles or barriers that may interfere with your goals and find a way to embrace them rather than complain about them.
By planning ahead and thinking of the obstacles that could occur, you're learning how to adapt. Once you recognize the obstacles that could occur, your mind already hunts for solutions on how to thrive by finding strategies to overcome them.
Richard Wiseman conducted a large study showing the importance of the way we approach goals. He tracked 5,000 people who had some significant goal they wanted to achieve. He found that the successful goal setters described their goal in positive terms and considered carefully what challenges they would face actually doing the work to achieve it.
If you are shedding some weight, look ahead at the obstacles you might encounter, such as, an upcoming party or a trip you have to take.
If you are working on a project or buying new software for your company, look ahead at what potential obstacles could occur and plan for it.
'What obstacle(s) will I (we) encounter?'
'What can I (we) do to navigate them?'
Most people consider optimism as a glass half-full or half-empty scenario. In my opinion, optimism is about the mindsets you have.
When most of us are faced with challenges or feel stuck, our brain focuses on a 'blame-mindset'. That happened to me recently when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I wrote a blog about how I got stuck in the blame-mindset.
How do you know when you're stuck in a blame-mindset?
When you have these questions swirling around in your mind:
- Why do I have this problem?
- Why me?
- How long will this problem go on for?
- Is it my fault or someone else's fault?
When you adopt this questioning method (and you really have to be aware of these questions), you'll feel like you have no choice; you will feel broken.
Being optimistic means adopting an 'outcome-mindset' (aka victor mindset). Resilient individuals will adopt a blame-mindset, but they are quick to recognize it and turn it around.
How do they do that? How do they adopt an outcome-mindset?
Consider these questions to help you become more optimistic:
'What do I want and when do I want it?'
'When I get what I want, what else will improve?'
'What can I do now?'
In Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) one of the pre-suppositions we are taught is: 'The person with the most flexibility, will have more control.'
This means how to do something different when what you are currently doing is not working. Isn't this going deeper into what George S. Everly (the person I quoted at the beginning) says?
To have tenacity, you have to be flexible.
To have long-term perspective, you have to be flexible.
To have a positive attitude, you have to be flexible.
Being flexible means that you can modify your behaviour and you recognize that it's better to change YOU or your tactics instead of spending your time lamenting about it.
If you're on a weight loss journey, instead of complaining about the food you have to eat, can you be in control by looking up recipes that are more fun to eat and healthy (like cauliflower pizza)?
If you're struggling with making sales, can you offer payment plans or FREE bonuses to close sales?
If you're having trouble communicating with co-workers or employees, have you communicated exactly what you want?
Consider these questions so you can be more flexible:
'What resources do I have available?'
'What am I willing to do to make this happen?'
'What am I NOT willing to do to make this happen?'
'Why is this important to me?'
All five aspects (PROOF) are important in creating a resilient mindset in any area, whether it's health, business, relationships, organizational change or budgeting.
Remember, you're already resilient because you've gone through adversities in your life and have come through with new learnings about yourself.