As the demands of our daily lives increase the pressure being put on us, its important to develop resilience so that we can continue to grow personally and professionally through achieving our goals. Here are a handful of my top tips for resilience, you may like to adopt in 2019!
1. Detach yourself from old patterns - The Dutch have a great saying "leave your old cows in their ditches!". Patterns of behavior, or mindsets, were created in the past, if we keep playing out the same patterns of behavior, we are binding the past into the present. When we leave the old pattern in the ditch, behind us, we are free to walk lightly and unburdened on our path to achieving our goals.
The trick of course is being able to see the pattern. This can take years of deep self development work, which is very rewarding and I highly recommend it, but sometimes you can't see the wood for the trees and need extra help to spot whats going on. Over the years I have found constellations work very powerful in understanding and releasing relationship patterns. With the development of constellations into systemic coaching, we have an extremely quick and powerful tool that helps to make conscious what has been unconscious. Systemic coaching is deep somatic work; when we can get the body to talk we can see things in a way that the mind on its own can never achieve.
2. Meditate - breath work oxygenates the body and reduces tension, take a look at this Harvard article if you want to read more about it. But did you know that imagining and doing are the same things to the brain? Neuroscience is now proving that mental imagery or visualisation activates the same brain regions as the actual behavior. Use your creative meditation practice to envision your goals, the combination of this and taking action when situations present are an unbeatable combination to success.
Expand your meditation practice into yoga, not competitive yoga though, make sure its a traditional meditative flow style of yoga which supports the development of relationship with the whole self - physical, mental, emotional, creative and spiritual. Through practicing integrative yoga I have developed and continue to enhance a sensitive awareness of my mind body relationship. Yoga supports skeletal alignment through relaxing the muscular system. As the body realigns, it creates the space to allow flow and harmonisation of the emotions, and a balanced ecosystem from which to take action towards your authentic goals.
3. Change your stress mindset - The seemingly daily advances in neuroscience research are really helping us all to understand the power of the mind in our health and well-being. Up until 5 years ago we all believed that stress was bad for us and that it could kill us. If you haven't seen Dr Kelly McGonigal's TED talk about this research, and how stress can enhance your compassion and resilience, I would highly recommend it; you can see it here.
This all demonstrates that we hold our mindsets, whether we are aware of them or not, in our body. The TED talk helps us to visualise how mindsets can keep us restricted and small, or make us strong and powerful, helping us to progress through our lives and achieve our goals. From work I have been doing with my Sports Therapist and Personal Trainer I have found a lack of TRUST in my knees which hinders the use of my SEAT OF POWER through ineffective use of my glutes. I understand from these professionals that under-active glutes, or weak posterior chain, is very common in the population. Identifying these tight, out moded mindsets is the first step to letting them go and stepping towards the achievement of your goals.
4. Practice compassion - I was given a beautiful visual recently on this. Imagine the people that you interact with on a daily basis having a glorious peacocks tail behind them. Each one of those peacocks tail eyes represents the connections and systems - work, family, community, friendships - that they operate within. Remember you too have a fabulous peacocks tail, and that your tail impacts and interacts with the person in-front of you too. Our daily lives flow more joyfully when we remember that everyone we meet is searching for a way to connect, and that we are all doing the very best we can within the circumstances and the systems of the peacocks tails that we are operating within.
5. Get to know yourself in all your polar CREATIVE glory! This requires some detachment and dis-identification from the dramas of life and the philosophy and principles of Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky's Adaptive Leadership come to mind here. They advocate a "Get off the dance floor onto the balcony" approach to reflect in action. Through this process, one gains a better understanding of whats really going on both in oneself and in relationship, without squashing or controlling conflict; conflict is seen as a possible creative solution and should be nurtured. Another way that you can do this is to take a personality traits test. There are many of them around, and they really don't have to cost much, if anything at all. I recently used the Big Five Aspects Scale which cost £8 and really helped to clearly see the polar outliers to work on thus integrating my creativity with compassion and grace.
The author of this article, Sarah Howard, is a qualified Psychosynthesis Leadership Coach with unique skillsets applied at the highest levels in both Public and Private sector organisations. What differentiates Sarah is that she is also skilled in the softer, more fluid aspects of transformation and has been working personally and professionally with Psychosynthesis over the past 10 years. Sarah is an Evolutionary Leader, one of less than 1% of the globes population of leaders, (Frederick Laloux, Reinventing Organisations). Sarah applies her unique skillset to support other leaders make the transition into evolutionary leadership so that they can bring the whole of themselves into everything that they do. In this way Sarah contributes to the much needed evolution of humanity, shifting us all into a new paradigm.
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