“Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up”
– Mary Holloway
Charge your life batteries
“Give your stress wings and let it fly away.” – Terri Guillemets
The best way that I give my stress wings to fly away is by continuously charging my life batteries. This makes me resilient enough to face the challenges of life and to handle the setbacks that I experience. In turn, it also then allows me to stay more focused on achieving my goals in life. It is critical that we keep every part of our inner being strong. If we understand the value of successful self-leadership, then we also need to understand the importance of keeping our life batteries charged, which only we can do. We simply need to choose the right charge activities that works for us as individuals.
Our charge activities give us the motivational and energy charge to cope with life and its challenges. I have found that it is crucial to frequently slow down, take a break on the highway of life, and to then charge my life batteries by doing charge activities that work for me. These activities revitalise my soul. For me, they include riding my motorcycle, spending time training in the pool or doing open-water swimming events, or by spending time in the bush. Your charge activities would probably be different. It is important, though, that you identify them and ensure that you do these activities as often as you need them – not all of the time, but certainly on a frequent basis.
Charging your life batteries has to be a continuous process. If you don’t charge your life batteries, you will become emotionally empty and demotivated. Motivation then, unfortunately, does not just magically appear again. If, at that point, you don’t do something about your emotionally empty state, then your life will spiral to a point where you will battle to operate optimally. A car can’t operate on an empty fuel tank, and in a similar manner, we can’t operate or move forward in life if our emotional tanks are empty, and we feel demotivated. Motivation follows action, not the other way around.
Having flat or deflated life batteries not only brings us to a point of demotivation, but also of no longer having any energy. Constantly high energy levels make us more resilient, and one of the ways to ensure this is by charging our batteries.
“If we have positive energy, then we will always attract positive outcomes.”
– Steve Buckley
Put your mistakes behind you
In life, we unfortunately don’t have the luxury of pressing the rewind button, as we kids used to do on our Walkman cassette players in the 80s. We can’t go back and undo our mistakes – we can only learn to accept them and put them behind us as soon as possible. In the context of resilience, we need to learn the ability to step back from failure, and to frame it as a learning experience. If our self-leadership journey is on track, then we’ll use life’s lessons and experiences – even those that are tough to swallow – to continually build our self-efficacy. We need to be able to learn from our mistakes and to move forward in life. This will make us more resilient and able to achieve even greater things.
The importance of a work-life balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is not only important to health and relationships, but it can also improve our productivity and ultimately, our performance.
We need to reflect on all of the different areas that we would like to see as part of our lives. True effectiveness requires balance. I have no doubt that to become whole and complete, and be successful at self-leadership, we must have balance in our lives. Otherwise, we might end up robbing time from another area that actually requires our attention, or from an area that we actually require in our lives, to become whole and complete. If we tell ourselves that we need to adopt a focused approach to life and only focus on one thing, like making money, then we are telling ourselves a lie and we will never become whole and complete.
“The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.”
– Oprah Winfrey
We will typically find that living a balanced life includes the areas that charge our life batteries and revitalise our souls again. This includes things like spending time with our family, doing community work, or our favourite sport or hobby. Living a balanced life makes us more resilient, because the other areas in our lives will pull us through and assist us in handling a potential setback in one area.
We cannot tell ourselves: “One day, after I have made money and when I retire, then I will start living a balanced life.” The reality is that we might die before we retire, and then the only single thing we will have achieved or lived for was money. We would have died without really living and experiencing so many other exciting aspects of a healthy balanced life.
Whatever it takes
Part of being resilient is adopting the philosophy and attitude of “whatever it takes”. When we think like that, we are impossible to stop. People with this approach to life usually find alternate ways to get to the solution or to the other side of rough patches in their lives. They persevere until they overcome hardship. When they see a problem in front of them, they don’t stop and give up – they try to go over it. If that does not work, they try to go underneath it or around it. If all else fails, they go through it.
The point is that people who adopt this approach think outside of the box to find a solution to conquer the challenges with which they are faced – whatever it takes. By always adopting a whatever it takes philosophy to life, you will gain a natural level of resilience that will be hard for any challenge to defeat.
Hekkie van der Westhuizen, PhD
“If you are interested in the topic of Self-Leadership, please look out for my exciting new Self-Leadership book, launching in August 2021”