Understanding Personal resilience is something we can all benefit from so we ‘bounce rather than break’ under the pressures, hassles, there are always opportunities for growth we just need time to update our own software from time to time

I don’t know about you, but I always get pissed off when I get a reminder of my phone or computer that some software needs updating, it’s intended to protect our equipment from make it resiliant to the latest virus or whatever. After a few reminders, I will succumb and let whatever the device needs do what it needs to do then carry on using it. Sometimes the setting’s or features might change, I don’t like it, but I soon get used to it and carry on as before.

So it got me thinking “we are in an age where we need our electronic software updating, but how often do we update our own?” what about our internal resilience? I mean we all have it, but how much time do we dedicate to updating, refreshing or updating it? continually taking ourselves for granted?

It is impossible to notice, experience, or observe everything, we unconsciously put our experiences and observations through a lens of relevance that is shaped by our personal needs. From these relevant experiences and observations, we make assumptions, and from those assumptions, we draw conclusions. From conclusions, we form our belief, but how often do we refresh or update ourselves?

Resilience – we all have it, but what does it look like? If you are anything like me, you have survived and come through some pretty shit situations. Situations that at the time might have left you feeling like your world has been ripped apart. The loss of a loved one, betrayal, addiction, abuse? The list goes on…  

Guess what? If you are reading this, “you survived?” But how did you do it? What was it that got you through those tough times? 

You have the ones like myself, who went from one crisis to another, to the point where I literally lost my sanity, where I was lost in an abyss, a place I would describe as being my worst nightmare, but guess what? I survived! I have written about resilience in a lot in my previous post of my post

Everyones definition of resilience is different, we all have it, we all possess resilience often we don’t recognise just how resilient we are, until like an elastic band, which starts out with an abundance of elasticity but has been played with, toyed with stretched, maybe used for a time to bind something in place, but sometimes it has been stretched so much to the point that there is no elasticity left resulting in us snapping, making unwise decisions, some which can have a lifetime of consequences. We all bare our own personal scars, which are a reminders of a time we have been stretched too far, sometimes the evidence of being stretched too far are still there to see, some visible to the naked eye others are not but can been seen in how we, act, react, how we deal with life, our actions. 

But just because the elastic band has snapped doesn’t mean it no longer serves a purpose! “how many times has the SHIT HIT THE PAN and you’ve snapped your elastic band in two, you have used all your bands up, had nothing left to use, so being resourceful you decide tie a knot into the band and start again?”– fuck me my band has about 5 knots biding it all together. 

There are people in life who go from one crisis to another, (we all know one or more people like this) making the same mistakes again and again, but guess what? they are still here they are still surviving, they are still coping, albeit not in the way you or might, but they are in their own way. 

But I don’t want to be in the latter group, in a world and society of so many pressures and mixed messages being able to understand resilience, what helps build a strengthen not just my own, but for others too.

I have been entertaining the idea of setting up a group or designing a training program to help others, to help them work out what resilience means to them, how to recognise just how resilient they are even when they think or feel that they are a failure. To explore their life’s journey to date, to realise just how much elasticity they possess and how even if they snap they can reuse and strengthen their own personal elasticity/resilience. A workshop which enables participants to “Update their Software” Afterall our old thoughts, feelings and behaviours often need updating, much like we would update the software on our computers!

Understanding Personal resilience is something we can all benefit from so we ‘bounce rather than break’ under the pressures, hassles and opportunities for growth (ie more pressures and hassles) of life. 

I am collaborating with Mick Holmes one of my oldest and wisest friends and trusted colleagues to design a workshop for people to help understand what resiliance means to them, how they can build on their own resiliance – so watch this space

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Finding the right balance​, is a balancing act in itself

Its been nearly 3 weeks since my last blog and that’s ok, to be honest, I haven’t had the desire nor time to translate my daily journal into something to share, mainly out of feeling like I had nothing to say? It feels sometimes having a break isnt worth the emotional or practical hassle?

Being in a position where I am fortunate to be able to fund a two-week break away sounds idyllic doesn’t it? But the weeks in the run-up to going away was filled with lots of forward planning, additional stress trying to preempt any issues that might arise in my absence, ensuring that someone else could assist. Prepping for meetings that were scheduled in my diary the first week of my return all in an attempt to reduce any return to work anxieties. I do this so that I can enjoy my break, in the knowledge that whilst I am away everything will be ok.

The first week away always feels weird, I mean ya knackered before ya go away with all the preparation beforehand. So switching from being in a reactive state of mind to not having to think about the day to day stuff takes time. I took my notebook, Kindle, and music with me everywhere, I did loads of writing, reading and listening to music that soothes my soul. I ate out, caught up with the old man, drank nice wine. I do find that it takes me a good week to really start to relax, by the middle of the second week the thought of becoming a hobo, beach bum seems appealing, but then towards the end of the holiday, reality starts to kick in. And whilst I might romance the idea or contemplate the benefits of being a hobo, in reality, I know that I could never settle for that, I reason with myself that, it is what it is, times up, it back to reality. Back to work, back to doing what I love, getting paid to do what I love, which also pays for the breaks, I will return to work, refreshed, tanned energised and ready for anything…

Wrong…

I am not ready for hearing that a funding bid I applied for had been declined, I am not ready for all the 400+ emails that I need to wade through before I can even consider, thinking about the meeting later that day, I am not ready for the same bullshit, the same organizational narrative, same shit different day! I’m not ready for politics, I’m not ready for the self-imposed expectations, I’m just not ready, so much so I complained to my manager that people who have gone on annual leave, ought to be entitled to a phased return to work, (she laughed, but i wasn’t joking) baby steps, reduced hours to help you build your bullshit resilience back up again, to help ease you back into the work rat race! Its a reet culture shock I mean for two weeks I have been able to forget about mundane shit, be around myself without interruption from others, drink alcohol without worrying about how I might perform the following day, eat what i want, without worrying about the weight gain (after all im on holiday) or walk about the beach with all me wobbly bits hanging out, without worrying about what anyone thinks, because i dont know them and because i dont give a fuck so basically, pretend that for two weeks, life is perfect.

It is my second week back into work, back to reality and getting the balance is fucking hard three days in and I could have quite simply at 4 o’clock laid out on the office floor and slept, my energy levels felt sapped, I had little or no tolerance for being around people, I want to just go home and lock myself in my room for a while longer, I want to continue to eat whatever I want without giving a fuck about the consequences, I want to get back to who and where I was before I switched off and went away.

I do wonder though, if I will ever get that work life balance ever right?

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