How Resilience and Mental Fitness Impact Vitality at Work and at Home
Updated: Oct 1, 2022
Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient. ~ Steve Maroboli
The picture below is of a tree on one of the trails in the forest behind our house. I’ve named it The Resilience Tree - And it has earned that name.
When you see it’s gnarled and broken branches you’d wonder, how could it possibly still be living? Yet, it is!
And even with its scars and broken branches, it is grand and beautiful and continues to thrive and grow towards the light.
Every time I walk past that tree, I pause and stare at it with awe and appreciation and am inspired. I can actually feel myself breathe deeper and stand taller and stronger. Just being in its presence helps me embody resilience.
Resilience - the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
Resilient people are much the same as this pine tree. Rather than letting difficulties, traumatic events, mistakes and failures overcome them or drain their resolve, resilient people find a way to change course, learn from their difficulties and continue to achieve their goals.
Resilience is often that secret ingredient to optimizing vitality and achieving your goals.
Without it, it’s almost impossible to stay energized and navigate towards your goals.
The good news is that resilience can be strengthened.
You can charge it up throughout your day and when you do that consistently, you can actually strengthen your resilience muscle and raise your overall resilience baseline to be able to weather even bigger storms throughout life.
We all struggle and even fall flat at times. That’s all part of the human experience. Learning to build up resilience can help you bounce back quickly to optimize vitality both at work and home.
What Creates Resilience
Some of the factors that appear to make a person more resilient are positive attitude, hope, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.
The ability to shift from Saboteur thinking (reacting to challenges and generating negative emotions) to Sage thinking (wise, calm, clear headed thinking) helps us emerge from difficulties at least as strong, if not more so, than when we entered them by:
activating our strengths of compassion, curiosity and creativity,
aligning our choices and behaviours with our values,
and taking on a ninja-like flexibility and laser-focused action to move towards our goals.
How Resilience Impacts Vitality
Vitality is defined as ‘the state of being strong and active; energy’.
For me, personally, vitality is about bringing my full and best energy to the people, the situations and the passion projects that mean most to me AND helping others do the same. It’s about showing up in life with energy, passion and purpose.
I wrote about why we need to create and sustain vitality here.
As many of you know, I am a strong advocate, coach and educator for the benefits of movement, healthy eating, sleep, stress management and self-care practices to support and optimize vitality.
Building mental and emotional fitness is often an overlooked dimension to optimizing vitality and sustaining change or improvement.
Each pillar of vitality is important on its own AND improving one dimension can trigger another dimension to improve. I wrote more about the dimensions of vitality here.
Developing resilience and mental fitness helps us shift quickly from
negative thinking, emotions and feeling stuck
Sage thinking, more positive emotions, and focused action aligned with our values and purpose.
So regardless of whether you’re working on:
🧘🏻♀️ Decreasing stress and overwhelm,
📈 Improving performance at work or in a personal pursuit
💪🏻 Improving health and fitness
👥 Improving relationships at work and/or at home
🥳 Increasing joy in life, or
💡 Personal growth
Resilience and mental fitness will help you be more successful with more ease.
How to Build Resilience
Getting through pain and disappointment without letting them become overwhelming isn’t easy for anyone. However, with practice and intention, resilience can be strengthened, much like strengthening muscles in the gym.
Building mental fitness starts with 3 things.
Master these three things, using this single PQ (Positive Intelligence) Operating System, and you can apply them to create and sustain change and optimize vitality in all areas of work and life.
The 3 core muscles of mental fitness:
1. Intercepting your Saboteurs/Inner Critics.
2. Activating your Sage Powers/Strengths
3. Building Self-Command (shifting from Saboteur to Sage).
For those of you who have coached with me, you may recognize that these are all skills that we subtly address and strengthen during each session.
Strengthening these 3 core muscles of mental fitness starts with self-awareness and knowing yourself.
To learn more about your personal Saboteurs, take the Saboteur Assessment.
To learn more about your strengths, take the Via Character Strengths Survey
To learn more about your personal mental fitness and self-command, take the PQ Assessment.
The next time you are experiencing stress or negative emotions for more than a few seconds, PAUSE. You are in Saboteur mode. Take a couple of minutes to do some PQ Reps by bringing your full and focused attention to your senses - this action helps shift you from Saboteur mode to Sage mode.
You can sample some PQ reps here.
These PQ Reps help to proactively charge up your vitality battery throughout the day, shift you from Saboteur mode to Sage mode and ultimately increase your mental fitness muscle to raise your overall mental fitness and resilience baseline.
The more time you spend in Sage mode, the happier, calmer and more successful you’ll be.
PQ reps, while highly effective and powerful, are only one of the many tools available in the Positive Intelligence, mental fitness, toolbox to build resilience and mental fitness.
Keep following along as I share more of these tools in upcoming blogs and newsletters.
How Struggles and Failures Help Us
To fail is deeply human; everyone, no matter their background, skillset, or life story, will fail spectacularly at least once in their life (and less-spectacularly many times more).
Learning to be okay with mistakes, struggles and failures, big or small, is a critical skill. Utilizing and growing this skill not only makes us more resilient but can also lead to more success with significantly more ease and peace in life. And who doesn’t want that?
Imagine yourself able to remain calm, clear headed, stress-free, and positive even in the midst of handling work and life’s greatest challenges. What becomes possible for you, at home and at work?
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Peace, love + vitality,