COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down in a way that has never happened before in all of human history where the entire planet is undergoing a very similar type of suffering and inconvenience. We have all been forced to make major adjustments to our comforts, lifestyle and social interactions in way we had probably never imagined. No doubt, many are suffering both physically and emotionally due to these unforeseen changes this virus has brought upon us.
Dealing with change
Change, that is imposed upon us without our consent, causes us discomfort and as a result unhappiness. Most of us don't like difficult changes. We resist them and fight them, often to no avail. Even a sense of hopelessness can set in if we're not able to accept the changes that are happening in our life. We all desperately want to be able to spend time with our friends and go out to eat without fear of infection. There are two options that we have when we undergo challenges due to sudden changes.
- We can either complain and start to place blame on others for our misery. The problem with playing the blame game is that there is no end to the number of people or situations we can blame and when the game is over, we find ourselves even more unhappy than before.
- Accepting our new reality, no matter how uncomfortable it is, is a solution that doesn't necessarily make our suffering go away, however it does reduce it because we begin to understand that there is nothing we can do with what is happening and that complaining only makes things worse. The attitude of acceptance helps calm us down and allows us to see the bigger picture.
The importance of resilience
The ability to bounce back after experiencing a distressing or life-changing situation is known as resilience. The only way to become resilient is through setbacks and suffering. The ability of a spring to bounce back after it has been pushed down is its resiliency.
4 steps for developing resilience
What can you start doing today to help build resilience? Below are four key steps:
- Acceptance is the foundation on which the rest of our progress will be built. Without acceptance there is no movement or growth.
- Let yourself know that you will not let this new situation define you as a person and as a human being and that you are determined to come out of it a better and kinder human being.
- Think about the valuable lessons that your new situation is teaching you and how each of those challenges are helping you grow both personally and professionally. It can help to write these things down so that they can be properly identified. Once they have been written down, it's important to revisit and expand on them.
- The process of resilience would remain incomplete without a healthy dose of gratitude for whatever has happened even if that situation was painful. Gratitude may not be possible immediately in the moment that we are undergoing a tribulation. However, it’s important to reflect back and express gratitude for the strength that we acquired through the bad health, financial loss, or relationship struggles that we faced.
Being socially distanced is providing us ample opportunity for reflecting and introspecting about our lifestyle and life choices. We can all try and be grateful for the simple things that we often take for granted. Just as blame is endless, gratitude also has no limits. The more we express our gratitude, the more things we will discover to be grateful for.
Steve Jobs once said during a speech:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking back.”
It’s important to look back but not to relive the negative moments and become depressed by them, but to extract the life lesson that was provided to us.
Bonus tip: Learn how to foster workplace resiliency and connection in uncertain times by accessing Achievers’ webinar.
As we continue to navigate the world together, it’s important to develop and practice empathy. In my video below, I share some words on why it’s important to be mindful of the experiences others are going through so we can demonstrate proper compassion to another on a daily basis.