How comes that some people don’t seem to be affected by setbacks, while others struggle with annoyances all day, every day?
The trick is: be like a tire. Yes, like those ones under your car. Read on, and it will make sense.
Everyone has setbacks every once in a while. And I’m not even talking about big setbacks that influence the rest of your life, but small ones.
Being stuck in traffic. Your presentation not going as good as you wish. All those little potholes that are not harmful, but can annoy the $3i7 out of you.
// Fact is: everyone has setbacks. //
But it’s about how you deal with them. How you, consciously or subconsciously, choose to perceive them. How you choose to react.
How you overcome them.
How resilient you are.
// Resilience is the ability of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically, and release that energy upon unloading. //
I have first heard about resilience in one of my first projects in my first job. I was working with a tire manufacturer. Our engineers were busy designing the perfect rubber for the perfect tire.
One of the core measures was resilience.
Tires need to be resilient. They carry the weight of the car, they transfer the power of the motor onto the road and propel you forward. And on every trip they hit an uncounted number of potholes, pebbles, dirt, curbs, and other little obstacles on the road.
And what does the tire do when he hits a pothole? He absorbs a good part of the shock, jumps out of the pothole on the other side, and continues as if nothing had happened.
He doesn’t muse about how many potholes he’s already hit, he doesn’t freeze in fear of the potholes to come, and he bears no visible mark from all the bumps that he has already bounced through.
// This is what resilience is. The ability to debounce from all those little obstacles on your road. Continue unaffected and fearless. //
This will free up your energy to progress, to grow and to develop excellence.
// What can you do right now to be more resilient? //
- Sleep well and enough. If you are not rested, it will be much harder to bounce.
- Exercise. Movement loosens your body, releases stress, makes the body relaxed and helps you sleep better.
- Take time to relax. Take time to wind down. Take time for breaks.
- Reset your anchor. Zoom out and change your perception. While you’re stuck in traffic, it seems that that is the worst that can happen. But is it really? It also means that you have a car, that you have somewhere to be. And time for another good song on the radio or some extra time with your favorite podcast.
- Choose your battles. If you can’t change it, let it be and bounce off. If you can change it, and it’s too bad, change it. Else, accept it and bounce off.
- Be fluid. Be smart. Do you have to do whatever you are doing? Do you have to do it now, or is there another place, or another time, where you can achieve the same thing with fewer obstacles?
- Learn techniques to actively reduce the feeling of stress and frustration. Breathwork, meditation and mindfulness are a good starting point.
What else is missing? How do you debounce from those big and small setbacks?