The Power of R

How to increase your resilience in a challenging context

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The economic developments in recent years have left many feeling overwhelmed, insecure and stuck in a situation which they don’t know how to handle. 

What can you do when you are feeling stuck?

This feeling is often a result of focusing on a problem so much, it becomes hard to think of anything else. Problems can be hypnotic. They can deplete our energy and leave us feeling unfit to handle the challenges we are facing. 

Here are ten ways we have found to break the trance and increase our resilience:

1. Refocus: When you are caught up in the pressures and challenges of everyday life, it is easy to forget the big picture. In such situations, it is important to refocus! Step back and ask yourself what is really going on. Is there a lesson to be learned that you are missing? Might the setback you are experiencing really be a step forward? Sometimes we have to slow down and refocus, in order to effectively speed up.

2. Remember: Analyze the situation you find yourself in. Is this a unique, unprecedented situation or is this an example of an issue you (your family, your company, your country) have failed to fully address before? What is causing this situation? If you don’t address the root cause, will the challenges you are facing come back to visit you? This may be the ideal moment to correct broken or faulty processes and set them right, once and for all. Think about how you met such challenges in the past and what you learned from the experience.

3. Realize: The present challenges and circumstances may be an opportunity to get real. In your business and your private life, the key is to focus on process rather than end results. Our objectives, healthy and important as they may be (and make sure you know exactly what your key objectives are), can prevent us from living life in the here and now. If you want truly satisfying success, where you are headed is possibly not as important as how you get there. If you don’t fully live your present, you will in future live to regret your past.

4. Resource: Summon your resources! What skills, past experiences, relationships, networks and other resources can you bring in to play, in order to master the current challenges successfully? And if you feel lacking in resources – where could you access them? If you get clear about the kind of help you need, it is usually fairly easy to access – just a phone call away. We often tend to look too far to find help.

5. Respond: Don’t react – respond purposefully. Ask yourself what you can do as a next step in the right direction. When you are stuck, taking small steps forward puts you in motion and helps change your perspective, even if your actions, direction and timing are not perfect. Sometimes, the best step you can take is backwards or sideways. Indeed, in certain situations, your very best step may be to decide not to move at all and let your environment do the moving for the time being.

6. Reanchor: We tend to anchor our emotional responses to the problems and challenges we face in our physical surroundings and in our body. If you find yourself getting angry or agitated while on the phone, sitting at your desk, lift the anchors immediately! Stand up and stand tall whilst taking the call. Breathe deep in to your belly, put a smile on your face and walk up and down. It may sound silly, but it works. Do things that make you feel strong, positive and pro-active. It is your choice.

7. Restructure: Analyze your problem from all angles and see whether and how you can restructure key facets. Can you restructure the timeline by accelerating or extending deadlines? Typically the best way to do so is by understanding the key reasons and needs behind the current time-frames. Can you restructure the risk and reward elements about who gets what, when and under what circumstances? Don’t limit your thinking about options for restructuring your approach.

8. Relate: Sometimes our will to win is our greatest enemy. By focusing too much on our success, we may miss the mark. One way of increasing your score is to take the focus off your goals. Instead, take on a positive project to help someone else with absolutely no benefit in it for yourself – except for the wonderful feeling of having done an unselfish deed. Help someone else, especially if you are in dire need of help. Loosen up. Relate. Reap what you sow.

9. Review: In setting objectives in business and private life, we often get mislead into focusing on form, facts and figures. I want to increase my profit by 30% this year. I want to reduce my weight at least 10 kilos before next Christmas. The key question behind these objectives is: WHY? What is the essence you wish to get from meeting these objectives? Feeling more secure, more attractive, more powerful, peaceful, significant? Are you trying to fill a lack in your life, an unfulfilled need that is hurting, by working so hard on meeting your objectives? The trick is to realize you can have and enjoy the essence of all the objectives you have set for yourself now. Meeting objectives then becomes an option.

10. Regenerate: Be grateful for every positive, satisfying, joyful moment in your life. Even in business, it is not always the big jumps that lead to greatness. Rather, it is the small, consistent, seemingly insignificant steps that count. The small successes, those fleeting moments of joy, are tests of our awareness. If we notice them gratefully, we get more of them. If we don’t, we don’t. It pays off to get A’s on these tests!

With the use of one or more of these ten tips, you can quickly and dramatically increase your personal resilience, as well as your ability to move through any blocked situation you may be facing.

Originally published at

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