Rolling with the never-ending ups and downs of life in lockdown is not simple, is it? So many of my non-profit coaching clients are struggling as they seek to do their best for their organisations. You rise to one challenge, like getting the ‘work from home’ tech sorted and then, whoosh, another humdinger comes along, like keeping a stroppy furloughed colleague engaged or calming a nervous board member. It’s an absolute roller-coaster.

It is for me too. My biggest challenge right now is that I’m Zoomed, phoned and screened out! Not something I anticipated at all. And since finding a balance means cutting down on social connection which is hugely important to me, I’m not quite sure how I’ll handle it. I know I’ll find a way though. You, me, all of us are drawing deep on resilience skills which perhaps we never knew we had.

B-O-U-N-C-Y bouncebackabilityBouncy resilience

I’ve had a keen interest in resilience ever since a major set-back at work which I wrote about here. It taught me a lot. I’ve come back stronger, more self-aware and better able to support others, and I’ve been able to share my learning widely. One of the key things I know now is that resilience isn’t just about bouncing back from a single setback. Bouncebackability is rolling with ongoing ups and downs over time, keeping going, doing your best and coming out more resourced than you went in. Like jumping the six footer which knocks you off your feet and the regular waves flowing relentlessly in and out.

I’ve been teaching my coaching clients (and anyone who caught my Facebook Lives last week) my B-O-U-N-C-Y approach to bouncebackability which came out of this experience. This first blog outlines how to put the B-O-U into resilience. N-C-Y coming soon!

B is for Believe

Resilient people have something they believe in with a very big ‘B’. They hold onto that bigger vision or purpose. They remind themselves often of their core values or personal commitments, even when things are tricky in the murky depths. This kind of thinking allows challenges to feel less significant and so easier to handle.

Can you find some quiet time to remind yourself of what you strongly believe in? I’ve discovered that even a few moments conjuring up the Big Vision I have for my work helps me get through the niggling difficulties. One of my clients has been creating a beautiful vision board to keep her going in tough times.

O is for Open-minded

When you’re under pressure, thinking can get rigid, black and white or catastrophic  – “this is wrong, so this is right” “I should do this” “It’s going to be a nightmare” etc. Thinking like this might make you feel more in control, but it really doesn’t serve you. Resilient people have a more flexible and compassionate ‘Growth Mindset’. Their thoughts are more along the lines of “I’m doing all right” “this too will pass” “I made a mistake and that’s ok” “everyone is doing their best”. With this approach, you don’t get too attached to an outcome and are able to roll with the punches knowing that everything becomes learning, however difficult the lessons. It’s a toughie, I know only too well, but it’s true.

Take a moment to explore whether your thinking is serving you. Are you full of “woulda, coulda, shoulda?”  What language could you use instead to be more compassionate to yourself and to those around you?

U is for seeking to Understand

Resilient people seek to understand themselves and others. They are curious. They ask questions to find out what’s true. They know their 100% unique set of Signature Strengths and are proud of them. They know their gaps and weaknesses. And they know these things about their colleagues too.This all means that we don’t have to beat ourselves up when things are going awry. You know when you’re out of your comfort zone, you’re not going to be at your best and that’s okay.

Can you get really clear on your Signature Strengths? I encourage my clients regularly to ask their raving fans (mums, partners, best friends – we’re not looking for a balanced view here!) to tell them what they think they’re good at, not just at work but in life as a whole. They love it! It’s a great info gathering activity but even more important, it’s hugely uplifting and personally affirming which all adds up to more bouncebackability.

What next?

Want help not just to survive but to thrive through the next few weeks and months? Contact me and let’s see if my new ‘In it Together’ package of support for non-profit leaders is right for you or a colleague.