Issue No. 7 | September 3, 2014

Building Hardiness

Hardiness is an important part of being resilient. While most of us think of resilience as bouncing back from adversity, hardiness is the ability to stay healthy and strong in the face of a stressful event. Hardiness is a preventive strategy and if we can mitigate the stress before it impacts us, that is all for the better.

While there are many examples of hardiness in our lives, one example would be a situation where you and your team role play a situation where you are doing a presentation to a new customer. In that meeting you would throw out all different kinds of questions and challenges to the presenters to make sure that all possible discussion were covered. By doing this exercise, your team would be well prepared for any challenge.

Here are some ideas to build hardiness into your daily routines

  • Go Beyond Your Comfort Level: When you do your exercise program, push yourself to do a little more; add a few pounds to the barbell; walk an extra quarter mile, hold that yoga pose for another 15 seconds. In other words, challenge your body.
  • Gain Control: Feeling a sense of control in your life is essential to being hardy. Make sure that your work and home goals are attainable and that you know how to reach them.
  • Don't get stuck in the mud: Nothing will slow you down like living in the past. Its essential to learn from your mistakes but then let them go and move on.
  • Focus on what you do well: You'll feel stronger if you build the mental and physical muscles that are native to you. Go with your strengths to help you overcome challenges that stress you out the most.
  • Look for fun: My friend Randall often laughs at his mistakes. He's constantly amazed at how much smarter he is today than he was two weeks ago and that helps him keep an attitude of fun and learning.

Building hardiness is one of the best ways to challenge and succeed over stress. Its a core resilience strategy

© Richard Citrin, 2014

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