"On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin." – Gregory S. Williams
This is a frightening time. It’s quite natural for people to be filled with fear and anxiety as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the world. Fear about illness.
Fear about job losses. And a general fear about the future.
But these fears don’t have to drag you down. If anything, you can use this (lock)downtime as an opportunity to grow and improve.
However powerless you might feel, the COVID-19 virus crisis appears to be the storm that you not only need to survive but also come out of stronger later. And what will see you through to the other side is, ultimately, qualities like grit and resilience.
Grit is the driving force that helps you stay on top of things in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. And resilience is the ability to quickly adjust and bounce back.
However, resilience is not a magic pill. It takes perseverance and confidence to transcend challenges. How can you develop resilience and continue to move towards your goals?
Experts at people development consultancy JCA Global, now acquired by PSI Services, believe that we all go through four stages of the Thrive Cycle of Resilience: Survive, Adapt, Recover and Thrive.
The first stage is about how you respond to adversity and how you manage your emotions. Some people remain calm and some react negatively, but this is a temporary stage. The second stage of adapting to change is about preventing things from getting worse. You need to step out of your comfort zone and adapt to a difficult situation.
Then comes the recovery stage when you bounce back and return to how things were before the setback. This often involves taking responsibility, actively finding solutions, setting clear objectives and having the determination to grow.
This takes you to the final thrive stage of reflecting and learning from these experiences. It gives you the strength and confidence to cope even better the next time you suffer a setback.
You can use this cycle to develop the attitude and behaviors needed to build resilience in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The respiratory illness has shaken our lives—it has left us confined to our homes, disrupted schedules and lowered the motivation to keep going.
But you can look at this crisis as an opportunity. Yes, the situation is uncomfortable and demands you step out of your comfort zone, but instead of abandoning your goals and routines, you can embrace these circumstances and use them for your personal development.
At Harappa, we believe that such challenging times help us improvise and adjust. The confidence and willingness to bounce back drives us to effectively navigate this change.
Psychologist Carol Dweck believed that adopting a “growth mindset” helps us view setbacks as a springboard for growth, stretches our existing abilities and empowers us to not only withstand pressures but thrive.
So, use this time to do things that are meaningful to you, especially those you have been pushing back.
Cultivating resilience is a process, but it can help you cope with difficulties and prepare you to confidently deal with future challenges. So, as author Gregory Williams said, raise your sail and begin. And even if you fail, just keep sailing.
Nainika Seth is an Associate with Learning Impact at Harappa Education.
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