12/15/2017

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Understand Yourself

Resiliency is built on self-awareness

This includes knowledge of your values, beliefs, emotions, and attitudes as well as your strengths and weaknesses. It also means recognizing what is holding you back in any given situation. Once you understand this about yourself, you can take a more realistic look at any situation and determine your choices. We always have choices.

For example, if you are asked to make a presentation, but the last time you made one, the feedback was not great, and so you are reluctant to do it again, you can either find a good excuse for not doing it or accept knowing that you will need to figure out how to be more successful this time. Believe it or not, there is not right answer here. It depends on what your goals are, how you can leverage your strengths, and what you think the payoff will be for the amount of effort that it will take you to learn more about making effective presentations. This kind of soul searching will help you see more choices available to you in this particular situation and give you the motivation, courage, and self-confidence to make the choice that is best for you rather than letting the previous bad experience be the deciding factor. this is resiliency: the ability to recognize, in any challenging situation, what is true for you and use this powerful knowledge as your navigation system.

Remember that trying something new can be difficult, and that we can procrastinate and make excuses for not getting out of our own patterns of behaviors and sometimes beliefs about ourselves. Much of that is caused by our own mindset ("I can't do it well" or "doing it takes too much work"), which allows our own voice to talk ourselves out of whatever it is that makes us uncomfortable or frustrated. However, I have found that we create our own obstacles that are based on our own belief system or mindset.

Kate Johnson, senior vice president, service strategy and innovation at Oracle Corporation, uses a sports analogy of someone who has never worked out in his entire life but starts working out at age 40. He feels overwhelmed at the thought of even running around the block. The most important thing to understand is that you don't have to run a marathon the first time. You may have a few stops and starts, but at least you are taking steps to get there. It also helps to break down your overall goal into little bites. Try running for 10 minutes the first time and let yourself build up stamina and endurance. then run for 20 minutes, and so on, so that you can build your new muscle naturally while building your confidence level as well. When you start seeing incremental levels of progress, you start to shift your mindset from "I can't do" to "I can d."

Kate's example illustrates that many of the obstacles we see are really our own illusions, which can be self-limiting and can ultimately hold us back from being or achieving the things that we really enjoy and could be very good at. It's important to know that we have the power to reexamine and shift our mindsets and reapproach a situation with a more positive and "can do" attitude. When we do this, we are that much more confident and competent, and those obstacles then seem like opportunities. This is an important mindset if we are to be successful in today's environment, as the rules are changing and we are all being asked to or charged with changing our own mindsets from the old way of doing things to a new way of thinking and being.

An excerpt from the book, "Leadership Secrets Of Hillary Clinton" by Rebecca Shambaugh.

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