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26 Tips from Resilient Leaders

26 Tips from Resilient Leaders

by Mary Lee Gannon

I had the pleasure of profiling 11 successful individuals who had to start their lives over, some more than once.  Their stories vary from being laid off to dodging bombs in Bosnia to losing their mother to murder to divorce to the death of a husband.

All of these champions overcame immense challenges to meet with professional and personal success. What I have done below is tried to capture for you some common themes in things they shared with me so that you may learn from others who have truly succeeded at their own personal turnaround.

  1. Stop being a victim.
  2. Get support, create self-awareness and figure out what is your fear and what are the obstacles that are getting in the way.
  3. Set goals daily.
  4. Be willing to do whatever it takes.
  5. Stay positive. Surround yourself with only positive people.
  6. Write out ten things every day for which you are grateful.
  7. Your feelings need to be validated so you can let them go. Covering them up with positive thinking; is a Band-Aid at best. Do something frivolous for yourself. Life has just dealt you a blow, and you must find a way to tell yourself that you are on your side. It need not cost a fortune…..perhaps it’s a massage, a special brew of coffee, or flowers or a facial or a new CD or a manicure. But you definitely want to send a loving message of support to your psyche.
  8. Take care of your health. It is by far your greatest resource. Exercise and healthy food will not make your problems go away, but you are guaranteed to get a fresh perspective on those problems.
  9. Get in touch with nature and/or animals and/or children. Pray, meditate, contemplate.
  10. Mind map. Turn a piece of paper sideways, or landscape, and draw a circle in the center. Put one word or thought in the middle of the circle (such as “Career”).  Then you draw lines from that word representing main ideas or thoughts related to the word (such as your three favorite careers) on the main branches leading from the circle. On the fourth and other lines (or branches) you put other things that are important to you (such as “Family”.) Then think about the things you liked best about each item on the branches and write those on lines coming out from each main branch, like the smaller branches on a tree. You will notice similarities across jobs: detail, people, and organizing information.
  11. Find a new quiet environment and spend regular time there.
  12. Network with everyone you know.
  13. Clear things that hold bad memories out of your house.
  14. Rewrite your life goals.
  15. Change your inner vision of your future to include new and interesting experiences. This will help to balance the grieving for the old dreams.
  16. Contact friends and colleagues to find freelance work that may build to a new career.
  17. What have you always wanted to do but never had the time or guts to try?
  18. Spend more time on your hobbies. This will occupy down time and give you a sense of accomplishment.
  19. Focus more on side interests that may be profitable – speaking, writing, professional services.
  20. Do volunteer work. You may learn a new skill and will meet people.
  21. If you are single, start dating again.
  22. It is important to be thankful for exactly where you are NOW. Say every day, “I am exactly where I am meant to be – open to change and moving forward toward my bright and compelling future.”
  23. Minor setbacks/obstacles are our friends – they provide feedback to guide us back on track toward our targets and goals. There is no failure, only feedback.
  24. Trust your gut and be open and mindful to the nuances gently guiding you towards the events and lessons that will provide an opportunity for you to grow.  It is actually easier to connect to your own inner voice than to consult 100 external opinions.
  25. Forgive. There is no profit in holding onto what happened and assigning blame  – no answers lie there. You either get to have results or reasons in your life, but not both.
  26. This is the second best time to become the person you were meant to be!

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