As Elton John’s anthem for resilience “I’m Still Standing” started playing in the stadium after England’s quarter final match, I was reminded once again of the powerful lessons we can learn from the world of sport. The England team were undoubtedly ‘true survivors’ who stayed calm under pressure and battled to the end to secure their victory over Fiji.
Whatever your walk of life, resilience is critical to success. It allows you to manage stressful situations and thrive under pressure. Below are 3 steps to help you develop your resilience so that, like the England team, you can hold your nerve when times are tough and come back from adversity faster, stronger and better.
Understand what makes you tick
The first step to building your resilience is to recognise and understand your own emotions and how they influence your behaviour and decision-making. The secret to knowing yourself is to carve out time each day to connect with your feelings. A useful technique is to think of how you behave on a good and bad day to help you understand how you perform when you are under pressure. It’s only by recognising your emotional triggers that you can learn how to manage your response to them.
Learn how to back yourself
Next, you need to draw on your self-reliance to boost your confidence so you can back yourself when the chips are down. It’s about being accountable for your thoughts and emotions and taking responsibility for your actions and behaviour. People with high levels of self-reliance have the self-assurance and initiative to face their fears and rise to new challenges. The secret to developing your self-reliance is to overcome those barriers that prevent you from performing at your best. This could be the fear of failure, doubting your ability or worrying about what other people think of you.
Change the way you think about failure
When things go wrong, think like an optimist by taking the learnings and moving on. Don’t be tempted to blame yourself or take things personally. Keep a sense of perspective, pick yourself up and dust yourself down. When you’re faced with a setback don’t sit in the doldrums, think creatively and be solution-orientated instead. Look to the horizon and seek opportunities to find a new way forward.
Finally, as the England team so clearly showed, when the going gets tough, you need to rely on the support of those around you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – human beings are social creatures so reach out to your network to help bolster your mood and stay focused on the end goal. If at times you notice your resilience levels dropping, think of Elton John’s lyrics and remind yourself, “I’m still standing, yeah, yeah, yeah….”
For further advice on how to develop your resilience and other EQ skills, order your copy of The Emotional Intelligence Book by Nicole Soames.