Last year we wrote a blog on VUCA – just to recap on what this means - Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguity. This blog was about uncertain times of rapid change, and disruption and having a supportive approach to challenging situations. (Click on this link to re-read this blog). This blog is an extension of the previous blog and includes strategies for looking after yourself, self-reflecting, and building your emotional intelligence/resilience through VUCA times. Here are some things you can do:

  • Take ownership for your actions – When we believe that taking action is not someone else’s responsibility, and we are not blaming others, we are taking ownership. Taking responsibility is acknowledging and owning our actions and words which gives us the power to make positive changes in our lives. When we beat ourselves up for a mistake we’ve made, it starts to impact on our mental state and taking ownership can lift a weight off our shoulders which helps improve our mental state. This helps motivate and empower us to develop ideas, it shows professionalism and helps us grow.
  • Accept your whole self – Acceptance is the ability to unconditionally value all parts of who we are. This means acknowledging all of ourselves – the good and the things that need improvement. For most of us self-acceptance can be hard. We are not machines, we are complex, vulnerable, and awesome beings with limitless potential to learn, develop, and adapt. We tend to be hard on ourselves and there are numerous ways to learn to accept ourselves and our lives – it begins with our state of mind. Start noticing your awesomeness more and accept that flaws are all part of being human.
  • Get used to the feeling of being uncomfortable – This may mean staying quite even when every urge of our body is telling us to fill that awkward silence. This may mean having a tough conversation, rather than avoiding it. Our initial response when we feel uncomfortable and have negative emotions is to suppress them. Use the RAIN method when you are feeling uncomfortable about your emotions. The RAIN method stands for:
  • Recognise
  • Accept
  • Investigate
  • Not-identify

For more on this method have a read of “How to use the RAIN method for difficult emotions”.

  • Have strong boundaries – We need to own our needs and understand our values, the things that are important to us in life. They are not something obscure, the foundation of these are based on our commitment to treasure, safeguard, and uphold what we know to be true for us and what we deeply care about. When we live by our values, we feel better about ourselves and are more focused on doing things that are more important to us. How do we do this? Consider what are:
  • Our non-negotiables in your life?
  • We not prepared to live without?

Don’t apologies for the things that are important to you, you will inspire others when you stay true to yourself. Have a read of “10 ways to build and preserve better boundaries”.

  • Look after yourself – Being well and happy is not selfish! This provides us with the energy, time, and perspective to be there for our staff, when needed. It also makes it possible for us to bring our best self to whatever it is we are doing. For some of us, a big part of being well isletting go of perfectionism. Give yourself permission to be well and happy. Set yourself free from ideas of perfection. Be willing to fail, grow and learn from your experiences. What are you doing daily to look after your own wellbeing? Click on this link to Tūhauroa (OP’s wellbeing page) to provide you with some inspiration.
  • Change the story we tell ourselves – We often tell ourselves we are not enough – we do not have enough love, support, finances, energy, time…. Find the meaning in the events of our lives, recognise the learning, growth, and those events that made you the person that you are – appreciate yourself. Ask yourself “What is a different story I can tell myself with the same facts?” Try not to take things personally. Click on this link for some helpful hints on changing your story.
  • Actively practice letting go - Here is a short practice for you. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and bring your attention to the here and now. Try this SOAR exercise:
  • Surrender - just for this moment let go of ruminating about the past or predicting the future. Exhale and put that burden down.
  • Observe - anchor the awareness in your senses. Notice and observe your direct experience with judgement or expectation 
  • Allow -this moment to be exactly as it is. It will pass. 
  • Relax and Release.
  • You are good to go!

A meaningful life, with meaningful relationships, and meaningful work, asks us to be flexible. To stretch yourself out of your comfort zone, open your mind to new perspectives and feel the humility of your ignorance as often as you can. It helps us build emotional resilience. It makes us nicer people, better citizens, and more connected leaders - and if that's not a prize worth having, I don't know what is.

This post is based on material from:

Wednesday Wisdom by Alicia McKay

Seven strategies to help build emotional resilience – Maya Nova

How to use the RAIN method for difficult emotions – Harmony, Transformations, Growth

10 ways to build and preserve better boundaries - PsychCentral

Tūhauroa Otago Polytechnic

The power of the stories you tell yourself – TED Talk – Lori Gottlieb

Image from Unsplash by Tengyart CC0

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Published on 19 Nov 2021

Orderdate: 19 Nov 2021
Expiry: 19 Nov 2023