“I just can’t get over the fact that my CEO gave the VP role to an outsider who doesn’t have the expertise or experience I have. I’ve been so loyal and have demonstrated my value many times over the years. It’s not fair and it’s turning me into someone I’m not,” one of my clients said to me. It had been almost a year since this had happened and my client was struggling.
“Who do you want to be?” I asked.
There was a long pause. “I honestly don’t know anymore as I’ve been so focused on not getting the promotion I’ve lost my overall sense of purpose in this job.”
We all have setbacks like these and truly resilient people find a way to make meaning of these situations, re-invent themselves and rediscover their overall purpose. So here are three questions to begin that process:
- Who are you being right now?
- Who do you want to be?
- What do you need to give up to be that person?
It took a few sessions but my client realized that she needed to let go of her righteous indignation as it was blocking her from being the confident, creative and strategic person she wanted to be.
For those of you who follow my blog this is the first in a series of posts about resilience which is built around the word PAUSE. The P in PAUSE stands for:
P – Purpose. We live in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) and so it’s easy to forget about the important things and just survive from day to day. Resilient people are clear about their overall purpose in life, whether that is simply to be a kind person, be the best parent ever, look after the earth, contribute to those who are less fortunate or to bring about radical change in the world. Discovering and then living our purpose is a key first step towards resilience.
Getting clear on our purpose is a lifelong continual process of reflection and action. In addition to the three questions posed earlier, I have found these strategies helpful:
- Know yourself. Resilient people continually learn about themselves, their values, strengths, who they wish to be and what they want to accomplish. There are many ways to do this, including values and personality assessments, getting feedback from others and taking time to reflect.
- Set goals/intents. During times of turbulence, it’s important to be working towards something bigger. Some people are continually working towards big goals while others prefer to set intents about who they want to be, rather than what they want to accomplish.
- Plan small wins. Resilient people feel like they are making progress on a daily basis and build small wins into their days so they feel that, even if the major challenges are still there, they feel like they’ve made progress towards something that day.
Take some time to get re-acquainted with your purpose and then watch this space for the A in PAUSE … it’s something that almost everyone who works in resilience talks about!