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The unexpected resilience bootcamp of 2020

Pandemic crisis management, yet another opportunity to cultivate more skills to “bounce back better” as I rumbled, like many of you, with becoming an expert in tele-audiology, infection control protocols, business management, online distribution and the mother of all resilience topics - personnel changes/issues. 2020 brought me my first worker’s compensation claim in 18 years of owning a business, which was the result of a dog bite in my office and the need to forge a relationship with a local employment attorney to protect myself from potential litigation after a really bad hiring choice. The thought of someone looking to sue me would have crushed me into a puddle of tears just a few short years ago.

What I have learned is that there’s a big difference between being fragile, being resilient, and becoming antifragile. If you haven't read Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, that's your homework.

If you’re fragile and life hits you hard, you break.

If you’re resilient and life hits you hard, you withstand more and eventually… you break.

If you’re ANTIFRAGILE, when life hits you hard, you actually get stronger.

I believe that our aversion to struggle comes from not been taught the skills of how to sit with difficulty, how to lean into the sharp edges of life and how to self-soothe in times of significant stress.

Here are a few of my favorite tools for cultivating an antifragile life: 1) Notice and Name - Repeat the phrase - "This is what is happening NOW" in times of acute stress - NOTICE the reality of the current situation and NAME the true elements. Right now, I am in my house. 2) Breath Deep - When trouble hits, our breath tends to be shallower and isolated in the chest. Try expanding through deep belly breaths and square breathing techniques 3) Navigate – Use proven self-soothing strategies like EFT (tapping), havening techniques and daily meditation practice.

Here’s to the collective struggle. I’ll meet you on the battlefield of 2021, whatever that brings our way!!

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