Learning to Bounce Back

We all suffer failure from time to time, whether in business, relationships, health or other. I’ve had my share… starting with 11th grade math! However, our success in life isn’t determined by if we fail or not, it’s determined by how we react to that failure. After we suffer the typical tailspin and a period of distress or malaise, do we bounce back? Or do we sink deeper into hopelessness? Resilient people bounce back.

A fundamental question then is “Can resiliency be taught?” The answer is “Yes” according to Dr. Martin Seligman, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of several books on the topic of Positive Psychology. He is involved in a program with the U.S. Military that is teaching resiliency and mental toughness to sergeants and other boots-on-the-ground leaders. The goal is to decrease PTSD and increase well-being and Post Traumatic Growth. The skills they are teaching also work well for leaders in other fields.

There is an excellent article about this by Dr. Seligman, in the April issue of the Harvard Business Review. Check it out. I just read it this morning and I highly recommend it.

What are they actually teaching? One of the key skills being taught is how to be optimistic when experiencing failure or trauma. I will write more on optimism later. It’ll be a full blog post on it’s own, because not all experts agree on the benefits of an optimistic attitude.

For now I’ll conclude with this. Challenges are short-term, but success is long-term!

Welcome to My Blog

As I begin this blog the question in my mind is “Why does this matter?” We are constantly inundated with information, so why do you need more? My goal is to provide something of value, to make it worth your while to spend a few minutes here reading it.

Stress is the leading cause of illness in North America. Stress can have a significant negative impact on our lives professionally and personally if we don’t have strategies to cope. Much of the stress management literature is about lowering our demands. That is NOT what I teach. I believe that the high demands that we place on ourselves are the aspects of our life that make us successful. We need these stresses and challenges if we want to live fully!

I will be providing tips to increase your ability to deal with extreme demands without suffering the negative consequences of stress. So, I believe this matters because your level of success in life will be determined to a large extent by the level of resiliency that you reach.

I will base my blog posts on the latest research, but also on anecdotal evidence and my own observations. If you have any comments or ideas, please send them. I’m looking forward to spending time with you here.