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Bounce Back Better

My generous friend Laura hosts an annual Beach Yoga for the Cure event in support of the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. All our friends and friends of friends come to Malibu every 2nd Sunday morning in September to bliss out and raise money for this important organization. Since its inception, a young yoga instructor has been gracious enough to donate an hour to the cause and lead the growing group through their down dog, warrior and happy baby poses. Last year, however, she cancelled three days before the event, leaving Laura with dozens of paid participants and no yoga instructor. The yoga instructor shared she had been to Burning Man the week prior and with all the weather-related chaos that ensued, found herself too stressed to help out with the fundraiser this year. Important note: I absolutely believe in the importance of self care. Everyone should take time for themselves, take a beat to listen and honor what their heart, mind, body and soul are telling them. But this situation also lead me to reflect on the concept of resilience.

The number one characteristic leaders tell me they value in their employees, the one quality they wished more employees possessed, is resilience. Resilience is an individual's ability to recover from or stay well in the face of adversity, find ways to continue their journey despite the challenges they face. Resilience is people's capacity to handle change and uncertainty - to be creative, productive, and agile in a world where more change just keeps coming. Resilience is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Being resilient does not mean you never experience stress, emotional upheaval, and suffering. Its also not about minimizing the severity of the situation, but rather acknowledging what is and applying creative and critical thinking skills to push through to the other side. Resilience is Mental Fitness. Resilience is a mindset.

7 Pillars Of Resilience  - The Basics

Optimism - Ability to see the positive, understanding crises and setbacks are temporary

Solution Orientation - Focus on opportunities and what is actually in your control

Break Free of Victim Mentality - Take responsibility for your actions, understanding things happen, not necessarily “to you”

Cultivate Success Network - Group of people with varying strengths. Kicks in where our capabilities may falter during times of crisis or challenge

Planning for a Positive Future - Goal setting and working toward satisfying outcomes

Self-Reflection - Gives us valuable insights to positively inform future actions

Sense of purpose - Being inspired by a personally meaningful goal that is larger than the self keeps us committed to the long game, despite challenges and setbacks.

Why does it matter whether we have resilience or not? Research shows being resilient helps us to recover from illness more quickly, live longer and improve our relationships. Having a resilient mindset helps us find new strategies to combat uncertainties and disappointments, interrupt negative self talk and move us forward, always forward.

Now...what if you could move through a setback to bounce back even better and stronger than you started?

Bouncing back better refers to the idea of not only recovering from setbacks, challenges, or crises, but also using those experiences as opportunities for growth and improvement. It's about emerging from difficulties stronger, better equipped to handle future obstacles. Instead of simply returning to a previous state, bouncing back better involves learning from the experience, adapting, and making positive changes that lead to greater success or well-being than before. When we experience a disappointment, to bounce back better we acknowledge what happened but we also must look for the lesson. [Yeah, that sucked…but what did I learn?] It’s a proactive approach to resilience that emphasizes personal development and transformation in the face of adversity. In a work setting, this translates into an employee having the capacity to thrive, rather than just survive, in high stress and demanding environments.

Whether it be public scandal or professional failure or both, when I think of examples of bounce back better resilience I think of Steve Jobs, Martha Stewart, Kobe Bryant. Regardless of whether you love or loathe them, they got knocked down [I mean, Martha went to JAIL!] and when it was time for them to stand again they ROSE! When it comes to bounce back better resilience I also think of the restaurants during the pandemic who, when faced with no in-person dining, didn’t sit around moping, all woe-is-me, waiting for the restrictions to be lifted…they leaned in! They jumped into action, got creative and pivoted to what might be possible, brainstorming what actions could they take to keep their business not just afloat, but guide it to actually flourish? To-Go cocktails anyone? Dining pavilions in the parking lot? Meal Kits to prepare at home? Post-pandemic many of these restaurants have kept their outdoor dining areas open, increasing their restaurant footprint and their capacity to serve: they bounced back better.

Did the young yoga instructor lack resilience? Perhaps cancelling on Laura at the last minute was the absolute only option available to her in order to regroup. I have no idea and its not for me to say, but as a coach I am always looking for the reframe. Could honoring her commitment to teach yoga that Sunday morning on the beach actually have helped her work through the stress of what she experienced at Burning Man? Would showing up for others in such a magical space for a noble cause empower her to push through the negative emotions brought on by things out of her control? Would sharing her gift, a skill and passion in which she excels help activate a few of the pillars of resilience? Sometimes the extra thing is the exact thing.

For those worried about what became of the Beach Yoga event…enter the power of connecting, and dare I say, social media. A few years prior my husband and I got to talking with a group of young women at a Westside restaurant: Chez Jay for all of you Goliath fans. Thereafter, one of the ladies and I started following each other on Instagram. In immediate need of a yoga instructor, I remembered her beautiful posts showcasing various yoga poses. I DM’d her, randomly asked if she was free that weekend and if so….

All hail the spontaneous and magnificent Maggie, the woman my husband and I like to say we picked up in a bar.

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