There are some situations where you are left feeling run over by life. Rather like coming through an emotional wringer. Some situations are the fault of others: a nasty relationship split; an abusive workplace; or an undermining partner. Then there are those experiences where it is hard to place blame : losing a business; caring for an elderly parent; or being downsized from a job. The list goes on but the common impact is to chip away at confidence, lessen self-esteem and, generally, to sap vitality and energy.
I realized that this coming through the wringer syndrome was a common factor to so much of my coaching with people who had reached their middle years. Life happens; just think about it. There are so many changes that may take place at this time of life. Companies downsize; the economy flattens businesses; elderly parents become dependent and then die; relationships disintegrate; and we stay too long in abusive situations which have sapped the energy to leave! My wonderful clients described variations on these situations over and over.
As I was examining common client themes it hit me that, during my life, I had dealt with these situations myself. So, how did I handle the wringer syndrome? Not too well. I am a generally optimistic person and rather stoical when it comes to hardship so I paid little attention to the energy toll being extracted. If I am honest with myself, it took about two years to muddle my way back into my version of the “zone.”
I have learned from experience and from my clients of the importance of tuning into one’s physical and emotional energy level and then tending to the task of jump-starting resilience.
Resilience is generally defined as the capacity to adapt, cope with, and bounce back from the effects of stress and adversity. This is not to deny or diminish the impact of adversity but, rather, to develop the ability to regain energy and equilibrium.
Resilience is like a muscle that can transform stress into growth and learning.
In order to help people inspire resiliency I am putting together a pilot group early in the new year where like-minded people can support each other in moving beyond “the wringer” and transforming the past into opportunities for growth. The group will be held virtually (via telephone) so international participants are welcome. Contact me if you would like to know more.
A group because:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” (African proverb)