Sales taught me the true meaning of resilience.
It helped me develop a weak muscle into a core strength that served me in every situation.
While cold calling early in my career, I became ok with “no.”And during the Great Recession, I saw budgets completely disappear.
Initially, I turned that rejection into cold, hard determination. I became a workaholic that became burned out because I couldn’t face the difficult situations. It made me negative and I would use each “no” to reinforce why I was terrible at my job. The constant rumination would led to terrible daydreams about getting fired.
Ultimately, learning how to deal with rejection was what lead to over a decade of hitting a stretch and receiving significant promotions. It helped initiate me starting my own business and excelling, despite the fact I had no clue what I was doing. I made plenty of mistakes.
My key to success: resilience.
Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. The best part about it- it’s not a personality trait; it involves a way of paying attention (mindfulness), thinking, and behaving that anyone can learn.
So how does this play out at work?
Picture this scenario: you are working on a project with a global team. Two team members do not show up to the call even though they have work that is due for an upcoming timeline. This stressful event may churn up negative stories about yourself or others persists throughout the day. You end up replaying that situation in your mind and thinking of what you’re going to say to them all day, which continues to increase anger and anxiety.
… far more than is necessary.
However, world-renowned neuroscientist Richard Davidson has found the more mindfulness meditation you practice, the more resilient your brain becomes. Badri Bajaj and Neerja Pande’s articles from the journal Personality and Individual Differences, confirm that psychological resilience is more pronounced in mindful people.
“Mindful people ... can better cope with difficult thoughts and emotions without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down (emotionally),” they write. “Pausing and observing the mind may [help us] resist getting drawn into wallowing in a setback.”
In addition to helping us recover quickly, mindfulness also reduces rumination.
So instead of “stewing” all day, you can PAT:
· Pause in the present moment;
· Acknowledge the stress/disappointment/etc. you are feeling;
· Take positive action by holding people accountable, identifying what needs to get done, by what time and delegating.
Sounds a lot more productive then rewriting a nasty email over and over again or re-hashing a “story” all day.
So when something doesn't go my way, I remember that I have a choice. I can flex my resilience "muscle" and put my energy into something productive. Or I can sulk and stew.
"No's" have indeed made me stronger.
Do you want to learn more? Week 4 of my on demand digital courses provides you with the neuroscience behind resilience and how to restructure the brain to better cope with stressful situations (or just life in general).