Your capacity for resilience (meaning the extent to which you are filled up & supported) is a gift to others. A gift. You can’t be the change that you want to see unless you cultivate your own resilience through the habit of replenishing yourself and dedication to respecting your own needs as well as those of others.
Creating change isn’t something that, in the long term. we can just do for others, beavering away relentlessly to try and make other peoples lives better.
We actually have to commit to making our own lives better too. Yep. That’s the paradox.
We might be drawn to change making work because we deeply care for and have empathy with others. We may also feel we are lucky and already have everything we need.
But we have to learn to care for ourselves too if we are to truly understand what is meant by justice and equality and holding each and every resident of this planet (including ourselves) in the highest esteem.
Only with the understanding and resilience you get from caring for self, as well as for others, can you work for change the world in ways that are healthy and, continue to pursue them in the longer term.
Figure out what makes YOU feel replenished.
It doesn’t have to be a big deal or cost a lot of money but you need to fill yourself up and make it a habit.
5 mins, 10 mins, 20 mins a day. Start with whatever you can manage and build on it. Do this to honour yourself.
Do things truly make you feel good, rested and like you are filled up in yourself. Don’t do them because others want you to, do them for you.
Don’t wait till you are burnt out and exhausted. Seriously, I learnt this one the hard way.
Start making your own replenishment a habit like today.
Reflection matters. It’s one of the key practices and habits that helps us grow.
Make space and time for it, find support with it.
Reflecting on your own practice will give you the tools to see what could be different, what is working and what needs to shift.
Time spent on reflection is never wasted as long as you take what you learn and use it for the future.
Choose Honesty. First of all with your self.
As in how are you really?
What is really going on for you?
What feels true for you?
What isn’t working?
Then with others.
Where do things feel stuck, out of integrity or difficult?
What needs to change?
How can you speak truth to power in ways that makes a difference?
All of this (and more) is part of how I see honesty as a critical piece of building our own resilience for change making work.
Find safe places to share. Make sure you havethe right people to have around you and at your back and developing the habit of truth speaking.
Find places to connect with people who can hear and understand you.
They don’t have to be anything like you.
But what matters is that you feel heard, send and acknowledged and that you can offer that experience back to them too.
That’s your community, whether they live nearby or on the other side of the world.
Connect to your people.
Build community that supports and nourishes you AND others.
Intentional, healthy community thrives when everyone is able to give and receive, including those who hold and facilitate.
Being out of integrity in the work you do is a key factor in burn out and over exhaustion.
The constant sense that you aren’t quite doing what you believe in, that things aren’t quite what they could be, can really begin to wear you out.
Becoming resilient meanings choosing to follow what you are passionate about instead, even if it makes for a bumpy road, for questioning authority, for breaking free from the pack.
Your resilience will grow even as you step out of your comfort zone and choose to act in integrity with that which you a truly passionate about.
When we try to do everything, say yes to everything, be all things to all people, it’s impossible to hold our focus on what really matters, on the change that we are trying to achieve right now.
Part of becoming resilient is about reducing those distractions, those little things we say yes too that take up space and time and dilute our focus.
Saying no with confidence and having the sense of our own boundaries that we need to do that is a critical piece of the jigsaw of becoming radically resilient.
The best way to stay resilient and counter burn out is to live our values.
That means when we feel we are being asked to do something or be something that ‘isn’t us’ we say no.
That means not forcing ourselves in to a role or character to suit others.
It also means leading organisations that are committed to practicing what they preach.
In that sense, living our values is a long game, but one we can start for ourselves today. The impact will be felt around us.