Mary-Ann Owens and Associates

Resilience Blog

Reaching your goals with Grit

Bounce Back Through Allowing

Bounce Back Through Allowing

The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet. Franz Kafka

I currently work part-time, which is a big shift in my work schedule and worldview. In our household work has been a focus for us for a long time. So moving into a time of allowing rather than pushing has been and continues to be my focus. 

Allowing helps you to recharge, go with the flow, see what doors are opening to you, and what lines up with your motivation. Do you need a period of allowing in your work or life?

If you need this type of break allow yourself to do one of the following today:

  • Focus on one task for 30 minutes or more
  • Take breaks every 90 minutes
  • Be grateful for what you have
  • Center yourself through meditation, yoga, tai chi or centering prayer
  • Go with what life is offering you
  • Journal your thoughts
  • Share with others who are there for you
  • Touch your heart center and expand your holistic connection
  • Notice the beauty around you
  • Fully taste, smell, touch, see and feel ensuring you are in the present moment
  • Exercise some self-care and renew yourself, or 
  • Be compassionate with yourself, look at yourself through the eyes of a gentle person

Expect it, believe it, trust yourself and the process, and allow it to come to you. Mike Basevic

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The Prize is in the Effort

The Prize is in the Effort

“In the end the great truth will have been learned; that the quest is greater than what is sought, the effort finer than the prize (or rather, that the effort is the prize), the victory cheap and hollow were it not for the rigor of the game.” U.S. Supreme Court Benjamin Cardozo

What about this quote could help your career and leadership resilience?

If you can learn ways to embrace and enjoy the process of finding work:

  • networking,
  • volunteering in your field,
  • writing cover letters and resumes,
  • interviewing,
  • and keeping on top of and learning about trends 

If you can learn ways to embrace and enjoy the process of leading:

  • inspiring a positive vision,
  • enabling others to do their best work,
  • seeing the virtues of team members,
  • sharing decision making with others,
  • and modeling leadership behaviour for others

Inject your efforts with some joy and your work may become more like play. Your enjoyment could go up and time might fly by.

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How to be Resilient through Job Loss

How to be Resilient through Job Loss

When people lose their jobs they often go through other losses as well. These can include loss of their network, structure or routine, self-esteem and self-confidence, sense of security, professional identity and purposeful activities. A job can give us all of these things.

Some ways to rebuild these lost aspects are to:

  • Network with former co-workers and broaden your network. Don’t be afraid to network with former co-workers. Some of them could provide career-enhancing ideas and additional contacts for you.  A few of them may not know what to say to you and they will not return your messages. This speaks to their inability to know what to do or how to help, so keep going until you find someone who has the capacity to help you. Take risks and meet new people as well.  
  • Create positive routines and structure within your day. Notice what is going well throughout your day and give yourself credit for these actions and the progress you have made. You don’t have a pay cheque or a boss who will give you credit, so be sure to give yourself some positive feedback.
  • List your accomplishments and skills. Focusing on your positives can help to boost your mood and elevate your energy to get the work of the job search done.
  • Spend time with people who see your efforts and the progress you are making. Affirming and helpful people are great to be around. Be sure to be helpful with them, give as well as take support with these gemlike friends and family.
  • Volunteer in your industry and beyond to network and develop skills. People that volunteer within their industry often have their finger on the pulse of what is happening. By volunteering within the industry you get to spend time with these knowledgeable and well-networked individuals. Volunteering outside your industry is a sure way of developing desired skills and expertise. 
  • Read current industry related material. This way you can stay on top of trends and developments in your targeted field.
  • Set a mission or vision for yourself as you are looking for work. Setting a large and noble goal can ensure you have a reason to get up in the morning and continue doing what it takes within the work search.

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Get Resilient! Get Hired! Get Promoted!

Get Resilient! Get Hired! Get Promoted!
 

Companies often hire for attitude because they benefit so much from these positive employees. Your ability to be resilient supports a positive attitude. How can you be this resilient employee with the good attitude? 

When your behaviour aligns with the following resilient behaviours you can promote these benefits to organizations you are applying to or working within.   

 
Employers benefit from their positive attitude. How can you do this?
  • Be keen and curious, embracing and chasing change and learning
  • Say yes to assignments, even when that means climbing around, under or over walls to progress
  • Play full out giving it your all to benefit both yourself and others
  • Determine who boosts your energy and surround yourself with these people
  • Boost your spirit and fill your mind with positive information, reading, videos or audios
  • Acknowledge and celebrate small wins which will lead to bigger wins
  • Take breaks to re-energize yourself
  • Cherish and embrace laughter and joy when and where it occurs
  • Notice and comment on things you are grateful for 
 
Employers gain from their focus on the right things. How can you do this?
  • Work hard and keep learning
  • Reinvent yourself as trends within your industry evolve and change
  • Develop a personal mission statement that brings out the best in yourself or is focused on outcomes larger than yourself
  • Motivate those around you by reframing negative situations into possibilities, opportunities, and learning
  • Be professional and optimistic enough to enjoy the adventure in the unexpected
  • Look adversity in the eye and know that with time and effort something good will come of it
  • Create your own destiny by stepping up to what you can do to aid situations
  • Hold onto a positive vision of your team’s and organization’s future especially when things aren’t going well
  • Get centered quickly after you get knocked about by assessing what happened and asking for help and support
 
Employers benefit from their emphasis on “we” over “me”. How can you do this?
  • Smile at, welcome, and be polite with others
  • Know that relationships are more important than things
  • Befriend and find ways to cheer up your co-workers
  • Notice and let others know when they are doing a good job
  • Be happy for and congratulate others when they succeed

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7 Wonderful Ways to Increase Your Energy Levels

7 Wonderful Ways to Increase Your Energy Levels

1. Be grateful. 

Being aware of what others are adding to your life and letting them know supports your relationships.

  • Who are your grateful for? 
  • How have they added value to your life?
  • Did you tell them? 

 Raise your energy and self-esteem by acknowledging what you are grateful for within yourself.

  • What are you grateful for about you? 

 Feeling good about your life circumstances, such as where you live or what you own can make your heart warmer. 

  • What are you grateful for about your life in general?

 

2. Learn something new today.

 Learning gives you ways to keep moving. 

  • What are you curious about in your life and work?
  • What do you want to learn more about?

 

3. Meditate. 

Centering or meditation assists you to focus, be clear and in the moment. I found a meditation that helps calm my mind by bringing me into my senses. This gives my mind something to do and quiets it. I love it. 

  • How can you center yourself?
  • What can you do to calm yourself down?

 

4. Balance being active with being in the moment. 

I was really tired the other day and I tried to do nothing as Peter Fenner says in his book Radiant Mind. By being in the moment like this throughout the day I got a lot more accomplished and I had more energy for all my activities. I wasn’t pushing my adrenals or stressing about anything.

  • How could you bring this kind of non-outcome oriented method to your day?
  • How could you balance just being, with getting things done within your activities today?

 

5. Focus on the progress you have made.

We often focus on what went wrong or what we didn’t get done, however, this drains our energy levels. Instead, focus on the progress you made today.  

  • What did you get done today? 
  • What skills enabled you to get this done?

Living on the edge can help stretch your skill and confidence levels. If you stepped outside your comfort zone today, ask yourself:

  • What enabled you to be courageous and exercise risk today?

When you get to know this about yourself, you will learn to make ongoing progress by exercising your risk muscles.  

 

6. Break your larger goals down into manageable chunks.

Smaller chunks are doable and action brings helpful energy along with it.

  • What are the next steps in your projects that are easily doable?
  • What steps take more time and effort to accomplish? 

Assessing your goals like this and writing them down enables you to determine what to do and when to pursue each next step. These actions will help you stay focused and make progress.  

 

7. Get happy.

I saw a blog post that said you should dance around your office. Isn’t that fun? There must be a million ways to increase your happiness and energy levels.   

  • What makes you happy? 
  • Can you do whatever this is for 5 minutes to raise your energy and happiness levels?

Answering these questions enables you to get moving in ways that work for you. 

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What This Blog is About

What This Blog is About

Welcome to The Resilience Blog.

The topics in this blog help you be more resilient in your career and as a leader. I write about ways to gain momentum and positively move through blocks that get in the way of your goals. I post articles on the blog about once a week. 

When I did my research study for my Ph.D., I got to conduct interviews with a number of successful and admired leaders. What fascinated me about them was how resilient they were. They had grown into leaders who could make things happen by demonstrating their resilience, confidence, and adaptive behaviours. I will teach you how to use and apply these resilient behaviours in your leadership and career leading to new levels of success. 

I am completing a book on Career Grit, which will include content and themes that will appear in the blog. If you have a story about overcoming challenges and becoming increasingly resilient in the process, I would love hearing about it. 

I am passionate about these career related topics:

  • methods to positively connect with others,
  • ways to lean into feedback,
  • reframing negative experiences,
  • making progress on your goals,
  • methods to enhance your positive impact, and
  • meeting challenges.

In the leadership area I enjoy focusing on: 

  • creating a safe environment, 
  • being more positive in your self-management and with your team,
  • raising your self-awareness,
  • bringing safety along with you wherever you go,
  • being able to have tough conversations when needed,
  • building trust, and 
  • ensuring your team performs. 

I hope you sign up for the blog soon and that you and your team apply these resilient behaviours thereby increasing your success.

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How to Advance Your Career Even If You Don't Have a Job

How to Advance Your Career Even If You Don't Have a Job

Many people think they need a job to make progress in their career. You don't need a job to make progress. Over time doing things that create forward momentum may create the work you need. So don't wait to start doing these career advancing moves. 

  1. Promote your progress. Let those with the authority to spend money and make decisions know the advances you are making in your learning, networks, and knowledge of their industry.
  2. Do your homework. Research the leading organizations and individuals in your field. Learn what they are doing to stay ahead.
  3. Have your finger on the pulse. Know what the emerging issues and trends are within your industry.
  4. Put your hand up. Volunteer within your industry association or on the board of an organization with a cause you are passionate about. Volunteering is a way you can expand your network and build your skills.
  5. Broaden your network in your field. You can attend industry events with a goal of meeting 3 new people at each event. You can let your current network know that you want to expand your network. Ask yourself are there people you should get in front of? 
  6. Find a mentor (or two). Spend time with people in your field who are further along the career path or considered experts in your industry.
  7. Polish your online profiles. Keep the information current on these public profiles, so that your contacts can be up to date on your progress.
  8. Push your passion forward. Advance your knowledge and abilities in areas of your career where you are truly motivated. This will be fun and rewarding as the learning and knowledge add to your skill sets.
  9. Take a risk. Put more skin in the game by putting yourself out more. You could organize an event, write an article, or offer to do a talk. Your efforts and learning can open doors, allowing you to meet new people, develop new opportunities, and give you new information and energy.
  10. Chart a career path for your career progress. What skills do you need as you round out your experience and move forward on your career path?

You can learn the skills you will require through;

  • taking a course,
  • researching and learning on your own,
  • writing an article and posting it,
  • volunteering, or
  • finding an expert or mentor.

These actions will advance your process, add to your knowledge base and network. Even if you don't have work, setting goals and carrying out some of these actions will move you closer to getting work that you would enjoy and shine at.

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What it Takes to Coach for Pride

What it Takes to Coach for Pride

I saw an article in the Globe and Mail on the weekend that outlined how Bob Johnson, the hockey coach, emphasized pride in his coaching. This is a motivating way to coach people and is also important for leaders in organizations. The article stated that this way of coaching was a switch from the aggressive style of coaching using fear and humiliation with hockey players that was common in the early years of hockey.

I bet you are thinking to yourself that coaching for pride would motivate and engage you a lot better than coaching based on fear and humiliation. This is also what they found with hockey players. 

Why would this method of coaching be discussed in a resilience blog? To make coaching for pride happen, the leader or coach needs to ensure they have a positive relationship with themselves. If the leader cannot see what is right for themselves, they won’t be able to see what is right and what they can be proud of in others.

Be aware, though, that some leaders present themselves in an arrogant way, they seem to act as if they are the only ones who have positive qualities. This is actually an insecure way of leading which is not based on a positive sense of self. These leaders need to get feedback from others to verify what they are truly good at. They also need to confirm with others what their skills are and support themselves in those skills.

To gain skills in this method of coaching you may need to:

  1. Start by asking yourself what you did well today. Notice where you feel good about the things you have accomplished. This can range from simple accomplishments such as writing a great email or having a productive conversation to completing a complex project in an effective way. The important thing to acknowledge is that you contributed and made this result happen.
  2. After a period of time focusing on the first point, start to shift your attention to notice what others are doing well. Notice how your team members contribute weekly and with time and increased awareness, you will want to start to notice others' abilities. 
  3. Changing deep beliefs that keep you stuck and focused on what is going wrong, rather than what is going well may require you spending time meditating or working with a coach.

When you are able to have pride in your own accomplishments, you can encourage others to have pride in theirs. 

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