The second time I was diagnosed with cancer I had several tumors in my liver and my left lung.
The surgeon said I should have surgery right away, the oncologist proclaimed with authority that I would wake up from surgery with my first dose of chemo already being administered and that I would lose all my hair. I quietly sat there saying “no I won’t” to every directive. I heard their definitive proclamations over my fate as suggestions from which I could choose. None of them sounded appealing and, although they both spoke with strength of their convictions, my inner gut convictions said otherwise. Those convictions led me to decline their choices and, I believe, that saved my life. I went on to search and find other alternatives that I could embrace wholeheartedly. Here I am.
Some elements of resilience I learned were:
- Put things in perspective: You don’t have to be bullied or shamed or ‘guilted’ into believing other people’s perspectives and doing what they want, instead of what you want. I was making choices that were truer to what I saw for my life instead of what others expected of me. I said NO, even though it was in a weak little voice initially.
- Exercise self-compassion: I was able to make sense of the choices being offered and comparing them with the desires I had for how I wanted to live through my treatment. I didn’t have all the answers about what direction I should take, but I made a start. I had to be kind and patient with myself, and that was a start for building confidence and success.
- Make wise choices: Although the oncologists strongly expressed their opinions about my failure, my convictions about my success were stronger, helping me to make the choices best for me. Well, not all that strong initially, since I still experienced panic about my choices, but as the scan results showed evidence that what I was doing was working, I became more convinced of my choices being wise.
Leaders don’t have to make life-saving decisions, however you are going to be expected to make significant decisions that will impact the success of your business. A fear of failure cannot get in the way of making those decisions.
We usually only become aware of our resilience in retrospect. Knowing and applying these three elements during stressful decisions can help guide you through with reduced doubt and fear.
I help leaders identify their capability to be resilient and build their inner strength and endurance before they think they need it. Contact me sooner rather than later.