Sheriff: Resiliency skills help with immediate challenges
I hope that my articles on resiliency have been helpful. I want to thank all of those who have contacted me throughout the last few months stating they have enjoyed reading them and drawn some lessons from the articles.
So far, many of the skills I have shared have been those that you can use when an issue has either passed or is somewhat out in the future, providing time for reflection and/or preparation.
The skill that I am going to discuss today is a bit different in that it is meant to be applied in the moment, or in the immediate time leading up to the challenge you are about to face. These situations are not always negative but for a variety of reasons are causing you some level of anxiety.
Good examples is getting ready to teach a class or take a test. So many times we allow self-doubt to invade our thoughts and create even greater anxiety, which can affect us mentally and even physiologically. Just like so many other aspects of our lives, we can either control or be controlled, and stress is no different.
The first step to apply when insecurity or thoughts of doubt begin to surface is to counter them with facts which prove those negative thoughts as false.
A good example is getting ready to run a race. If you start to think that you are not going to be successful, remind yourself that you have trained and prepared and that you will be successful in the run.
The next step is to apply optimism. In this example, you may have a negative thought about your run, but you counter it with an optimistic thought, such as, “I may not finish first, but I will finish strong."
The third step is to apply perspective. In this example of doubting your performance in a run, you counter it with a positive thought of perspective, such as, “Regardless of the outcome, there will be other races."
The purpose of this skill is to build confidence and lower stress so you are better prepared for the task at hand. It is not meant as a means to minimize our faults or make excuses for poor performance.
This skill also allows us to remain undaunted in the face of what others may see as substantial odds against us.
What I like about this skill is its ability to form in each of us a sense of determination. When I look at so many of the men and women who are successful in their lives and the vast diversity and backgrounds from which they come, there is one characteristic which they all share — perseverance.
If we look back over our history as a nation, we can see so many examples of leaders who faced what seemed like insurmountable odds. From the Revolutionary War to the Great Depression, we as a nation have overcome so many challenges. If you were to interview those caught up in the events, you would likely see some common traits, one of them being perseverance.
As a parent I can think of no other skill I would want to equip my children with than that of resilience. Whether they use it to prepare for test or a job interview or facing what they may think at the time is a battle they cannot win, the ability to remain resilient in the moment could make the difference between success and failure. Even more importantly, it will help them understand that even in failure there is growth, and the ability to stay positive will make all the difference in the world.
Matt Joski is Kewaunee County Sheriff.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Sheriff: Resiliency skills help with immediate challenges