What a rubber band can teach us about resiliency

Written on Dec 14, 2017

By Molly Ryan, content & community manager

The dog is sick, your child’s failing a class at school, your aging parent found out they can’t drive anymore and your boss is breathing down your neck about that big project at work.

If you’re wondering how on earth you’d deal with all this stress, Corporate Energy Expert Kathy Parry is here to change your life.

Kathy Parry“Resiliency is our ability to bounce back; it’s the ability to stretch and get yourself back in place,” she said. “It’s important so we can continue doing what we need to do.”

In the examples above, giving up is not an option. So, where does “resiliency” come into play?

There’s a three-step process Parry recently discussed at the Columbus Accounting Show, and it relates to rubber bands – how they stretch, snap and hold things together.

First, the “stretch,” or the reaction, stage is your initial reaction to whatever is happening to you. If you need to scream, cry, talk about it, pray, ponder or just sit and soak it all in, then do it. Don’t be ashamed of your reaction, because everyone’s initial reaction is different. But, before you can move on to step two, you must pause and think about how to take back control. Don’t let your initial reaction create your next action.

Step two is the “snap,” or the reframing, stage. It’s time to reframe how you’re looking at the situation and brainstorm a few creative solutions. For example, above, you don’t have to take care of your parents, children, pets and career. You get to do these things and, now that you know you can handle all these things at once, you will come away with a sense of pride and accomplishment for the next time life dishes out a challenge.

“If you’re entering into something and you know it’s going to be a rough six months,” Parry said, “remember, it gets to be added of your list of experiences – both personal and professional. Transitions, disruptions, challenges – you GET to do them, and it’s a huge growth mindset moment.”

The last step is the “holding,” or the re-energizing, stage. Now that you’ve recognized the opportunity in front of you and brainstormed ideas for handling it, you can identify specific steps that will help you take back control. Parry also recommends gathering your tribe together to help motivate and encourage you for the road ahead.

“Fear is your loss of confidence in your ability to handle the situation,” said Parry, “but the Chinese characters for ‘crisis’ mean a time of danger and a time of opportunity. We need to start looking for the opportunities in tough situations.”

One of the biggest things Parry wants people to realize is that resiliency is a process and there’s no time limit on each step in the process. Most people don’t receive bad news and then come back fine the next day. It takes time, so allow yourself that time.

The other key? Knowing yourself.

“You need to know what your gifts and strengths are,” she said. “Maybe your organization is going through a technology transition, and technology isn’t your strength, but communication is. So, start communicating with everyone around you ... Maybe shoot a video about the upcoming changes.”

Resiliency doesn’t clear the road, but it helps you get over the roadblocks. Once you start viewing every situation in your life as an opportunity that will build your character and strengthen you for the future, everything seems a bit more manageable.

To learn more, visit kathyparry.com.

1 comment

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  1. Patty Ioas | Dec 15, 2017
    Great article, good guidance.  Well written.

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