“Shame her business has just gone under,” says an article’s headline in The Independent.
The story is about Rachel Lowe. A toy developer and entrepreneur from the U.K.
She once rejoiced in the millions of dollars she generated from her board game, Destination. She even landed deals with major studios like Walt Disney and Warner Bros.
In 2009, she was even appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) thanks to promoting business enterprise in schools, colleges, and universities
Lowe was taking the toy industry by storm, and gaining many accolades. However, she would fall that same year.
A test of resilience
Lowe faced new struggles as her business grew and expanded. Her company’s much anticipated Harry Potter board game, Destination Hogwarts, was delayed. This caused her bank to stop funding her business.
With this and other setbacks, Lowe and her board games went bankrupt. This was a harsh reality for investors like Paul McCormick, who remarked harshly:
“When I first met Rachel I thought she was a motivated and bright young woman who would know how to run a successful company. But I have since changed my mind. My suspicion is that the shares are now completely worthless.”
This whole ordeal scarred her. However, she’s not ashamed to talk about it. In the Chartered Management Institute’s issue, BOUNCING BACK: Leadership lessons in resilience, Lowe explained what she learned from the events:
“What happened to me was traumatic and I was deeply affected. It wasn’t easy and some people do go over the edge without the right support.
I now see entrepreneurship differently and acknowledge that even if you do everything right, it can go wrong and often will – contrary to the misconceptions.”
Now, she’s working on a new business venture called She Who Dares. It’s a woman’s fragrance and accessories line. With her lessons from her board game company, she’s on a much better path this time. Today, we look at how you can be more resilient like her.
How You can Learn Resilience to Handle Life’s Challenges
You might not know who Rachel Lowe is, but you’re probably familiar with facing similar challenges in life.
Managing a business isn’t easy. It’s complicated and unpredictable. There will be moments when your organization succeeds. You and your team will be overjoyed.
However, there will also be moments when you’re not sure about your organization’s future. These somber moments might cause you to feel insecure, anxious, and stressed.
When these moments hit you, it’s essential that you practice resilience. Resilience will build up your toughness as things get hard.
Here’s 3 ways you can you can become resilient.
1) Look to grow from your failures
Both of these definitions are incorrect. You can’t recover quickly from a bad experience. However, you transform into a different person because of it.
Think about the last time you overcame a challenge. Were you the same person you were before? Most likely not.
Major life challenges change us
Hardships change you physically, emotionally, and mentally. For example, stress can influence how your brain works.
Your amygdala activates your “fight or flight” instinct. Stress can further cause it to be hyperactive.
The prefrontal cortex manages your amygdala. It determines if your impulses are appropriate or not. Hardships can cause it to be more vigilant in certain situations.
The answer was self-determination. Ever since they were toddlers, they wanted to live life on their terms.
This mindset combined with support (from friends, teachers, neighbors, or relatives) made it easier for them to thrive.
To them, their lives were meaningful and wanted to prove it. They had a desire to achieve big goals and feel fulfilled, and built habits that kept them out of trouble.
You don’t have to go alone.
The over-achieving Kauai adults challenge what we believe strength is. People confuse being unaffected or being overly independent with resilience.
However, this idea hurts us more than it helps. The article, Dark Side of Resilience, argues that trying to be seen as tough is actually damaging; acting fearless or detached won’t help you overcome your problems.
Peak Performance expert Brad Stulberg believe that being vulnerable is key to resilience:
“Holding fear, pain, and uncertainty is hard, which is why it’s so important to dispel yet another falsehood about resilience.
Although resilience is about inner strength, it’s not about keeping a stoic profile and going at it alone. Inner strength and seeking support are not exclusive; if anything, they go hand-in-hand.
Being vulnerable and reaching out for help when you need it demands inner-strength, and inner strength grows when it’s supported by help.”
The successful Kauai babies thrived because they had support and felt their life was meaningful.
Both are elements of George Mason University’s resilience model:
The Resilience Model
The George Mason Resilience Model teaches us that having one of the following traits will make handling your life’s challenges easier:
- Positive emotions – how you feel about your current circumstance or fortune. If you’re grateful about your life, you’re less likely to perceive it as too harsh.
- Social support – a circle of friends or family that you can rely on for support, advice, or encouragement.
- Meaning in life – how you view your life’s purpose. The more you cherish your life, the more you want to survive challenges.
- Coping – how you respond to stress and manage your emotions
- Physical well – how healthy your body functions. If it’s healthy, you’re less likely to succumb to stress.
You can see these in action in our examples today: the Kauai babies had support, and Rittenberg had life meaning.
Whichever you choose, the 5 elements are the building blocks to creating a better transformation when you face a major life challenge.
You will always face obstacles in your life. However, you can better handle them by investing in strategies that will build up your resilience.
Being a manager is hard.
Being a manager during a professional or personal crisis can be overwhelming.
Even when you have the best intentions and feel like you’re doing everything right, life can throw you a curve ball.
In these stressful moments, you must find strength.
You can do this by looking at your challenges as learning opportunities. Use the challenges to help you transform into a more understanding and wise person.
Equally important, remember to stay positive. Rittenberg is proof of how powerful an optimistic mindset can be.
Even in the most challenging of times, a focus on the future and finding the positives that can come from it will help you come away better and stronger.
Even when your mind is unclear, and your heart is heavy, it’s important you lead with strength and build your resilience.
You owe it to yourself and your organization to set a strong example especially when times get tough. Keep today’s lessons in mind next time you need to make the most of a tough moment in life.