No doubt about it. Law school, articling, legal practice and non-law related careers are stressful. At times the stress can seem overwhelming. It can stop you in your tracks, which then creates more stress.
That’s where resilience comes in. Resilience isn’t just the ability to tough something out. It’s the ability to spring back and recover from being knocked off your stride.
Lots of people feel that resilience is something a person is born with, but is it? It’s true that some people are better equipped to handle adversity, bounce back and take criticism constructively instead of defensively. This helps them move forward in all aspects of their lives. However, resilience isn’t something your born with, but it’s something you can develop.
Resiliency is a Skill
What resilient people have in common is their ability to equip themselves with skills and techniques to face challenges. Skills that can be learned and developed over time. Some of the resiliency skills practiced by resilient people include:
- Managing their emotions so they don’t fall into the trap of catastrophizing a comment or situation.
- Focusing on the positives and practicing positive self talk.
- Viewing themselves as gladiators and not victims. They channel their internal Olivia Pope!
- Stopping, taking a step back and assessing the situation as it really is and not what they perceive it to be.
- Asking for help and not worrying about how asking for help will look to others.
- Developing strong personal, professional and mentorship networks.
Future Self Message Technique
One of the best ideas we’ve come across and wish we’d have known as law students and early in our careers is the stress relief and resiliency technique practiced by LaNia. When she’s stressed, LaNia sends a message to her future self. What makes it more powerful is her use of video messages.
We’ve include her video shared and published in the Huffington Post entitled “Dear Future Me: Stress Reduction by LaNia“.
Next time you’re feeling stressed. Take a “Future Self Message” break. Stop and ask yourself, “Future me how did I get through this?” Then do what LaNia does and remind yourself that you got through it. Consider recording an uplifting message from your present self to your future self. Remind yourself of your goal and that you achieved it.
This simple technique helps you build resiliency. It forces you to stop and reassess the situation. It helps you get perspective. It facilitates positive self talk. Over time, future self messaging will become second nature. Soon you’ll be bouncing back faster and stronger!