10 Steps to Test Your Resiliency
"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson
Most of us think we can handle whatever comes our way, but in reality we all have weak points that, when pressed, cause unpredictable, and undesirable, responses.
I am no exception, which is why I like to look at ways that I can test just how resilient I am, and in turn push the boundaries so I can handle an increasing amount of stressful scenarios.
1. Get clear on your weaknesses.
This step is hard, perhaps the hardest, because it requires setting aside ego and pride and being honest about things that set you off or make you weak. However, it is critical to write down those experiences, people, places, or anything you know that cause you distress; otherwise, you won't be able to prepare for them.
2. Rank your weaknesses from most challenging to least challenging.
This will help decide what to work on first.
3. Select the least challenging weakness.
While it seems counterintuitive, we want to start with the easiest challenge so as to not get overwhelmed and to generate some confidence and momentum.
Alternatively, you can pick the one that's most critical to address in your life at the moment.
4. Set up a safe scenario to rehearse the experience.
We want to mimic the scenario as best as possible while also feeling like there are no real consequences if you fail.
5. Rehearse the scenario.
Go for it. Practice your weakness in your safe environment and see how it goes.
6. Create an after-action report.
Identify what went well, what did not, and what you could have done differently.
7. Rehearse it again.
Armed with knowledge on how you did, and what could have been done better, try it again.
8. Repeat the action/review process until you feel your anxiety is under control.
Continually repeat the last two steps until you feel like your weakness and its related anxiety are under control. You may not feel like a world master, but you feel much better about it than you did before.
9. Go into the wild.
This is it! Take your new-found strength, head out there, and test it in a real-world scenario.
10. Continue to review and analyze your performance.
Constant evaluation is critical to continued success and improvement. Even when we're successful at something, we have blind spots, so repeated analysis will help to illuminate those spots so you can continually improve.