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When you’ve achieved a lot, it’s easy to let those achievements become your whole personality. When it works, it works. You feel like you’re on top of the world and nothing can go wrong. But it can also come with negative side effects. And if you’re a high achiever, you likely know this already. 

Things in your life can and do shift. Sometimes this is due to things that are inside your control and sometimes it’s the opposite. Maybe you have the feeling of, “now what?” Maybe you’re dealing with that post-achievement boredom or even disappointment once it feels like it’s “over.” Maybe you’ve outgrown a previous mission or purpose that you once felt connected to. Or maybe you’re in it for the long haul and recognize that you desire some boundaries.

What if your feelings of fulfillment weren’t dependent on what’s outside of you? What if you could access those feelings at any time? And what if this made you more resilient than you ever thought was possible?

How We Define Resilience

Resilience is defined as “having the capacity to withstand or quickly recover from difficulties.” And also, “the ability of a substance to return to it’s usual shape after being stretched.” These definitions talk about resilience like recovery or returning to baseline. 

Here at Well and Whole, we think about resilience a little differently. For us, it’s not just mental fitness or “toughness.” It’s not just fancy hacks or techniques. And it’s not simply about returning to baseline. We’re going for so much better than baseline.

We think about it from a holistic perspective, and you guessed it, we go deeper! For us, resilience has a few key themes. Here’s an overview! For more detail, this blog we wrote about resilience.

  1. Regulation
    1. Reset
    2. Emotional and nervous system
    3. Increasing your capacity through creation of positive coping mechanisms using our 5 part Well and Whole framework (think, breathe, move, be, enjoy)
  2. Mindset
    1. Patterns and programming
    2. Shifting into an abundance mindset
    3. Your vision and aspirational wellness
  3. Your Relationship With Yourself aka Self Health
    1. Self worth 
    2. Self compassion
    3. Self trust

Finding Fulfillment Outside of Work

As a resilient human being, you need to have hobbies, passions, and things in your life that bring you joy that quite literally have NOTHING to do with your career. Remember, we said this is an inside job. And for that to be the case, you need to detach from the often tight grip you have on work. And you’ll also want to learn to validate yourself.

Another thing we don’t hear anyone talking about is that your hobbies and passions can be the best stress reliever and resilience strategy out there. We have seen this with several clients, including a specific c-suite leader whose passion for her art is like a beautiful guiding light. Personally, we have the example of Sara and her bookbinding journey! And me with travel.

Creating time for your hobbies and passions provides an opportunity for expansion. You’re using new mental muscles and having novel experiences which are good for neuroplasticity.  You’re in the mindset of curiosity and experimentation – an incredibly valuable way of thinking you can transfer back into your work.

Spending time on your hobbies and passions allows you to activate flow states. You can also think of it like this – these things actually create energy instead of taking it. They fill you with excitement and leave you feeling inspired. And what can be more important to resilience than that?

Sustainable Joy

Most high achievers are not used to finding joy in small things, instead focusing far too much on the big things. Mostly because of the conditioning that led to your success, you fall into the trap of only chasing the big wins and the big highs. For example, the fancy vacations and spa days. Now don’t get us wrong, those things have a place too! But once again, you’re back to the pattern of finding joy or fulfillment outside yourself.

So, we want to introduce you to what we call “sustainable joy,” or small moments that you can enjoy daily. You can think of this like a ritual or a practice. It’s intentionally small so that it’s easy to access without much time or effort. And you guessed it, it’s a key to resilience.

The power of sustainable joy? It puts the power back in your control.

How to Get Started

Finding your hobbies and passions

If you’re a high achiever, we realize this might sound foreign, but we’re going to say it anyway. THIS IS NOT THE PLACE TO BE A PERFECTIONIST. Don’t limit yourself to only what you think you might be good at. Also, remember that this should be completely unrelated to your work. 

This will take time and experimentation to figure out. It might not even be immediately fun. And you’ll probably question the value of it at first. But once you find your thing, we promise it’ll change everything.

As a personal example, I learned to ski in the French Alps this winter. I can confirm it was not immediately fun. I struggled hard with not being “good” at it. It was exhausting. I fell a lot. And vulnerability alert, I even cried a few times! But I learned a lot about myself and my ability to trust myself (or not). I also rewarded myself with tartiflette and white wine on a sunny terrace. This reward had nothing to do with my skiing ability, but rather the fact that I went and tried.

Here’s a few questions to guide you and get you started:

  • What’s that thing you’ve been wanting to do but feel like you can’t make time for? 
  • If you had all the time in the world, what would you do for fun?
  • What are your favorite activities to do on vacation and can any of them translate into a hobby you can pursue closer to home?
  • What’s something you used to enjoy when you were younger, perhaps even as a child?

Build your sustainable joy practice

What do we do with our clients? We actually brainstorm things they enjoy that are different “sizes,” so to speak. We then create a toolbox. We experiment with it and find what works specifically for them. It has to be sustainable, repeatable, and accessible at any time. 

So what about you? Yes, this may be called the “inner work,” but you’re not meant to do it alone! As a leader, you know the value of being fully resourced and you also know that you have blind spots too. 

Wanna try a complimentary session with one of us and see how we can help? Here’s a link to book !

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Transformational mindset coaches, expansion enthusiasts, travel lovers, creatives, hobby connoisseurs, nurses, dreamers, joy-seekers, and real-life twin sisters helping highly successful women live Well and Whole

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