Building Resilience, Powering Performance

One of my favorite inspirational stories is Chesley Sullenberger landing the plane on the Hudson river in 2009. Realizing that they would not make it to any airport after both the engines lost power, he landed the plane on the Hudson River and saved 155 lives. Here are some of the qualities he displayed that day – 

  • He showed courage and leadership under extreme stress
  • Remained calm under pressure
  • Did not play the victim. Did not paralyze with fear
  • Trusted his gut and his co-pilot
  • Did not give up
  • Bet on his capabilities and experience
  • Worked with what he had -his skill, experience, and the river
  • Did everything that was in his control
  • Displayed accountability and duty of care by disembarking the plane last

He did everything that exemplifies personal power – the inner strength and confidence that carries us through the toughest of times.

Thankfully, very few of us have had to face such extreme situations, however, all of us have stories in our lives when we displayed courage, power, leadership, resourcefulness, focus, result orientation, and overcame adverse situations. And yet, in everyday life, sometimes we forget that we are capable of being heroes. Do you have days when you –

  • look for someone else to solve your problems,
  • seek external validation, 
  • let others spoil your peace of mind, 
  • succumb to others expectations, 
  • let your past limit your future, 
  • feel helpless or hapless, 
  • hold your circumstances responsible for not pursuing or achieving your goals

What is the difference between the two situations? When we display courage and resourcefulness, we know the outcome we want, and we take responsibility for it. Even if we do not control all the circumstances, our decision, and the emotional frame of ‘owning the outcome’ makes all the difference in how we think, what we feel, the action we take, and the results we get. 

Do we always need a crisis to awaken the power within us? What if at the end of each day, we wrote our story covering our actions, the responses we gave and received, results attained, and emotions experienced during the day. Look at the sections we do not like and rewrite them. The rule of the game is that we can only change our own actions, thoughts, and responses in the story. How does the new story turn out? What are the responses and results received? You may find you want to write multiple scenarios. It is a fun exercise and an effective way to learn to tap into personal power.