We seem to be in this “new paradigm” with the world feeling upside down this year – and for much longer than any of us expected!
In previous discussions we have looked at resilience as an attribute that must be practiced, building it like a muscle. In our current situation, however, much more is required than just short spurts of energy that resilience suggests. While some may use the words resilience and endurance interchangeably, there is a difference in meaning between the two, and it is undoubtedly endurance that is needed now.
Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness or the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape, elasticity.
Endurance is the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. It is often used in the context of relating to a race or other sporting event that takes place over a long distance or otherwise demands great physical stamina. Applying the practice of stamina-building to our business and lives is especially important right now. Writer, Katharine McEntee, outlines steps to build athletic endurance. Let’s look at how these steps apply to businesses and lives, as well.
5 Steps to build Endurance
1. Interval Training – typically suggests breaking up your cardio routine with a few short stints of sprints. For business, look at where you can add intervals, focused time for tasks outside the normal routine. Schedule a one-hour block to research a new skill, do some deep thinking or values reassessment, or turn out a couple of blogs.
2. Catch Some Z’s – Studies show the importance of sleep for building physical endurance, allowing your body to work longer and harder simultaneously. Sleep is also a must for strengthening the mental stamina needed to run our businesses and endure the new levels of stress we are experiencing in 2020. The Sleep Foundation says, “we need good sleep to
feed our high-level, innovative thinking and problem-solving abilities. As you sleep, memories are reactivated, connections between brain cells are strengthened, and information is transferred from short to long-term. Without enough quality sleep, we can become more forgetful.”
3. Eat a Balanced Diet – Though natural tendencies may be to seek comfort food during times of stress, you may want to re-think that for success over the long-haul. “A very large body of evidence now exists that suggests diet is as important to mental health as it is to physical health,” says Felice Jacka, president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research. “A healthy diet is protective, and an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for
depression and anxiety.”
4. Don’t Stick to a Routine – According to Ben Wegman, trainer at The Fhitting Room, “routine is endurance’s number one enemy.” Rather than sticking with a regimen like strength training, Wegman suggests changing “your workouts and intervals to consistently challenge your body in new ways,” mixing things up with classes or new programs. Though the pandemic and subsequent “shut down” has afforded new ways of doing business, such as a myriad of virtual meetings, webinars, and even social gatherings, it’s important to change things up to avoid Zoom-fatigue, for example. Adding polls or interactive quizzes to online gatherings can break the monotony and help keep the participants’ interest. Take breaks to walk around the block or think of ways to break up your day to maintain a fresh perspective.
5. Keep an Open Mind – Wegman says that “fitness endurance pushes you beyond your known limits” and suggests being open-minded to new workouts in order to challenge your expectations and your body. Getting out of your comfort zone and embracing a growth mindset is also the best way to strengthen endurance as it relates to your business and mental well-being. With a growth mindset you can challenge defeating thoughts and figure out how to do things differently.
As Henry Ford said, “Unless you have courage, a courage that keeps you going, always going, no matter what happens, there is no certainty of success. It is really an endurance race.”
We are in this for the long-haul, so take the time to build your endurance as we close out 2020 and plan for what’s next.
Kim Ellet is a certified professional coach and owner of The Growth Coach of Metro Atlanta. She finds joy in helping successful leaders committed to continuous improvement, be more of who they are, dream bigger dreams, and accomplish more than they realized was possible.