We’ve learned a lot about resilience over the last three years. The word comes up often during challenging times, whether it be a global event such as a pandemic, something more localized like a hurricane, or even personal as in job loss. It’s a necessary skill that we must learn early in our lives, and we don’t need to face something catastrophic to flex it, either. Life throws curveballs at us every day, and we must learn to adapt to these difficult situations.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that we don’t experience pain, sorrow, anger, suffering or stress. Rather, we learn how to adapt, cope and, hopefully, learn from these life challenges. As a self-storage operator, you likely flex your resilience skills just about every day. Some people are better at it than others. Fortunately, you can improve yours.
Like many mental-health skills, this one begins in our thoughts. Resilient people will look at negative situations realistically and figure out how to tackle the problem. They swap out words like failure with obstacle, horrible with challenging. They think short term and understand that the majority of negative events are often temporary. They practice positive self-talk: I’ll get through it. I’m strong. I can handle this.
Another aspect of being resilient is to stop the mental spiral. You know the drill—the constant worries about “what ifs” and worse-case scenarios. When you find your mind wandering into this territory, redirect your thoughts. For instance, you might tense when you see a problem tenant headed your way because you’re expecting a negative interaction. It’s possible the customer has yet another complaint, but they could be coming into the office to tell you they appreciate the new flowers you recently planted. Perhaps they need to purchase a few boxes. Better yet, maybe they’re vacating the space!
On the heels of this is learning how to let it go. Resilient people can endure a crappy situation, handle it and move on. They know what they can control—and what they can’t. Say your tenant walks through your door with a scowl on their face and indeed has another complaint. You put on a smile, then solve the problem the best that you can. What then? Do you stew on it for the rest of the day or even several? Do you tell your coworker, your spouse and your mom, relaying the story over and over? When you do this, you’re essentially carrying that stress with you. While it isn’t always easy to let these feelings go, it’s often the best course of action.
A huge part of becoming a more resilient person is learning how to manage your stress in a positive way. It might be having a conversation with a friend, going for a walk, meditating, hopping on your favorite social media, or enjoying a good meal or your favorite hobby. Maybe a spa day, weekend getaway with family or just a morning in bed does the trick. Finding ways to unwind it critical for your overall well-being and will help you become a more resilient person.
When you do, the benefits are generous. There are the ones for your health, of course, but you’ll also be better at your job. It can help build your confidence and make each day more productive and enjoyable. Developing this skill can also help you move up in your career.
If the slightest bump in the road sends you into the depths of despair, you probably need to work on your resilience. Think about a recent negative event at your self-storage facility. Now that it’s passed, what are your thoughts about it? What did you learn? Was there anything that came from the situation that has helped you? More than likely, you can think of one or two. You’ve also likely overcame a similar or even more difficult challenge. Guess what? You’re more resilient than you thought!
Becoming resilient doesn’t make all the problems of the world go away. However, building this skill will help you better handle stressful and challenging situations. Not only will you be able to bounce back, you’ll experience growth and be better prepared for the next adversity.