Bouncing Back is Overrated (try bouncing forward instead!)
by Robin Sacks
When people talk about resilience, they often use the phrase "bouncing back."
When someone has a setback, they aim to "bounce back." That's resiliency, right?
Here's a question for you; why would you ever aim to 'bounce back' when you have a chance to 'bounce forward?'
This little mindset shift can have a huge impact on your end results.
Here's an example of how that looks in real life. A few months ago, COVID-19 completely shut us all down. Every single person, just like you, instantly had to look at their lives differently than they ever had before.
Let's look at how two different people, one looking to 'bounce back' a few months later, and the other choosing to 'bounce forward' a few months ago would handle this, and what their results look like today.
The person looking to 'bounce back' started by looking at things a few months ago with an, "I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens" attitude. Makes sense. After all, there were a lot of unknowns.
However, that person chose to not change anything in his life during those three or four months before things really started to reopen a bit. In other words, he didn't do anything differently.
He simply waited for things to "bounce back." He waited for the economy to 'bounce back' (something we're still waiting for). He waited for the doors to his job to reopen (something many are still waiting for) so he could "bounce back." If he had an bad economic impact, he's waiting to get back on track with bills (yet another thing many are still not able to do), trying to financially "bounce back."
Overall, the person looking to "bounce back" is simply waiting for things to get back to exactly what they were.
Let's take a look at how another person used this exact same situation to "bounce forward."
This person woke up the day after everything shut down because of COVID-19, just like the first person did. Just like the first person, she had to look at everything in her life differently, and rethink how to do everything.
But that's where the similarities end.
Early on, this second person looked at this as an opportunity, and started doing things differently.
Here are several ways this person "bounced forward."
One thing this person did was think of all the times she had said to herself, "If I had the time, here's what I do." She realized very quickly that, instantly, she "had the time," and chose to do something with that gift.
A second thing this person did was to look for ways to do her job differently.
For example, learning best practices on how to work virtually with her teams, her coworkers, her clients, her investors and anyone else she still needed to be talking with. She using the time to brush up on soft skills; things like professional presence, speaking skills, leadership development and writing skills.
The third thing she did was take those things she learned, and put them into play! She went online and started "showing up." She realized that, if she's at home all day, and her workload looks different (in many cases, it had lessened), she suddenly had gifts of time that she could choose to take advantage of.
The people who were more like this person began doing things such as writing or posting on social media to stay connected and have a voice. Others began reading, educating, and learning.
They saw that they now had the time to do things that they always said they had no time to do, and they chose to do something about that.
It's at times like these that you realize you will never again be able to use the excuse, "I'd do that, if I only had the time."
The people who chose to do nothing with this new-found time over the course of three or four months, and simply waited it out to get back to where they were before, will at some point be able to "bounce back."
However, those people may be further behind than they ever have been before, simply because others chose to "bounce forward," and are now that much further ahead.