Antifragility starts from within

Becoming antifragile is not just about coping with change. It’s about using change to become stronger — so that every setback, as well as every success, clarifies our intentions, reinforces our enthusiasm, and increases our ability to achieve the goals we choose.

Becoming antifragile is about learning to manage and lead ourselves differently.

Management is about action. It’s about measuring what we did yesterday, focusing on the tasks of today, and anticipating the issues that might arise tomorrow. The focus of management is outwards.

But before we can know what actions to take we first have to decide which direction to head in. We first need to decide what matters. This is leadership, setting the agenda and targets. And the focus of leadership comes from within, from knowing what is important to us.

This means that the first step to becoming antifragile is both deceptively simple and incredibly important. The first step to becoming antifragile is to improve our ability to bring ourselves back to a state of calm inner balance, connected strongly with who we are and what matters most to us. Even when the world around us is going crazy.

Like the roots of a tree, the deeper we build this connection with ourselves the better we will be able to remain upright during the storms that are coming and better we will be able to survive the droughts. And when times are calm, the depth of our inner ‘roots’ will also determine how far we are able to spread the ‘branches’ of our influence out into wider challenges and roles.

The first step to becoming antifragile is to look inwards, to deeply know ourselves. This lays the foundation for everything else that follows.

In a crisis, how good are you at remaining calm, strongly connected with what matters most to you? How easily do choose between conflicting priorities? Is it worth spending time to deepen your roots and strengthen your connection with yourself?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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