Antifragility starts from within

Becoming antifragile is not just about learning to cope 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 our goals

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 what is important today, and watching out for the issues that might arise tomorrow. The focus of management is outwards.

But before we can know what to do or how well to do it, we first have to decide what matters, what is important. Before management begins we first need leadership. Because leaders have no one else to tell them what to do. They have to decide for themselves.

If we want to improve our ability to lead ourselves and others through this time of change, this means 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.

Like the roots of a tree, the deeper we build this connection the better we will be able to survive the droughts and remain upright during the storms that are coming. And when times are calm, the depth of our inner ‘roots’ will 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. This lays the foundation for everything else that follows. And only when we know what is important can we inspire ourselves and others to do what needs to be done.

In a crisis, how quickly are you currently able to return to a state of calm inner balance and connect strongly 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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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)

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