How to know when it’s time to pause

What are the warning signs of an empty resilience tank?

In my experience, there are four primary indicators that tend to show up each time my resilience tank is running low. They don’t always show up in the same order but, without fail, they will show up one after the other, until I have no choice but to pause and take inventory. 

Too Tired to Rest

The first indicator that usually shows up is full-on exhaustion with its best friend overwhelm. You’ll be struggling just to keep up, let alone get ahead. This is a sign that you’re trying to do too much and you’re spread too thin. This vulnerable position doesn’t leave much space for resilience or rest, healing or clarity. 

With Exhaustion Comes Doubt

The second indicator that shows up when we start to lack clarity or peace is doubt. You’ll start to doubt yourself about things you were certain about yesterday. You’ll wonder if you’re really cut out for this. You’ll question your abilities and your decisions. This is a sign that you’re losing confidence in yourself – and that your resilience tank is running low. 

And Then Everything Becomes Unsteady

The third indicator that typically shows up once we start experiencing self-doubt is how much change rocks our world- not in a good way.  You’ll find it harder and harder to adapt to change, no matter how big or how small. The world around you will seem to be moving faster and you’ll feel like you’re falling behind. This is a sign that you’re no longer able to adapt as quickly as you need to and one of the warning signs I talk about in my new book, Change Proof. This feeling of being left behind or unable to keep up is symptomatic of a low resilience reserve. 

Lastly, you’ll start to see yourself as separate from others. You’ll feel isolated and alone. You won’t feel like part of a team or a community anymore. Your level of self-pity will be increasing with each day and your brain will be hazy, wondering how you spiraled to this point so quickly. When you’ve lost your connection to others, life can seem very bleak.

Avoiding the Inevitable

These are just some of the warning signs of an empty resilience tank. And living through this cycle in my personal life for many years is what brought me to the work I’m doing now. This cycle of burnout, due to an empty resilience tank, can be avoided. 

In fact, people who keep their resilience tank full (Change Proof peeps!) often avoid the cycle altogether because they are consciously taking time each day and week to reset and refill that resilience tank. 

In a world where rapid change is now our near-daily norm, it’s important to get ahead of these cycles that take over our lives, sometimes without us even realizing it, until we’re in the midst of chaos, trying to figure out how to get back on stable ground. 

Resilience is the one quality that provides us the ability to recover quickly from setbacks, adapt to change, and keep going even when the going gets tough. Resilience is a skill that can be developed, which requires practice and attention.

If you or your team are experiencing any of these warning signs, it’s time to take action like engaging with a resilience or leadership keynote speaker and take care of your resilience tank, so you can take on each day with a clear mind and a strong resolve.