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How to bounce back

How to bounce back

Challenge, change and uncertainty are normal in today’s legal profession. Building resilience is not only desirable, but vital. Some people are either unwillingly defined by adversity, while others gleam with competence in their ability to transcend bad times, refusing to see hardships as anything but temporary. For a long time, those with the ability to bounce back emotionally after adversity have been viewed as intellectually superior within our profession. But is resilience something that simply comes naturally or can deliberate, intentional effort cultivate and bolster our inclinations towards being resilient in times of need? Past resilience: Learning how to ride the bike Our first memory of mastering a skill almost certainly involved our parents teaching us how to balance gravity and understand the physics of weight, force and stability on four wheels. Put simply, we learnt how to ride a bike. Although it may now feel like second nature, what was in fact happening as we peddled and wobbled, then peddled some more was much deeper. Indeed, our brain was being programmed to think a particular way. Despite the pain in our calves saying otherwise, the very thing keeping us upright was our brain. The repetitive action of certain co-ordinated movements worked to transform the electric brain signals into a language that could be laid down as memory in other parts of the mind, never forgetting this basic skill. Well, that's true until you do the same thing. But differently. With a simple switch to a counter-rotating wheel our brain panics and becomes unable to comprehend the change. We can reason that we will point the wheel left when we want to go right, but anyone who tries to ride this way will almost certainly fall within the first five seconds.

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