Kristin Smedley and Mary Fran Bontempo

Talk about a train wreck.

When Kristin Smedley and I launched our program Brilliantly Resilient a few months ago, we had no idea what was ahead. We’ve both had our own struggles (Kristin is raising two blind sons and my son is in recovery from a decade-long heroin addiction), and had decided to share our strategies and tools in uncovering our resilience and finding our brilliance during crisis and beyond. We talked about our personal train wrecks and, as Kristin calls them, sucker punches, but a global train wreck / sucker punch? Inconceivable.

Well, with the world in the grip of the COVID 19 pandemic, we’re in the middle of a planetary train wreck. And we need to rely on our resilience and brilliance more than ever before. Here are three tips to uncover your inherent resilience and hone your personal brilliance.

Reset. Like it or not, we’re on a global time-out. It’s not easy, it’s not fun, but it offers opportunity. Take time during this forced isolation to check in with yourself. Are you living in a way that’s true to your values? Without the constant distractions of our let’s-fill-every-minute-with-activity lives, can you look at where you are and feel fulfilled by your life-choices? Is at least part of your day spent doing something meaningful? Spending 15 minutes of intense focus on your values and mindset can start to bring clarity to bigger issues.

Rise. If you feel the need to make some changes, think about what you CAN do now, even though the world is in a literal holding pattern. Can you use the time to investigate things you’ve always wanted to try but never had time? Can you tweak your perspective so the things that were weighing you down become less important? (I mean, really, in a global pandemic, is that annoying co-worker really that big a deal?) What one step can you take to start to change things?

Reveal your Brilliance. Remember Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway? Stuck on a desert island with none of the necessities of life immediately available, he FIGURED IT OUT. Our hero built shelter, caught his dinner, and even performed dental surgery on himself. (Ouch–worst scene in the movie, except for when Wilson floats away.) Point is, Tom uncovered skills that he needed and used them. We’re all on our own personal desert islands right now, but thankfully we don’t have to catch our own dinner–yet. What skills are you uncovering during this time? What have you done differently and how can that be applied beyond this crisis? We all have skills that are transferable; what are yours? And more important, how can you share those skills with the world?

When you take time to reset, make changes to rise, and reveal your brilliance and skills to the world, we all win. Eventually, life resume without the dire threat of COVID 19. Uncover your resilience and get ready to show the world your brilliance.