Mental Fitness in challenging times

Mental Fitness

With recession and a potential cost of living crisis ahead Mental Fitness is more important than ever. 

The sunny days of summer feel like they are giving way to rather ominous clouds on the horizon. The narrative around us is one of looming recession, falling household incomes, a cost of living crisis impacting on food, energy and housing and inflationary pressures impacting at a macro and micro level across the economy. Coming hot on the heels of the challenges faced by businesses and organisations navigating the recent years of Covid, Brexit, supply chain disruptions, reducing consumer confidence and the emerging impacts of climate change it’s not unreasonable for any business leader to be approaching the times ahead with a degree of trepidation or anxiety. 

There is a risk that the response to stormy weather ahead is to simply batten down the hatches and hope that ‘business as usual’ gets the organisation through to the other side – the ‘hope for the best’ approach. Or it might be to try and make sure that the business is as lean as possible and cut costs to the bone to approach tough times with a lower cost base – the ‘strive to survive’ approach. 

We prefer a different strategy. Let’s call it the ‘peak performing team’ approach. Making sure that the best people are in place and are operating at optimal levels of Mental Fitness so that the organisation doesn’t just survive challenging times, it adapts and responds to them in ways that lead to strengthening and growth. 

Here’s 5 ways in which developing and strengthening Mental Fitness can help organisations in challenging times. 

  1. By improving individual and organisational resilience. Resilience is one of the cornerstones of Mental Fitness. By understanding our sources of resilience we can increase our capacity for agility, flexibility and adaptability as individuals. By developing our resilience collectively we can create more resilient organisations able to weather the challenges ahead. 
  2. Understanding stress as a superpower helps unlock potential. Too often we experience stress as distress – an overwhelming sense of things being too much. Learning how to reframe stress as eustress, seeing the endorphins and cortisol released when we find ourselves in challenging situations can not only help to energise and increase our focus and performance but can also have positive longer term health benefits. 
  3. Improved wellbeing aids talent retention. Supporting individual Mental Fitness requires gaining a deep understanding of employees needs, goals and purpose. This understanding is a critical element in creating a workplace where people want to remain and supporting retention. 
  4. Focusing on Mental Fitness brings people together. Adopting a strategic and purposeful approach to supporting Mental Fitness within the organisation is a unifying and connecting process helping underpin a sense of everyone working to face challenges and overcome obstacles together. 

Strong collective Mental Fitness is the foundation of a leadership organisation. One of the most powerful ways to enhance Mental Fitness across the organisation is via the roll out of transformational coaching support for the many not the few. This is the first step in creating an organisation where leadership doesn’t just exist within a small group and instead operates widely across the organisation. With challenging times ahead we don’t know who, where or how the innovations and solutions required to succeed will emerge from. But organisations with leadership in their very DNA are the ones most likely to succeed.

Want to take this further?

Do you want to gain insight into personal transformation? Do you want to learn how your own Mental Fitness can be the framework for understanding how you can develop greater self-awareness and grow in your own capability and resilience?

Or, if you play a role in your organisation’s development and that of those who work with you and their Mental Fitness, we’d love to talk.


by | 29 Sep 2022

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