It’s a word that you might not have come across, but at the dawn of a New Year, it is one that might hold some inspiration to those looking for something unconventional to strive for this year.
Healthy eating and getting fitter are all great goals to strive for in January, but the overhaul approach carries one small problem! Life gets in the way!!
Daily life, as we all know, is far from linear and predictable. The road is bumpy, and full of twists and turns... something that the rigidity of some diets and regimes often does not account for.
To strive for ANTIFRAGILITY, means to learn ways to thrive through this inevitable disruption and stress. It goes beyond simply being flexible, which most of us can be to a greater or lesser extent. Rather than simply standing up to shocks, randomness, stressors and disruptions, antifragile people use these events to regenerate and come back stronger and ever more creative.
The whole ‘when life gives you lemons... ‘ expression, is probably a good example of this ‘turning bitter into better’ mindset.
It’s the ability to make a gym out of a hotel room. A meal out of an ‘empty’ fridge. Or a master plan out of a sleepless night! If you can do any of these things... you’re onto a winner!
The term ‘antifragile’ was coined by Black Swan Author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who highlighted the fact that our bodies (not to mention businesses) actually require some kind of stress or irregularity to function well and thrive. The concept goes against the idea of ‘getting back on track’ after bad days and cheat days, since there is no single-track route to anything worth having. Seeking a specific order of behaviours (eg. gym days, ‘dry’ days, weights days) creates what’s known as ‘pseudo-order’. But the only way to have REAL lifestyle control is to re-frame your thinking - to embrace ‘randomness’ and the unexpected.
So how do we put this theory into practice?
It may involve breaking the thinking habits of a lifetime, which are often deeply ingrained.
Coach Melanie Wilding says that asking ourselves questions, rather than issuing commands, affirmations or statements, helps power up problem-solving areas of the brain and is a much more effective catalyst to change.
So, the next time your meal planning or fitness meets a stumbling block, turn it into a stepping stone to discover a new exercise or recipe that you might not have otherwise come across