Bear Grylls – The Perfect Resilience Coach to make you feel ‘Super-Human’.
Resilience is a term that most people are familiar with, but very few understand the real impact that it has on life. I read Mud, Sweat and Tears by Bear Grylls in 2012 and it changed my life. Through this book, I found an exceptional mentor in Bear Grylls. I have since read all his books and I have probably watched every series of every show he has ever presented too. I dont mind admitting that to me, he is an inspiration. One thing he stresses is this: No matter what your goal is in life, being resilient and focusing on goals and objectives that may seem adventurous at first, can soon turn into achievable successes that can ultimately take you far beyond any initially perceived ‘boundaries’.
This is certainly true for me. At first, the idea of parenthood seemed terrifying. Now that I am a father of two, there is nothing I consider more rewarding. At first, the idea of becoming an entrepreneur seemed daunting. Now I can no longer imagine being anything else. Last year, I qualified for the OCRWC (Obstacle Course Racing World Championships) in Canada and on the start line would have been delighted just to finish the race. A few hours later I was celebrating a 3rd place finish in my age group. In all of these examples, my resilience was severely tested. Equally, it was this resilience that allowed me to come out of the other side, forcing me to adapt, persevere, learn, develop and improve as a human being along the way. However, I am far from unique. If you are reading this, it is likely you have faced challenges that have tested your resilience in equal measure or more.
So who is Bear Grylls and why are his leadership skills so special?
Bear Grylls is a born adventurer that loves nature, going on expeditions and using his natural instincts to survive in the world. I believe he epitomises the intertwined relationship between nature and leadership, better than anyone. Human-made obstacles are nothing compared to the relentless obstacles that nature can provide. Bear Grylls consistently takes resilience to new levels as he attempts to keep up with Mother Nature’s challenges.
Bear Grylls was left with his back broken in 3 places when parachuting in South Africa in 1996. The experience put him in military rehab for 18 months. Aside from the physical incapacitation, the mental grievance of fighting to recover his strength, movement and confidence were also significant challenges. Recruitment into the British Special Air Services (SAS) and the intense training had nowhere prepared him for a free-fall of a failed canopy on a parachute. For most people, the pain and agony would have been enough to forget about the adventures of the outdoors. However, Grylls had his Christian faith, a loving family and a zest for overcoming obstacles. His resilience, to this day, remains unshakeable. After the accident, Bear Grylls was told he might never walk again. Later, he scaled Everest.
Bear shows that through not only physical; but mental resilience, people can utilise their skills and strengths to cope and recover from problems and challenges. Moving forward after this accident, and others that followed, Bear has used his leadership to show others how the doubt of situations need not be a deterrent to taking charge. He has written and published 15 books that consist of outdoor survival for children, thriller novels, an autobiography and one to accompany his very popular TV series The Island with Bear Grylls.
You may think that resilience is a quality that only a few are born with, but Bear shows how anyone is capable of increasing mental and physical capabilities. Creating a scene in the wilderness is just one example of how resilience is necessary for pushing beyond your emotional and physical capacities.
Bear Grylls is a professional when it comes to understanding and creating plans for survival. Because of this, The Island with Bear Grylls is a perfect match for a hungry audience. The reality show takes real people and challenges them to reach the level of resilience and leadership required to withstand nature’s brutal forces. My cousin was in the 2016 series of The Island with Bear Grylls, and he is the first to admit that mental and physical resilience were fundamental skills required to survive the experience
Second chances are not easy to come by when climbing a mountain or following a fast-flowing river through a jungle. This is where being able to reason and prioritise during a crisis of life and death separates the real resilience of people. The episodes are based on whether or not modern man is capable of survival on an island with minimal supplies and set within jungles, swamps and challenging weather conditions. They are then left to fend for their lives over a 30-day period.
Reading or watching an expert that has the survival skills is very different than living the perils yourself. We all face our own challenges. We may not have to survive the wilderness of the outdoors every day, but that does not make our own challenges any less daunting or difficult. Whether you are battling illness, physical impairment, relationship breakdown, management stress, underperformance, time constraints or a broken heart – you can come through it. Be resilient, be brave and find the mental strength to go on because the results could astound you.
Bear poses the following question:
“Are you the sort of person who can turn around when you have nothing left, and find that little bit extra inside you to keep going, or do you sag and wilt with exhaustion? It is a mental game, and it is hard to tell how people will react until they are squeezed.”
There are many skills that can be learned from Bear Grylls, but the most important to me is the ability to control your emotions, stay socially intact and to continually improve your problem-solving skills. Failure is not part of Bear’s vocabulary, and by following him, your self-awareness and resilience will improve dramatically.
So I challenge you, the reader, to think about your life. Where and when have you needed to show resilience and what was the outcome? What challenges are you currently faced with, be it emotional, physical, professional or social that are going to test your resilience? What can you do over your next 30-day period that will enable you to overcome these obstacles?
It is these challenges that make us human. However, it is successfully coming through the other side that makes us feel super-human.
This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director of JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.
If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll or HR, then please reach out for a 15 client engagement call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
Managing Director | James Gray Associates Ltd | Payrol; & HR Recruiters
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Credits: Quote from Mud, Sweat and Tears – Page 182
You can purchase the book. “Mud Sweat & Tears by Bear Grylls” here on Amazon.