We’ve reached a place in time where being resilient just isn’t enough. Resilience means to be able to recover quickly from difficult situations. We are past simply needing to adapt at this point. What we need to do is to embrace an antifragile mindset.
What is an antifragile mindset?
In his book, Antifragile – Things That Gain from Disorder, Nassim Nicolas Taleb introduces the concept of antifragility. Antifragility basically means that instead of being resilient or adaptive you actually get stronger in the face of extreme stressors, chaos, and disorder. Rather than just dealing with it you actually use the experience to improve. An antifragile mindset goes far beyond practicing resilience. It is about turning turmoil into tenacity.
Steps to Embrace an Antifragile Mindset
While no one looks to invite chaos and discord into their lives, 2020 showed us it is going to show up uninvited. So whether it is a pandemic that has upset your system, addiction, or something else, being able to embrace an antifragile mindset means you’ll come out of the experience not just the same but improved.
Go Against The Standard
The first step in developing an antifragile mindset is to go against the standard. To buck the norm. I didn’t realize how empowering that could be until I decided I was going to stop drinking. Not only was I bucking the norm by turning down the booze but I decided to go all in. I even stopped drinking in a non-traditional way. Becoming too reliant on rules and routines makes it much harder to thrive when things become chaotic. So being a rebel is actually a good thing when you’re aiming to be antifragile. A few simple rules are fine but bureaucracy seldom helps anyone.
Checks and Balances
An antifragile mindset also means creating space for failure but not allowing any one failure to be catastrophic. If we’re thinking in practical terms, it’s having a generator in case the power goes out but also stocking up on flashlights and candles just in case the generator fails. Sure we might roll our eyes when we think of preppers but as far as becoming antifragile, they know what they are doing! In our personal lives, it means that when we’re working towards a goal – like becoming alcohol-free, sticking to a healthier eating plan, or changing careers – we have a contingency plan in place. So if we slip and have a drink, have a cheat day, or bomb an interview we don’t throw in the towel. Instead, we’ve prepared our checks and balances and move to the next step in the mental flow chart.
Don’t Be A Control Freak
We can’t allow ourselves to be antifragile if we never allow for anything to happen that we don’t orchestrate or control. Being risk-averse isn’t really a good thing. Without risk, there are no rewards. It was risky for me to stop drinking when my career was built upon deals that happened around happy hour drinks. It was a calculated risk to stop drinking but taking the risk to stop drinking wouldn’t be fatalistic. The idea of being antifragile is to treat it all as an experiment. Take lots of small risks that won’t wipe you out if they fail but will force you to grow and flourish.
Build Strength From Within
To be antifragile we must build up strength from within. There is no bubble wrap in real life so practicality says we need to create our own safety nets. Having healthy coping mechanisms – meditation, exercise, journaling, etc. – is just one example of building strength from within. By not being reliant on things from the outside to help us cope (like alcohol) we actually build upon the strength we have already created.
Embrace Redundancy to Create an Antifragile Mindset
Anti-fragile things are not all about efficiency. They actually build in redundancies as redundancy builds strength. We have built redundancy into our revolutionary program, The PATH, as well. Learn about the pause and why it is such an important part of the mindset shift that takes place in this year-long program. Check out nakedmindpath.com!
Do More with Less
Finally, listen to Taleb. He states, “the first step towards antifragility consists in first decreasing downside.” As a society, we keep seeing what we can add to our lives to improve them. To make things, easier, faster, make us stronger. That seldom works. The key to a better life, to becoming anti-fragile, is to see what can be eliminated from your life.
I know that seems far-fetched but I was able to prove it to myself when I removed alcohol from my daily life. My strength built as I gained time, confidence, clarity, awareness, presence, and so much more. I only eliminated one thing from my life but in turn, the gifts that came back to me, the tools that I developed, and the antifragility that ensued definitely increased the upside.