Resilience – what is it?

Resilience and well-being are areas being introduced and adapted in our work and personal lives.  It is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma and acute stress and anxiety.  It means ‘bouncing back’ from difficult experiences by practising the skills required to let you move through adversity, rather than becoming defined by it.

Becoming overwhelmed by stress or adversity and letting it define you and your worth, means a greater risk of using unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with life’s challenges. People who practise resiliency do not let adversity define them or their worth and this in turn fosters constructive behaviours.

Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn’t experience difficulty or distress.  People who practise resiliency understand that setbacks happen and that sometimes life is hard, stressful and at times painful. They still experience the emotional and nervous system response to their situation, but their mental outlook allows them to work through such feelings and recover their balance.                                                                                                                  

This mental outlook is largely about moving towards a goal beyond ourselves, assisting us to view and overcome what we are experiencing, as a temporary state of affairs.  Resiliency is fostered by supportive relationships and constructive beliefs and behaviours about yourself and others, helping you stay calm, focused and optimistic over extended periods of time. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed within anyone. Building in self-care, emotional intelligence and mindfulness will enhance emotional health and wellness.

Resilience is a life enabler, giving you the ability to progress, contribute and thrive both on a personal and professional level. The way you deal with personal challenges is usually the way you deal with work challenges.  It is a life skill that leads to a measurable and significant improvement across all areas.    

Practising Resilience is a REFRAME on what is occurring

  • See your own and others’ mistakes as opportunities for learning, rather than evidence to feel guilty.  Learn from what is occurring.  What do you need to do now?
  • See factors outside of your control as situational difficulties, rather than personal failure.
  • Accept that some things are out of your control or expertise and allow yourself to step back, delegate, delay or discard them.
  • See difficult times as temporary, rather than permanent.
  • Seeing obstacles as challenges to overcome, rather than insurmountable walls.
  • See feelings and emotions as navigators helping you to identify what you want or where there is resistance.  Something constructive and useful rather than running from them, fighting them, or wallowing in them.
  • Seeing tasks or experiences that are difficult for you as being opportunities to learn new skills, rather than seeing yourself as weak, deficient, or that there is something ‘wrong’ with you.
  • See yourself as the maker of your life, rather than the subject of it. Give yourself projects or goals in the following areas: social, intellectual, psychological, emotional/spiritual, physical.
  • Express how you feel and ask for what you need, this means reaching out to others rather than being afraid of judgement. Say ‘No’ if you don’t have the capacity to give to others – make sure your tank is full first.
  • Have supportive people in your life.
  • See fear as something for you to face, slowly, quietly, gently.
  • Respond to your body – if it needs to move, move it, if it needs to rest, rest it, if it needs to release energy, release it in a safe way.
  • BREATHE deeply and consciously and practice other exercises that help you switch off and be calm.                                                                                   

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