Resilience is our capacity to face and bounce back from the many challenges life confronts us in unpredictable ways. And thankfully, there are a number of proven strategies that work in dealing with our stressful and challenging situations including: having a support network, being optimistic, having a perspective that recognizes that the stressor may not be permanent and pervasive, a reminder of other times that you have come out the other side, being present focused and attending to task at hand rather than worrying too much about the future. As I was writing this blog, a friend reminded me that dining with friends, chocolate, retail therapy and getting her hair done was all she managed to do that lifted her spirit!
Another colleague, recently challenged with a health issue, successfully used the mantra, “all I have to get through is today” and “all I have is ‘the now’ to do what is needed.” This helped him get through things in a much calmer and resourceful manner than being on the relentless rollercoaster of anxiety and panic feelings he was familiar with.
The point I want to make in this blog is that while there are positive steps we can take when confronted with challenging times, there is another thing we can also do. Although all of the above strategies are effective because we have no control over the unexpected, we can become a bit more proactive in identifying areas or thinking patterns which decrease our resilience.
Here are some questions for your exploration. We start off broadly then get more focused:
1) What is the main area of your life where you feel vulnerable? For example, is this finance, health, relationships and or your own emotions?
2) Whatever area you have identified, for example, relationships, is it mostly with people at work or home?
3) What is the more specific issue or thinking pattern that makes you feel less resilient?
4) Looking back at your life, is there a trend or pattern which shows up in this area?
5) What have you done in the past that has worked to address this? What comes to mind?
6) More importantly, what are you called to do DIFFERENTLY now? The latter can be as simple as having a strategic intent or an action that needs to be taken consistently.
7) If you took this action, what might be the outcome? What could change for the better?
8) Commit to doing it!
Building your resilience requires awareness, action and reflection. Get more proactive by becoming more aware of where you can cover yourself with some resilience insurance!
Jasbindar Singh is a coaching psychologist, author and speaker and loves seeing people be more of their authentic self and in their groove.