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Resilience: Why We Need it to Thrive

What is it that allows some to do well in the face of significantly difficult circumstances while others shrivel up and don’t move forward? Turns out it is resilience. Resilience is considered an essential quality, which allows us to bounce back from personal and leadership setbacks. Yet how to get it? Where to get it? Well, its not purchased at the local hardware store but the skills involved are just that ~ skills and therefore things we can all learn.

Steven Synder wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “the truth remains: resilience is hard. It requires the courage to confront painful realities, the faith that there will be a solution when one isn’t immediately evident, and the tenacity to carry on despite a nagging gut feeling that the situation is hopeless.”

You might recognize some of these requirements from past newsletters but here’s an advanced primer on the essential qualities presented in no particular order.

Build relationships that support you. For some that will be family or perhaps a group of friends or professional contacts who are really and truly supportive of you.

Get and stay optimistic. What that means in real life is to frame setbacks and failures as time limited events, which are specific to the situation and completely within your capacity to change. Always within our capacity is the option to change the attitude with which we approach a situation.

Frame setbacks as opportunities to grow. We learn new things with each and every setback, whether that is something major or relatively small. Each learned item in turn allows us to grow and change. If you’ve not learned something from a setback then sadly, you’ve lost a potential source of valuable information.

You are not one thing. If you have framed yourself, to yourself, as “the parent” or “the Independent Practitioner” only, you run the risk of not having a platform to stand on should that role be changed or taken away. Being multifaceted allows us to seek out those other areas when we find our roles shifting. Varied community connections, support systems and the belief that we are more than one identity allows us to stand our ground in tougher times.

Last month we learned from the Elders the importance of faith. With a sense of faith also comes the option to forgive. Forgiveness is connected to being resilient. “Being able to let go of past hurts and move on is an essential component of resilience” says Loreen Walker, the survivor of a sexual assault which in its own way motivated her to become a lawyer and advocate for restorative justice. We are not those events that happen to us or even the victims of our own poor judgments.

Resilient people have a sense of purpose. A sense of purpose is driven by a set of values that are distinctive to each individual. Having this allows for re-evaluation of next steps to be taken when the going gets a bit harder or setbacks happen (because they will!)

Get yourself balanced! Quoting Synder again, “When feeling the stress of time, it is easy to break from the routines that are so important to healthy living, like exercise, self-reflection, and meditation. Investing the time and energy to maintain and even enhance these centering practices during difficult times pays off handsomely, as scientific studies show. It gives your mind greater clarity and can be the source of new, out-of-the-box thinking, necessary to solve your most vexing problem.” Does that sound familiar? I thought you might want to hear it in someone else’s voice rather than mine again!

These are all skills, which are highly within your reach as both a Thriving Practitioner and Thriving Individual. Need a boost to get there? Give a call! Helping you be resilient and ready to bounce back is all what I’m about!

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