Episode 2 – ‘Resilience’

Written by Alison

May 11, 2022

Hello everyone, 

In the last blog post, I talked about resolutions and goals. and, how we often give up some of our ideas this way into the first few months of the year. I proposed the idea of the main focus being to be happy. How have you got on? Did you manage to set yourself one small thing that was going to help you feel happier? Not trying to do too much at once otherwise we get overwhelmed and this is often at the heart of quitting. This takes the pressure away from not achieving those big goals we set out to do at the start of each year. 

This works as we can achieve a small goal which helps us to feel happier and more fulfilled.  This approach also helps us to be more in the moment and being in the moment is certainly something to work towards. As humans we spend a lot of time in our heads, worrying about the future or dwelling too much on the past. I have a great metaphor or image which can help you to remember this –

So we are driving along in the car, hands on the steering wheel – that is the now & the present. You can drive wherever you want. The past is presented by the rear-view mirror, small and dark although it has a purpose. It keeps us safe but from only a small perspective. Imagine you drove the car next time focusing too much in the past – what would happen? Yes, you could crash I hear you say. Being present to the now is how we find happiness and contentment. To find a way of being happy in the moment.  

Resilience 

Now more than ever we are having to dig deep, manage our emotions, keep motivated and rely on our resilience. This can come in 3 forms – Physical, mental and emotional resilience. 

Resilience refers to our ability to adapt to stressful situations or crises.  

More resilient people are able to “roll with the punches” and adapt to adversity without lasting difficulties; less resilient people have a harder time with stress and life changes, both major and minor. Resilience is important for several reasons; it enables us to develop mechanisms for protection against experiences which could be overwhelming, it helps us to maintain balance in our lives during difficult or stressful periods and can also protect us from the development of some mental health difficulties and issues. 

How do you collect yourself after a stressful event?

Emotional resilience is not about winning the battle. It is the strength to power through the storm and still keep the sail steady. It means bouncing back from a stressful encounter and not letting it affect our internal motivation. Another way to describe it is when you are able to settle your busy, frantic mind after encountering a negative experience. It is intrinsic motivation, an inner force by which we can hold ourselves through all the downsides of life. When we are resilient, we not only adapt ourselves to stress and disappointments, we also grow the insight to avoid actions that might lead us to face such situations.

How can you build more resilience? 

1.Self-Awareness 

This is the ability to tune into our own feelings, internal conflicts, and perception of the world. Through self-awareness, we gain a deeper understanding of how feelings contribute to our actions. 

Rather than looking for help outside, or blaming the world for our miseries, self-awareness gives us the courage to look for answers within ourselves. By making us more attuned to our inner world, building self-awareness helps us in becoming more capable. 

2. Persistence 

This is our ability to stick with some. This sounds so obvious although it is vital to have something that we are achieving with or in. If we do not feel that we are committed to something then our focus drops, our inner motivation is reduced, and we miss an opportunity to build resilience.

 3. Emotional Control 

This is our ability to self-control or redirect feelings. People who are good at this are less likely to be overwhelmed by stress or let it affect their lives. They think before taking the leap and avoid jumping to conclusions.

 4.Flexible Thinking 

This is a powerful social skill that incorporates optimism, adjustability, rationality, and positive thinking. A person who has these skills are more likely to be emotionally resilient and well-balanced in life.

 5. Interpersonal Relationships 

Having good personal relationships is both a by-product and a requisite for emotional resilience. If we have the power to build strong interpersonal bonds at the professional or the personal level, we have already taken one step forward for a resilient life. 

Success

What is success to one person can be regarded as a failure or shortcoming to someone else. Most people agree that success means achieving, accomplishing or reaching something that makes them feel content and fulfilled. Some people measure success by money, although money does not automatically equal life success, or indeed happiness. The pace at which we achieve our success is also personal; the starting point is not the same for all and the journey we take to reach our goal can be varied, with many avenues and ‘speed bumps’ along the way. This makes measuring success, and therefore comparing it, impossible. We are all different and there can be a lot of pressure on what is perceived as being successful. 

 So, what about failure? Rather than seeing failure as a problem, we can talk about it differently. Success can be achieved by learning from your mistakes. We all have had challenges that shaped our lives, and through those challenges, we’ve grown. Just because we don’t always achieve what we had hoped for does not mean we have failed. There will always be learning. We can have all the determination and motivation to move us forward, although one of the reasons we quit is because we are not clear on what it is we want. To recognise whether your internal ‘sat nav’ is taking you in the right direction, you need to have a good idea of where you want to be heading and what you are aiming for. It is very common to feel unsettled in life and have no idea what it is you really want. The mind doesn’t like it when it doesn’t know and have certainty. You need to get clear on what it is you want and what it will be like when you have got it. This can be a small goal or stepping stone to a great achievement. What is vital is knowing what it is 

 Keep chunking down your goals and ideas for what you want to happen. It is vital to also celebrate all your wins, big or small. Our minds need this and as adults particularly we are not great at stopping to acknowledge our achievements. If you think about children, they are rewarded and given positive praise all day long, even when they haven’t managed something they are encouraged to keep trying. We seem to stop doing this as adults and yet it is vital for your self worth, self belief, confidence and resilience.  

Stress Management and Emotional Resilience 

Coping with stress, or better to say, effectively coping with stress contributes directly towards building resilience. The whole idea of being emotionally resilient revolves around how well we are able to handle stress and get back on track. Getting tied down with the daily stressors of life can be a big reason that we lose our emotional resilience. We become more sensitive, over-reactive, and emotionally unbalanced. Even a little change of plans can leave us in a state of anxiety and panic. 

Resilience is a muscle. Flex it enough and it will take less effort to get over the emotional punches each time.

                                                                                                                            – Alecia Moore

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