We’re going to do things a little differently and start this blog at the end. The soul message and key takeaway we’d like you to gain from this blog can be summed up in one sentence:
“Resilience starts with choosing a better perception of events, unlocking your ability to see all the reasons why you CAN CONQUER what is in front of you, and FIND HOPE that a brighter day will come.”
Recent times have been the most challenging many of us have experienced in a lifetime. As we all work hard to build a new sense of North for our lives, the one internal resource that we’ll all be calling upon is our personal resilience.
At Evolve we call this the R Factor.
Like all other internal resources (i.e. confidence, self-belief, courage) the R factor is something that can be developed. Each time we encounter a challenge and find a way through we strengthen this internal survival / thrival mechanism and become better at bouncing back and forward from life’s twists and turns.
Cornerstone of the R Factor
There are many elements to resilience, but by far the cornerstone is the way you view any situation that causes you emotional pain. Our stress response is triggered when our awesome brains – designed with the prime purpose of keeping us safe – register an event (or person) as a potential threat to our survival, or more accurately today – our happiness.
“When someone experiences a stressful event, the amygdala, an area of the brain that contributes to emotional processing, sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus. This area of the brain functions like a command center, communicating with the rest of the body through the nervous system so that the person has the energy to fight or flee.”
Source: Harvard Health Publishing
This shows us that the first step in being able to respond effectively and restore our inner peace is changing the way we view:
- The situation.
- Ourselves & our ability to be able to cope and conquer with the thing that is currently causing us upset.
A heathier and more helpful perception creates momentum in the right direction. Take a look at the below and reflect on when these very different resilience mindsets have played out in your life:
Perception: This is terrible, I can’t cope with this,
Feelings & actions: Powerless, worrying about what you can’t control.
Outcome: Staying stuck or moving further away from a brighter day.
Perception: This isn’t what I expected, but I will find a way to make this work for me.
Feelings & actions: Powerful, taking action on the things you can control.
Outcome: Moving forward and closer to a brighter day.
The solution to overcoming any situation that is causing you stress and anxiety is to create a version of events that breeds hope and optimism, whilst also placing you as the hero of the story who will prevail. This new lens gives you something to hold on to and work towards, making it far more likely you will behave in a way that serves you and transports you to the other side of the storm, quicker.
Better perception = Better ability to respond
Traits of Resilient People
The role our personal and situational perception plays in our ability to feel resilient is evident when we look at the ‘3 C’s of Hardiness’ first developed by renowned Psychologist Susan Kobasa in 1979.
Challenge – Resilient people view a difficulty as a challenge, not as a paralyzing event. They look at their failures and mistakes as lessons to be learned from, and as opportunities for growth. They don’t view them as a negative reflection on their abilities or self-worth.
Commitment – Resilient people are committed to their lives and their goals, and they have a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning. Commitment isn’t just restricted to their work – they commit to their relationships, their friendships, the causes they care about, and their religious or spiritual beliefs.
Personal Control – Resilient people spend their time and energy focusing on situations and events that they have control over. Because they put their efforts where they can have the most impact, they feel empowered and confident. Those who spend time worrying about uncontrollable events can often feel lost, helpless, and powerless to take action.
Viktor Frankl, the Austrian Neurologist and Holocaust survivor, and resilience mentor to us all had this to say about taking on circumstances of huge turmoil with courage:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Build Your R Factor
So how can we channel these insights into building our R Factor? We think a great place to start is by:
1.Choosing a more helpful & hopeful lens
Write down how you’re currently viewing the situation and you’ll probably spot language that fuels feelings of hopelessness. Swap this version of events with something that helps you to see the opportunity for growth that this situation presents you with.
“Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t.”
– Michelle Obama
2. Focusing on taking ‘brighter day’ actions
When faced with challenges it is easy to fall into a fear focused mindset and behave accordingly. Picture the best version of you and ask yourself how they would respond and get focused on taking action that creates the outcome you want.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
3. Backing yourself
The moment we feel we can handle a situation, the fog clears and the world looks like a better place again. Rebuild your belief in yourself and your ability to cope and conquer what is front of you by reminding yourself of everything you’ve overcome before. Seek evidence that tells you that you won’t only bounce back from this, but will rise a better version of yourself than you were before.
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life.”
– Golda Meir
Never forget that The Evolve Co. are here to support you so that you can thrive through challenges like a phoenix rising. If you need us in your corner, get in touch to find out more about our human centred and forward thinking 121 Coaching Programmes.
We’d also love to hear your strategies for maintaining resilience. Pop your ideas in comment below.
Stay resilient. Stay striving.