How Resilient Are You?
How well do you bounce-back after something negative happens to you? After you get laid off, or lose a promotion, or experience a house fire, or even lose a loved one. Until we are tested by something adverse happening we often don’t pay attention to how it will affect us and how we will respond. We probably do a better job preparing for a vacation than we do preparing ourselves for personal disaster.
Resiliency is also how well you bounce back from the pressures of everyday life and how well you juggle priorities - work, family, friends, interests - as well as the hectic pace of our often over busy and often overwhelming lifestyles. These days business keeps moving faster, so it is no wonder that there is a high value placed on people who have developed resilience skills to cope and manage. So how do you measure up?
Here are 10 strategies that will help you build resilience, as outlined by the American Psychological Association. The road to resilience Reflect on how many of these strategies you have already embraced and consider improving those where you could do better.
1. Create supportive connections.
Social support is a great comfort when you need it from family, friends, groups, church. These are the go-to people always there for you when you need to vent and get a self-esteem boost. They are there to lean on and bolster you but you can also benefit by providing that same support to them in their time of need. You are more resilient when you don't have to go it alone.
List the support systems you have.
What other support systems would you like to create to fill in any gaps.
2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems.
Have you ever had the experience where you made a crisis worse than it needed to be? The old expression is making a mountain out of a molehill. Resilient people keep a cool head in a crisis and move forward systematically to resolve the issue.
Write down an example of a crisis situation where you blew it out of proportion?
In hindsight, how could you have managed your response better?
3. Accept that change is a part of living.
Change is everywhere and the pace keeps increasing. You know this to be true when you finally purchase the latest greatest cell phone and then 6 months later the company releases an even greater version than yours. Those who are able to adapt to change faster are more resilient. If you love routines and resist change, remember how many changes you have already lived thru and survived, and lean on those strategies whenever you face more changes.
Do you embrace change or resist change?
What strategies could you put in place that will help you cope with rapid change?
4. Move toward your goals.
Having goals means you have a reason to live. Whether big or small, they keep you moving forward and improving yourself. Keep your goals realistic and manageable so they don't drain your energy and lead to constant worry about not being complete. Resilient people know that having goals is "business as usual" and adapt and keep moving forward.
What is one goal you are working on?
How are you managing the progress toward that goal so it doesn't stress you out?
5. Take decisive actions.
When adversity occurs - and it will - follow a step-by-step process to achieve the best possible outcome. You may want to "role-play" a situation that could occur to get some practice so if it were to happen you would have a strategy to follow. Just like you learn CPR just in case you need it! Resilient people remain calm in tough situations and respond accordingly.
Create a realistic scenario that would require your immediate action.
List all the steps you need to go thru to resolve the situation and practice them.
6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery.
Reflecting on "tough" experiences and the impact it had on you is a great way to learn how you respond, what you could have done differently and how resilient you are.
What did you learn about yourself from an adverse situation your experienced?
How did this information about yourself affect your future behavior?
7. Nurture a positive view of yourself.
Consider how you view yourself - positively or negatively? One way to know what kind of energy surrounds you is to look at the people around you. Are they generally positive or negative? If positive, then you are probably exuding positive energy, which can lead to more confidence in your ability to solve problems. It's that can-do attitude that makes you more resilient.
How do you view yourself? Positively or negatively?
What strategies do you use to cultivate a positive state of mind?
8. Keep things in perspective
When faced with adversity, try to look at the big picture and not blow it out of proportion. Just because your car got overheated and needed to be repaired which prevented you from getting to a class on time that you were teaching and 35 people were waiting for you, doesn't mean it is the end of the world. That happened to me and after a phone call to the hotel where they were waiting I told them to take a meal break until I could get there, it all worked out. And I kept my cool (resilience).
When have you lost your perspective in a difficult situation?
What would have been a different way to handle it?
9. Maintain a hopeful outlook.
Stay focused on all the good in your life and appreciate what you have. When you start worrying about things bring yourself back to the present moment and focus on the fact that you are alive, you have a roof over your head, you have food, your basic needs are being met right now. Expect that only good things will happen in life for you.
Make a list of 20 things you are grateful for and add to it daily.
Post the list where you can see it every day and notice how your attitude improves when you read it.
10. Take care of yourself.
Taking care of your basic needs is a critical part of being resilient. You know the drill - regular exercise doing what you enjoy, eating the healthiest colorful mostly plant-based foods, building relaxation strategies into your daily routine, laughing more, playing often doing joyful work, getting plenty of rest and sleep, strengthening your spirituality.
What strategies do you use for self-care to improve your health?
Which ones help you become more resilient?
Hopefully, this resiliency inventory is useful for you. Please share your insights.
Jul 21Great article.
It's also important to allow yourself some time to grieve losses. They are real, they actually do hurt. Loss isn't easy. Many times we do land on our feet, but not right away. So take time to grieve. Not too much, just a short time. and then intermittently, when the pain recurs.Jul 21I'm probably just annoyed because this hits entirely too close to home...but to talk in your introduction about having a house fire or losing a loved one and then in your article talk about your car overheating or your iPhone becoming outdated, is rather insulting to those of us who have endured real loss. In the last 16 months, I did endure a house fire in which my house was stripped down to the studs, and become a widow when my husband unexpectedly collapsed in my kitchen from and MI and we never got him back.Jul 25Quote from Double DunkerI'm so sorry for your loss! I can't even begin to imagine what you must be going through. It is my hope though, that you can take comfort in the Word of God and his promises:I'm probably just annoyed because this hits entirely too close to home...but to talk in your introduction about having a house fire or losing a loved one and then in your article talk about your car overheating or your iPhone becoming outdated, is rather insulting to those of us who have endured real loss. In the last 16 months, I did endure a house fire in which my house was stripped down to the studs, and become a widow when my husband unexpectedly collapsed in my kitchen from and MI and we never got him bad ck.
2 Corinthians 1:3
1 Peter 5:7
Luke 12:6, 7
Isaiah 65:17, 21
1 Corinthians 15:26
I don't know if this helps, but I know personally the most difficult thing for me when I'm grieving loss is getting overwhelmed with the thinking that the only way to fix my pain is to do what is impossible for me- go back in time and prevent the loss. But I find that this unrealistic all-or-nothing thinking drains me unnecessarily both mentally and emotionally. So I have to counter this by humbling myself to accept the fact that I'm human and there are things I simply can't control or change. Then I have to remind myself that it is both God's ability and desire to reverse my loss in the future. But, until that time comes, God will not simply leave me or you hanging unsupported in the meantime. Although God allows suffering, evil, and trials, He is not the cause of them. (James 1:13; Ecclesiastes 9:11; 1 John 5:19; Matthew 4:8, 9; Romans 5:12) And He will give us what we need to find strength and peace, even joy (a fruitage of His holy spirit) to endure if we ask Him. (Philippians 4:6, 7, 13; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Luke 11:9-13; Galatians 5:22, 23) I pray that God gives you the comfort you need!
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