8 Keys to Personal Resilience

April 8, 2017 posted in Category

Most people try to avoid stress. The fact is, that no matter how we live, we will always have a degree of stress in our lives. The important thing is having mechanisms to adapt to stress and adversity. Resilience is just that, the ability to adapt and bounce back from stressful situations, whether one off or regular events in your life.

Resilience is a process not a personal trait and therefore it can be developed.

So, if you want to be able to think clearly under pressure, improve your energy for peak performance and improve your general wellbeing, work on these eight elements:

  1. Develop a positive outlook. How we choose to respond to any given situation is our individual choice. As conscious human beings, we can make conscious decisions about how we react to and think about an event or situation. Choosing to have a positive rather than negative view of an event improves our feelings of wellbeing and improves our interactions with others.
  2. Build a calm disposition. The more we are able to remain calm in adverse situations, the more clearly we will think and we make more constructive decisions for ourselves and others around us.
  3. Take ownership of your actions and decisions. Being aware of and actively choosing our actions and the decisions we make, allows us to take responsibility for them. Whatever their outcome, it’s important that we accept and take ownership of the consequences. This improves our sense of control and builds our resilience to potential negative impacts.
  4. Have an internal locus of control. This is a concept from the 1950’s by Julian Rotter and is very relevant today. A person with an internal locus of control believes that he or she can influence events and their outcomes, while someone with an external locus of control blames outside forces for everything. This is linked to the point above. Our ability to think and feel that we have control over our outcomes is critical to resilience.
  5. Build a supportive and interdependent network. Have a network of colleagues and friends with whom you have interdependent relationships; where you are supported and are able to be supportive. It is important to have people that you know you can rely upon for help, to be honest and whom you can trust.
  6. Be optimistic and hopeful. Studies have shown that the human immune system operates less well in pessimists compared to optimists. Thinking more optimistically at times of stress will increase your resilience and improve your chances of a successful or acceptable outcome.
  7. Be adaptable. This is a combination of being flexible and versatile in order to adapt your actions, ways of thinking, communication style etc. to different situations and people. The more you are able to do this, the less rigid your behaviours and the less stress and irritation you will experience.
  8. Have clear boundaries. Personal boundaries are the imaginary lines we draw around ourselves to maintain balance and protect our minds, emotions, and time from the behaviour or demands of others. It is important to know which boundaries are important to your wellbeing, being clear about exactly where the boundary is and most importantly, keeping within it, unless it is a conscious choice not to.

Which of these elements do you have already and which will you choose to develop first?

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