What is resilience? (not what you think)
This question: “What is resilience?” It seems so easy to answer: resilience is the ability to bounce back (adapt) or bounce forward (transform). Ok sure, but what does that actually mean?
Ultimately, resilience is about mindset – we can choose how we respond to what happens to us. But we are all coming at this with a different mix of factors, from how you were taught to see the world as a child, to your tolerance for risk, your habitual thoughts and behaviours, what’s happened to you in life before now and how you see the world and yourself.
Plus resilience looks different for everyone – maybe it’s learning more emotional regulation, maybe it’s less suppressing your feelings, maybe it’s about safety and reducing nervous system disregulation, maybe it’s more freedom and calculated risk. So, “what is resilience” for you will be different to what it is for me – or your best mate, or your mum.
How I work with resilience
I focus on answering the “what is resilience” question fresh with every new client. Giving you permission and space to define this for yourself.
Because action and progress are important – and your coaching experience should feel safe and grounded – I use a clear coaching structure (transformational coaching model). But all the details get filled in by you.
Step 1 – establishing the outcome (final coaching goal) – I will encourage you to dream big, nothing is out of reach. It will stretch you and challenge you in the best possible way.
Step 2 – defining resilience milestones i.e. the shifts that need to occur practically, emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially (etc) to make that final outcome happen.
Steps 3+ – from here we start working on building resilience, using it to move you forward, challenge what is holding you back, create space for ideas and inspiration, shift limits and narratives and fuel confidence and self-belief.
Want to know more? Book in a free intro call and I’ll explain how this process might work for you.
Resilience is not…
Resilience is one of those words that has been marketed to death, usually to sell ultra sports events, protein powder or waterproofs. It is frequently narrowly viewed and misdefined. When you’re answering “what is resilience?” it’s often just as useful to clarify what resilience is not..
- Being ‘tough,’ strong and silent
- Ignoring your feelings
- Putting up walls to hide who you are
- Ignoring conversations you need to have
- Perfectionism and unrealistic standards
- Focusing on others’ expectations and judgments over your own self-knowing
- Ignoring intuition because it’s woo
- Dismissing self-care, self-compassion and openness as weak, indulgent or soft
- Denying yourself what you really need because it doesn’t fit with the idea you have of who you ‘should’ be.
What is resilience? We all need something different.
There are lots of different ways to build up emotional resilience. Some of the most powerful, in my experience, involve clarity, confidence, intuitive connection and courage. This is how (and why) they work:
CLARITY. “I see this situation clearly without overwhelm, fear or limiting beliefs.”
The way we see situations – and people – can be clouded by limiting beliefs, negative narratives and what other people think. It’s impossible to be resilient if these are in your way. Resilience coaching focuses on clarity and self-actualisation. What you want and what you don’t want when all of the other influences are taken away. It’s here that you can see yourself, your purpose and your needs clearly.
INTUITION. “I am able work out what the best thing is for me here.”
Intuition is not woo woo. This is about connecting to the inner intelligence you have established over the years through experiences, knowledge and perspective. Call it instinct, intuition, or your gut – we all have it but few of us use it. It is the foundation of your own personal resilience. Resilience coaching creates a stronger connection to this self-awareness and knowing so that you can make positive decisions that are right for you.
CONFIDENCE. “I’m backing myself, I believe in myself.”
Confidence comes from the latin word ‘fidere,’ which means ‘to trust.’ Some of the greatest moments in our lives come when we are able to trust ourselves, back ourselves and believe in ourselves – but it’s not always easy to do. Resilience coaching is a tool for building confidence, whether through creating stronger self-trust and love or getting you used to being outside your comfort zone.
COURAGE. “I’m pushing through uncertainty/anxiety and taking action.”
The opposite of doubt is courage – the more resilient you are, the more courageous you can be. This is what enables us to be emotionally vulnerable so that we can create strong connections and genuine intimacy, to have the hard conversations, to go for what we want and take the next step even if there is no guarantee of success. It’s also often what enables us to get up and try again after we’ve fallen flat on our face. Resilience coaching focuses on building reserves of courage so that it becomes a lifelong habit.
I feel like I know myself better..
“Not only do I feel like I know myself better but I have started to look at my feelings in a completely new light. I’m no longer scared of them but ready to give them space to serve their purpose and use them to identify and work on the parts of myself that need to be looked into further.”