What is resilience? And why it’s not just ‘manning up’!

I wanted to share my thoughts on #Resilience – I’ve heard the word mentioned a lot and it’s taken me a while to get my head around what I feel resilience means – if you are interested in my thoughts – read on:

The Oxford Dictionary describes resilience as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”.

Many of us have grown up witnessing first-hand the very British trait of having a stiff upper lip! Often being told to ‘Not let things to get us down’, ‘pull ourselves together’ and to ‘just get on with things’! You might assume that these skills might help a person recover and get over problems quickly. However, the opposite is true for many of us.

I’ve learnt that resilience most definitely isn’t being told or telling yourself to “Man Up” – my experience has shown me it is more about habit. Habits take on average 66 days to form and this is why it can be difficult to change your ways. Some people are lucky in that they don’t form these bad habits and have something I would term “natural resilience”.

I have so far successfully used Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to reduce my stress level/s and it has shown me that my mind had formed bad habits in the past – basically shortcuts to thinking such as “Something bad is about to happen”, “Fearing the worst” etc – if you do this a heck of a lot through the day, it is very tiring! 

By writing down my stresses and working them out I am gradually re-training my mind to practise some better habits – so rather than instantly thinking negative, I am able to think about the stress and then break it down to various elements that CBT teaches you.  I am not yet at the stage that this is a habit (Only about 40 days in) but the affects I have felt are fantastic.  If you don’t feel yourself, feel stressed and aren’t sure what is wrong, do get some professional advice and if you try CBT or Mindfulness – remember to consciously work on it for at least 66 days – this is what resilience feels like!

I have also used Strengthscope (https://redtigerconsulting.co.uk/significant-seven-strengths/) to understand my strengths to try and work out what stresses me – this has also been very useful.  One example is that because I have strong Empathy and Compassion and I am Results Focussed I can feel real emotion and understanding for people who are struggling with stress (Hence this post). What I need to do is not take too much responsibility on – just start to signpost people to the professional help they need.

Do you think you’re resilient? Or do you have some negative thinking patterns that you could do with addressing? I really can highly recommend CBT as it has already really helped me.

Finally, it’s not a quick fix, it’s something you need to work at and probably revisit throughout your life. We should all invest more time into our health and wellbeing and I’m definitely seeing the benefits in doing so. Contact me today to discuss our coaching options on paul@redtigerconsulting.co.uk