5 Steps to Developing Resilience for Success

Developing Resilience for Success

Tragedy strikes without warning and, if you are human, you will experience one or more tragedies in your lifetime. For many people unexpected tragic events knock them off course and create circumstances from which they may never recover. These 5 steps to developing resilience for success will help you face the challenge and be flexible.

Challenges may include the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, or the break up of a significant relationship. Stress at work can also create problems that escalate and become seemingly insurmountable.

The truth is everyone encounters hardships.  But everyone responds to them differently.  Your level of resilience determines your response and successful recovery.

Developing Resilience Helps to Productively Move Forward

Resilience is the capacity to overcome, re-engage, and thrive afterwards. The extent of your flexibility determines the success with which you return to your everyday life in the face of setbacks.

You can develop and strengthen resilience with some effort and a conscious awareness of your own internal processing. Being flexible doesn’t mean that you don’t suffer or have emotional responses to the events. It does mean that you have the capacity to find and use support and resources which will allow you to overcome the situation effectively.

Build resilience by following these 5 steps:

  1. Awareness:
    Consciously explore your inner world and emotional being. Learn to recognize your feelings and name them. Naming your feelings allows you to bring them to the surface, examine them, and make a decision about your response.
    After a job loss we may feel shame, fear, and anger. Each of those emotions has a separate impact on our potential response. You cannot control how you feel, but you can control your response.
  2. Recognition:
    Recognize that the sadness, shame, and fear are not permanent, but simply need to be felt and processed. When adversity strikes the recovery from the effects are processed using grief. Recognize that this is not a permanent state of being, you will recover and be okay.
  3. Decide:
    After experiencing the emotions, which may take some time, explore what happened and how you were within the situation. Do you want to do things differently in the future? What can you learn from the experience and how can you implement those lessons in the future.
  4. Find Support:
    Reach out to others for support. Your resources (family and friends) can help you through this time. They care about you and want to help. If they are silent or not present, tell them you need their support. If that isn’t possible, find professional support in the form of a coach, counselor, or support group.
  5. Engage in the world:
    Find something new and different to do that will give you a different perspective. If you have never hiked, go on a hike. If you have never golfed, go golfing. The important thing to do is to find something different that doesn’t relate to the past. This initiates a new beginning or a new normal.

A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that coaching enhanced goal attainment, increased resilience and workplace well-being as well as reducing stress and depression. These responses indicated the study members who received even short-term coaching found that it increased self-confidence and personal insight. This helped them to build management skills and deal with organizational change. Another study published in the Behaviour Change Journal found that a strengths-based resilience-building program provided participants with coping skills and lower levels of stress and depression. It also found that the skills gained were rated highly and used in everyday life.

Finally, remember that you can honor the experience and the people connected to it. If you lost a loved one, know that eventually you will be able to remember the joy and wonder that they brought to your life. If you lost a job, you can connect to the friends you made during that time. Each experience builds on your resilience and capacity for joy in your life. Developing resilience is a journey and a process. Sometimes in the midst of the struggle it is hard to see outside of that moment.

When you begin to develop resilience, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a counselor, therapist or coach. These helping professionals will be able to guide you to becoming the resilient person you want to be.

Pat Magerkurth is an experienced coach who understands the importance of building resilience for a successful life, both at work and personally. Contact her a call for a complimentary session to determine whether you can work together to build your resilience. Contact her at pat@inviaconsulting.com.


Getting What You Need in a Relationship

Set Boundaries for Better Relationships

Through connection with others we feel part of the world and feel special to the people in our lives. However, we may become so close that we lose our self or risk losing authenticity.  Setting boundaries says, “This is who I am, and what I want or need from you, who I really care about.”  Setting boundaries gives you a sense of autonomy. In addition, it allows you to show up as our authentic self.

Your partner, friend, family members or boss may be critical or be unaware of what is going on in your life. Sometimes they may be intrusive or be unable to understand that you too have needs in the relationship. Bosses or friends may try to be helpful in ways that don’t really help. A boundary promotes both of you to being your better self. These four suggestions will give you some ideas about setting boundaries and building better relationships.

“We diminish the other person when we tolerate behavior that diminishes the self,” 

Harriet Lerner, The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You’re Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate

1. Don’t just react, think and determine what is the underlying bother. Ask yourself why you feel angry, diminished or anxious. This allows you to identify what is happening and whether you need to set a boundary or if there is a different choice. We cannot choose our feelings, but we can choose how we react to those feelings.

2. Approach the conversation to set a boundary or discussion with unconditional positive regard. Let the person or persons know that you care about them and know that they care about you.  The conversation opening should be one of respect and love. Not “when you do this I feel angry or I feel hurt, etc.” Let the person know that you care about their feelings too. A boundary can be set with someone you love, a family member, parents, coworkers and even your boss. Mutual regard is simply approaching the conversation on a level playing field.

3. State your feeling or boundary simply. You don’t need to justify why you have a boundary, simply say I need you to hear me and understand this is what I need. Use “I” language. This owns the feelings and doesn’t place blame on someone else. You are simply stating that this is what you need  and want in the relationship.

4. Acknowledge that it isn’t up for negotiation and that it is what you need from them. Check in with yourself, before you approach the conversation. Is it a boundary or are you trying to make the other person change. Remember that you can only control yourself. The other person’s reaction and feelings are their responsibility. If they have trouble with the boundary or want to talk about it simply ask them to take some time and think about it before they give you an opinion, negotiate or try to change your mind.

Setting boundaries is just a way of letting others that you are connected to that you have needs and want certain things in the relationship. It is not blaming them for your situation or feelings. Coaching can help you develop an understanding of where you can use boundaries and how to set a boundary without diminishing yourself or the other.

“But one of the hallmarks of emotional maturity is to recognize the validity of multiple realities and to understand that people think, feel, and react differently. Often we behave as if “closeness” means “sameness.” 

Harriet Lerner, The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships


Five Steps to Opening your Authentic Self

According to Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let your true selves be seen.”

When I accepted who I was with all of my obvious flaws. I could recognize them, own them to others, and make better choices to better my life. When I embraced my authentic self, I was able to move more freely within relationships by accepting and giving feedback. This fostered growth and awareness.

1. Clarify your values: Often we make choices based on what we think others want us to do or what we think we should do. Daily choices determine our life’s direction and, as a result, our outcomes. Showing up and being real means we need to think clearly about what it is we value, want and need for our own wellbeing. This doesn’t mean making choices without considering others, but it means our own needs are a big part in the choice we make.

2. Set boundaries: In order show up and be real, it’s important to know who you are and what you want for your life. Ask yourself, who do I want to be in this situation or this relationship? How can I be real and let people know what those needs are? Once we know those answers it is easier to express our needs to others and to have our needs met. Boundaries can be as simple as telling others what we will and won’t accept or what is helpful to us in a particular situation or relationship.

3. Stop negative self talk: Honesty is simply being who you are in given situation. It doesn’t mean that you are totally open and vulnerable to everyone and every situation. Give yourself a break and embrace all the wonderful about yourself. You can shift styles so we are better able to relate to others, but we still need to be our honest self. Honesty and integrity about who we are is valued. So love who you are.

4. Explore and be open to growth. One way to do that is to be open to differences in self and others. Try new things and new experiences. Walk a different path and see how you feel about it. Looking at yourself in a different situation can help you better understand yourself.

5. Take in feedback without feeling criticized, it is someone else’s opinion. Someone reminded me “Perception is reality”. When we let others see who we really are, it gives them a chance to also be open and show us who they really are. It may be that you will decide this situation or relationship is not for you based on the open honest self. That’s okay, not everyone can like everyone and not every situation is right for you.

“Authenticity starts in the heart.” Brian D’Angelo