Are You Resilient?

Are You Resilient?

From John:

Resiliency is the ability of an individual to recover and maintain a steady state during and following a chaos-inducing incident. There are many different forms of resilience.  There is physical resilience, which would be described as a person’s ability to bounce back from injury.  On the other hand there is psychological resilience, which describes the ability of an individual to adapt and respond to stress.  In my opinion, this is the more important of the two forms of resilience.

Taking into account the physiologic differences between us all and the disease processes which might hinder this ability, we all fundamentally have the same physical resilience.   If I break a bone, it is going to take me basically the same amount of time to heal as anyone else.  There are steps we can take to increase our physical resilience.  Good nutrition, physical exercise, and proper stretching are just a few of the things that help us increase our physical resilience.  Where we can set ourselves apart from everyone else is our psychological resilience.

The ability to adapt to stress is a vital skill today.  Like me, you’ve probably experienced and adapted to a large amount of stress in your life.  How did it affect you?  Did you lose or gain weight?  Did you sleep too much or not enough?  Did you lash out or withdraw?  We all adapt/respond in different ways, but some are better at it than others.  So you might ask yourself, what makes someone more psychologically resilient than others?

In my experience there are seven factors that make someone more resilient.  The first is awareness.  It is awareness of the situation at hand and being able to control your emotional and physical reactions in that specific situation.  By being aware of how you will emotionally react to a stressful situation, you are more likely to be able to control those emotions and have the ability to step back and think of new solutions to that particular problem.  The second factor is understanding that stress and the problems that cause it are just a part of life.  There is something cathartic about knowing that some problems are simply out of your control and are inevitable in the journey of life.  The third factor is the realization that you have the power to make decisions, which can affect your situation, your ability to cope and the future outcome of said situation.  Fourth is having strong problem solving skills.  The ability to take a dispassionate, rational look at a problem and break it down to smaller, more manageable parts is a characteristic of highly resilient individuals.   The ability to envision a solution to a problem is also an important component.  Having a strong social network is the fifth factor that highly resilient people possess.  Simply having someone to discuss your challenges with is a great way to gain some perspective.  The sixth factor is being able to identify yourself as a survivor and not a victim.  Staying focused on a positive outcome and not identifying yourself as a victim of circumstance is a key component of this factor.  The final factor, and in my opinion the most difficult, is the ability to ask for help.  We all have problems saying that you don’t have the resources to adequately deal with a particular problem.  Sometimes the strongest and bravest thing you can do is ask someone for help.

How many of the above factors have you used or will you try to use in the future?  Being more resilient can help you be more productive and successful in both your personal and professional life.  Increasing your resiliency can improve your overall health, your physical fitness and emotional well-being.   Check out our programs at or email us at and ask us how we can increase you or your team’s resiliency.

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