4 ways of activating your state of resilience
“What lies behind us, and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us,” - these words of Ralph Waldo Emerson are an excellent reminder that we all have a great amount of inner strength and resilience, and other amazing traits within us.
We are all inherently resilient - after centuries of evolution, wars, and the hardships of our predecessors, plus our personal life experience and challenges we overcame in the past. We just need to remember how we did it and what helped us activate our resilient state and recover.
The 4 s's of resilience
These uncertain times are a great opportunity to discover your best resilience strategies, already engraved within us. I invite you to grab your notebook and a pen and join me on this journey of self-discovery, using the framework of the 4 s’s of resilience:
Your support network
We all have our support network - teachers, coaches, friends or family, who have been there for us in times of difficulty. These people have been there to listen to our story and remind us that it is OK to feel the way we do. They have helped us to get back on our feet and keep going.
So, take a moment to write down the names of your support network and ask yourself if it is a good time to pick up the phone and get in touch with them. You can thank them for being there and acknowledge what role they’ve played in your life.
Your [resilience] strategies
You already have a number of strategies that have worked in the past - you just need to remember them. What did you do the last time you failed? What helped you recover? Did you go for a run or did you take time to meditate or journal your thoughts?
One of the most effective resilience strategies involves your body, anything related to your physical - somatic, if you like - experience. So, whatever resilience strategy you identify, make sure that they are engaging your body; its activation and recovery, such as sports, a soothing bath, a relaxing massage, extra hours of sleep or a grounding meditation. Go ahead and list 2-3 body-related activities that helped you get back on the “resilience horse."
Sagacity can be defined as your inner wisdom - something coming from your life experience. It can be anything from inspiring quotes, words of your parents or teachers, sayings from your favourite movie, or lyrics from the song you love, or even the words on fridge magnets that you saw somewhere. The form does not matter, but the message that came at the right time and place does.
So, think about and identify what sagacity helped you last time - what gave you hope and a reason to become stronger. My personal sagacity is listening to the Resilience Spotify list that I created for myself – including songs from Katy Perry (Resilient), Kelly Clarkson (Invincible) and Groove Armada (My Friend). “Whenever I am down - I call on you, my friend,” - from the latter - is the sagacity that reminds me to connect with my friends when I am struggling.
Your solution-seeking behaviour
Resilience is not only a trait but also a behaviour that we develop in difficult times. Whenever things do not go as planned or expected - just like in this pandemic – we have a choice of how we act: blaming the world around us or looking for ways to adjust and adapt, feeling that it is never going to be over or being hopeful and focusing on our self-care.
There are two types of people: the ones who believe that the world happens to them and they can do nothing about it, and those who know that there is always something we can do, starting with our own health, and physical and mental wellbeing.
So, what is your solution-seeking behaviour that trains resilience and empowers you to act? Being human means having all the resources that you need to be resilient. And for better or worse, life always throws challenges to train our resilience at us. We are never done learning, growing, and evolving.
Your best resilience strategy
So, what is your best resilience strategy? We would love to hear which of 4 s’s resonated most with you and how you plan to integrate it into your daily life.