A resilient person can not only handle a difficult experience in the moment, they can also bounce back quickly afterward. We can develop our resilience by managing our thoughts, behaviours and actions. To find out how we can build our personal resilience, let’s check out our informative guide below!
Understanding Personal Resilience
Albert Ellis created the A-B-C model of resilience which stands for:
Resilience Exercise: How To Use The ABC Model
To put this model into practice, why not do the following exercise. Vividly recall a recent adverse event and answer the following:
A: Objectively describe the event and answer these questions: Who? What? Where? When?
B: Record your thoughts about the event. Why do you think it happened?
C: Make a note of your actions and feelings.
The Three C’s of Resilience
In the 1970s/1980s, Dr. Maddi of the University of Chicago carried out a study that discovered that the most resilient people held three key beliefs:
They strived to be involved in events rather than feeling isolated.
They tried to control outcomes, rather than lapse into powerlessness and passivity.
They viewed stressful changes (whether they are positive or negative) as opportunities for new learning.
Steps To Becoming More Resilient
- Develop supportive and caring relationships at home, among friends and colleagues.
- Accept help and support and help others when they need it.
- Receiving & appreciating kindness from others may be just as important as offering it up.
- This is because gratitude is an important part of resiliency.
- Remember that some crises are beyond your control.
- You cannot change events however you can change the way you interpret and react to them.
- It’s important that you try to accept this and look ahead.
- Accept that change is part of life and that you will have to adapt to changing circumstances.
- Set some realistic goals and take regular small steps towards achieving them.
- Ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I can accomplish today?” rather than focusing on the overarching goal.
- Be decisive – do as much as you can rather than avoiding problems and hoping they will go away.
- Try to understand your own experiences of dealing with loss, hardship or emotional problems.
- Appreciate what you have learned from these difficult issues.
- Develop a positive view about yourself and be confident in your strengths and abilities.
- Try to take a longer-term perspective and don’t blow the significance of the event out of proportion.
- Stay hopeful and optimistic.
- Visualise what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.
- Look after yourself – your health, fitness and need for relaxation and peace.
- Looking after yourself will give you the strength and balance to deal with difficult situations.
Developing Resilience: Active Thinking
Active thinking leads to action which massively helps to build our personal resilience. To get yourself out of a negative situation you need to act. To shift into active thinking, ask yourself questions such as the following:
- How can I contain the problem so that it does not get worse?
- What can I do to limit the scope / the duration of this issue?
- How can I reduce the possible downside of this troubling event?
- How can I increase the possible upside of this event?
- What aspects can I control?
- How can I best respond?
Developing Resilience: How To Immunise Yourself Against Stress
Protecting yourself against stress works the same way as medical immunisation. A doctor inoculates his/her patient against disease by introducing tiny amounts of a virus into their bloodstream. This stimulates the body’s natural immune responses.
You immunise yourself against stress by purposely exposing yourself to different stressors. For the most part, stressors are anything that are outside of your comfort zone. Some ideas include:
- Learning something new.
- Going for a meal by yourself.
- Doing something that scares you.
How To Build Personal Resilience At Work
- Appreciate social support and interaction with your workmates.
- Treat every problem as a learning process. By developing the habit of using challenges as opportunities, you will develop a strong sense of achievement.
- Avoid making a big drama out of a crisis. Stress and change are a huge, unavoidable part of life – how we understand and respond to crisis situations has a massive impact on how stressful we find them.
- Make sure you celebrate your successes at work. By taking the time to appreciate what went well for you during the day will train your mind into looking for successes instead of dwelling on negativity.
- Develop realistic work goals so you will have a sense of purpose.
- Doing something positive in the face of adversity brings a sense of control to your life, even if it does not eliminate the difficulty.
- Cultivate a positive view of yourself. By building confidence in your ability to fix problems as well as trusting your instincts, will help you to build resiliency.
This TED talk outlines exactly what it means to build resilience in our lives.