Resilience is a word that could epitomise the last few years don’t you think? We’re living in tumultuous times and the pace of change shows no sign of slowing up. It’s not helped by the inundation of information and so called ‘news’ we can access and see. Within this, the ability to navigate through things with relative ease and pick ourselves up rather than be crushed!
What does resilience mean really?
Resilience is about having the capacity to respond to pressure. It’s the ability to deal with constantly changing priorities and whatever challenges life brings.
From my perspective, it’s not about bouncing back, it’s about bouncing onward, taking the learnings from any situation and moving forward doing things differently next time. Resilience involves us recognising our own resources and, that no matter what, we always always have choice.
It’s having the capacity to adapt, be in charge of our mindset, and have flexibility of thought. Responding to a challenging situation with strong emotions and then reliving it repeatedly in our mind keeps that situation alive and stops us moving on. Over time it weakens our mental and physical health.
Here’s an example
Conroy and Jayden along with a few other people apply for a promotion at work. Neither of them get it. Conroy feels disappointed and hurt. In his mind Conroy repeatedly replays the rejection and lists his perceived shortcomings becoming increasingly frustrated and irritated by it all. He vents these feelings to colleagues and blames his boss. He finds it difficult to focus on his tasks because his mind is preoccupied with the rejection. He feels bitter towards the person who got promoted. Over time his self-esteem and self-confidence might drop, leading to a decline in overall well-being.
Jayden responds differently.
At first he feels disappointed and upset, acknowledging his emotions as natural and allowing them to process. He then takes some time to reflect on the interview and asks for constructive feedback so he can look at how to improve. Jayden sees the situation as a learning opportunity and draws up a professional development plan, which focuses on acquiring the skills and experiences he needs for future promotion opportunities. He maintains a positive hopeful attitude and his self-worth and his good relationships with colleagues.
Conroy responded purely emotionally, getting stuck in a cycle of feeling rejected which further affected his emotional well-being and career progression. Jayden demonstrated his resilience by acknowledging his emotions, learning and proactively taking steps to move on and improve his future prospects.
Did you know that in cross-cultural studies, Anglo-European culture now comes up as the least resilient population in the world?
Research by Martin Seligman in the field of Positive Psychology has shown that previous generations (like the baby boomers), were told that ‘stuff happens, move on’. More recently, people have learned to be disappointed and get upset and…that’s it, stay like that. Look around at where we are. From my observations the levels of anxiety, stress and self-harm of all kinds among young people has hugely increased. Checking with others who’ve long worked with young people, they agree. Add to that the culture of blame and being offended, and I wonder where we’re going to end up.
NLP and Resilience
The important thing is we can all develop, grow and maintain a good level of resilience. Learning NLP is a highly effective way to do so. Anecdotal comments from NLP students and from some reports said people trained in NLP are some of the most resilient people around.
This is how they do it
At the core, it starts with our mind and our mindset. In the example above, two people had the same experience yet responded differently. An event is neutral, it’s how we choose to perceive and give meaning to it, along with how we label the feelings inside, which result in our behaviour and outcomes.
This brings in the question of personal responsibility and taking responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, decisions and actions. It requires awareness of our thinking patterns, the ability to self regulate and choose our response. This puts us at Cause rather than Effect.
Moving from cause to effect
When we’re living at Effect we’ve plenty of reasons and excuses for why life isn’t the way we want it. When things go wrong we point the finger outside and blame something or someone.
- It’s because of…
- I can’t… because of…
- It’s not my responsibility the…should
- They made me…
Insert family, government, economy, partner, children, friends, boss, job, the pandemic.. anything that’s external to you, at the end.
- It’s because of the way the organisation works I don’t get a look in
- I can’t start a business because there’s an economic downturn.
- It’s not my responsibility, the government should
- They made me so angry
- It’s their fault, they ruined my life
The list is never ending if you want it to be!
If you’re reading this and thinking – Oh dear I do that! You’re not alone – we all do. It’s a human instinct to look outside to see who we can blame rather than find ourselves wanting. The problem is, when we do so we give away our power and live at the behest of others. We become the victim and feel disempowered and controlled.
- NLP gives you choice
Consider for a moment…where you are right now is the sum total of all the decisions you’ve made up to now, either consciously or unconsciously.
How do you feel when you read that? Does it feel uncomfortable? Do you want to challenge it? If yes, you’re in Effect, pointing outside, giving away your power.
There’s no judgment here…except perhaps from you to yourself. It’s really very simple, when you accept the idea that your decisions brought you to now, you move into Cause and take back your power…that’s empowerment.
Ok, it’s not as simple as just changing our perspective (though that can be very powerful), dropping well grooved old habits can take a bit of time – the mind requires repetition to groove in new neural pathways.
However NLP is a power and highly effective fast-track approach to change. I’ve witnessed big changes, both personally and in others in a short space of time. NLP puts you in a place of expanded thinking, possibility and empowerment that opens up opportunity. It creates powerful positive shifts in ways of thinking, feeling and behaving so increasing your internal locus of control and ability to take full charge of your destiny.
Begin with raising your awareness. What are you saying in response to situations? What words and phrases do you catch yourself using? Pay attention and notice if you’re at Cause or Effect. If it’s the latter, choose differently, step into cause, take back that power you’ve given away.
It will increase your levels of resilience in every aspect of your life – at work, with family and friends and when those unforeseen challenges hit. You won’t get it perfect all the time – you’re human and that’s ok. Remember all of us drop into Effect at times, it’s about recognising it and stepping out of that place back into cause. Over time it gets easier and easier until it becomes a habit.
Would you find value in having greater levels of resilience along with mental flexibility and capacity to adapt with ease? These are vital skills to have, given the uncertain times in which we’re living. Taking an NLP training will teach you new skills and build your resilience and wellbeing. I’m taking bookings now for the next course in March here.
Or book a call here to chat about the options available for you.