The Calm of Resilience


We are living in fascinating times, aren’t we? We’re facing many emotions – fear, worry, anxiety, uncertainty and grief. However, we are also sharing beautiful things - love, compassion, connections and courage.

While it may seem like we need to panic and worry right now, you have the option of calm.

Calm boosts your immune system. Calm feels better. Calm allows for possibilities. Every change offers a new possibility, but we can’t access it when we are in survival mode. Calm is contagious. Calm leads to resilience.

The key to resilience is the ability to recognize your own thoughts and structures of belief and harness the power of increased accuracy and flexibility of thinking to manage the emotional and behavioral consequences more effectively.

There are seven key skills proven to boost resilience.

1. Emotion Regulation – the ability to manage our internal world in order to stay effective under pressure. Resilient people use a well-developed set of skills that help them to control their emotions, attention and behavior.

2. Impulse Control – the ability to manage the behavioral expression of thoughts emotional impulses, including the ability to delay gratification, as explored in Daniel Goleman’s work in Emotional Intelligence. Impulse Control is correlated with Emotion Regulation.

3. Causal Analysis – the ability to accurately identify the causes of adversity. Resilient people are able to get outside their habitual thinking styles to identify more possible causes and thus more potential solutions.

4. Self-efficacy – the sense that we are effective in the world – the belief that we can solve problems and succeed. Resilient people believe in themselves and as a result, build others’ confidence in them – placing them in line for more success and more opportunity.

5. Realistic Optimism – the ability to stay positive about the future, yet be realistic in our planning for it. It is linked to self-esteem, but a more causal relationship exists with self-efficacy and involves accuracy and realism – not Pollyanna-style optimism.

6. Empathy – the ability to read others’ behavioral cues to understand their psychological and emotional states and thus, build better relationships. Resilient people are able to read others nonverbal cues to help build deeper relationships with others, and tend to be more in tune with their own emotional states.

7. Reaching Out – the ability to enhance the positive aspects of life and take on new challenge and opportunity. Reaching out behaviors are hampered by embarrassment, perfectionism and self-handicapping.

More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience determines who succeeds and who fails. In other words, how we choose to show up during this global crisis is going to determine how we come out of it, too.



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