Essential Skills for Overcoming Life’s Obstacles

How resilient are you? How well do you react to unexpected challenges and conflicts? Resilience is fundamentally underpinned by the concept that it is not so much the hard times we face that determine our success or failure as the way in which we respond to those hard times. In particular:

· the accuracy of our analysis of events;
· the number of alternative scenarios we can envisage;
· the ability to be flexible;
· the continued drive to take on new opportunities and challenges.

Although many of the external pressures on our resilience can neither be controlled nor reversed – the rain will continue to fall, the market will often be slack and we will never be able to regain those lost hours spent in traffic jams – evidence suggests that our internal thinking processes can both moderate the impact of these adversities and provide a valuable resource in moving forward from them, focusing on the things we can control rather than those we cannot.

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. This ability can be measured, taught and improved.

There are seven key skills proven in both clinical and corporate settings 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.

2 comments :

  1. Hey Bon- This is one of the best things you have ever written!! I am going to go to a class this summer for parents who have lost a child. I will be taking this with me! Thank you for my Mother's Day card!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Mama C! How sweet and kind of you to share my work with your class. I love you dearly and hope to visit soon :-).

    ReplyDelete

 

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Bonnie Morét is an award-winning photographer recognized by The Georgia Council of the Arts as "an exceptional representation of contemporary Georgia art work." Her photography is featured on Georgia Public Broadcast's Georgia Traveler. Her exhibitions include Fifth Annual Exposure Awards at Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, Art Takes Miami at Scope Art during Art Basel Miami, Metro Montage XIII at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, World of Water at the Georgia Aquarium, Open Walls at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Wholly Georgia: A Look at the Effects of Southern Religious Culture, sponsored by the Art History League and Georgia State University, at Mint Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, 6x6 at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center in Rochester, New York, @Phonography: Dialogue in the Wireless Age, at 3 Ring Circus in New Orleans, Louisiana, and About Lands and Lives of the Civil War at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. Her photography appears in Modern Luxury/The Atlantan, Jezebel Magazine, and hangs in the executive offices at the Georgia State Capitol as part of the Art of Georgia exhibit. Corporate clients include Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta History Center, Chanel Cosmetics, Christian Dior Cosmetics, Sharp Mountain Vineyards, PM Realty Group, Granite Properties, Road Atlanta, Patrón Tequila, Georgia's Own Credit Union, StubHub, CBM Records and The Washington Auto Show.