Being Resilient Seems of the Time
I’m not sure if it’s my current state of being, my generation, or the Zeitgeist tapping into our collective consciousness, because a curiosity around “resilience” just keeps coming up for me.
Being resilient as a human being, as a citizen, as a community builder and a facilitator helping others find their own resilience, I personally feel a need to dig a little deeper into what it means to be resilient and consider how one might develop the capacity.
I feel blessed, as the worldviews of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and Open Space inform who I am and what I do. The Principles of Appreciative Inquiry and the science of positive emotions help to reframe many problems into opportunities and roadblocks into possibilities. Open Space helps us make sense of complexity and chaos, knowing that all systems are self-organizing and out of chaos order emerges.
Paradoxes Keep us Vigilant and Open to Learning
We are living in transformational times. We’re continuously developing as human beings and our consciousness is also evolving to ever higher spheres. While history is witness to such progress, so does it also remind us that contradictions are ever present. The paradoxes serve to keep us vigilant and open to learning. Even though violence and suffering confront us in the world, our capacity to focus on possibilities and hope is equally available.
I remember as a student at Sydney University studying Marxism and Feminism in my Philosophy class, I went to my tutor deeply deeply conflicted because I truly appreciated the worldviews of these two “… isms” in my life, and, at the same time, I really enjoyed my capitalist lifestyle, wearing makeup and a bra. My tutor counseled me: being aware of the contradictions was what mattered. What decisions I make and actions I take is on me.
When faced with challenges, whether through personal loss, tragedy, illness or environmental factors, most of us, of healthy mind, find ways to recover and move on. We can find inspiration in the stories of others overcoming adversity to find joy, satisfaction and meaning in life despite incredible odds. You may be aware of inspiring individuals in your own circles; and there are well-known public figures, for example, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Franklin Roosevelt, Viktor Frankl, whose stories of overcoming adversity show how being resilient has been a strong factor in their flourishing.
Appreciative Inquiry Interview on “Being Resilient”
Unfortunately, we see in our neighborhoods, or on our screens conflicts, injustices, devastation, waste, and suffering that still exist in our worlds, and at the same time we see evidence of people rebuilding their lives, taking actions, forgiving, healing, rising strong with love and hope, seeing beyond the fear and despair. [As a side, if the topic restorative narratives interests you, please take a take a look and listen to this episode of Positivity Strategist Podcast, with Roberta Baskin. You'll find a number of online media that focus on restorative narratives to shine the light on how even in pain and suffering, there are many more beautiful stories of hope and resilience and possibility].
To experience an Appreciative Inquiry Interview on the topic of Being Resilient, open the Positivity Lens Reveal below to download the PDF.
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You will reconnect with a time when you experienced being resilient or witnessed resilience in another. In acknowledging your own experiences, you will find strengths that will help you recognise what capacities and resources you have that will support you to build resilience for any potential set-backs.
Eleven Posts On Being Resilient
As I reflected on the quality of being resilient, I did a little research. Then I decided to share these links, with a quote from each, rather than try to summarize. May they serve you well.
- What is Resilience on the American Psychological Association: “Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.”
- The Road to Resilience published by the American Psychological Association : “Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary. People commonly demonstrate resilience.”
- Happiness Unpacked: Positive Emotions Increase Life Satisfaction by Building Resilience by Cohn, Fredrickson et al on US National Library of Medicine “Change in resilience mediated the relation between positive emotions and increased life satisfaction, suggesting that happy people become more satisfied not simply because they feel better, but because they develop resources for living well.”
- Building Resilience by Martin Seligman on Harvard Business Review: “We discovered that people who don’t give up have a habit of interpreting setbacks as temporary, local, and changeable. (“It’s going away quickly; it’s just this one situation, and I can do something about it.”)
- Measuring Resilience: A Review of 3 Scales on Positive Psychology Program: “It is important to note that most resilience measures have been developed, researched and used in the West and when the scales are applied to the non-western population, validity and reliability issues arise.”
- Putting a Positive Spin on a Negative Situation by Laura Hamilton on Psychics Universe “Have you ever noticed that some people even in the face of tragedy still see something positive in the experience?”
- The Five Best Was to Build Resiliency by Jessie Sholl on Experience Life: “…receiving and appreciating kindness from others may be just as important as offering it up, because gratitude turns out to be an important part of resiliency…”
- Five Science-backed Ways to Build Resilience by Kira M. Newman on Greater Good: “Even for the relatively self-aware and emotionally adept, struggles can take us by surprise. But learning healthy ways to move through adversity—a collection of skills that researchers call resilience—can help us cope better and recover more quickly, or at least start heading in that direction.”
- How to Develop your Resilience on WikiHow to do anything: “Increasing your resilience can be attained by coping healthfully with difficult emotions and situations, engaging in resilient actions, thinking resiliently, and maintaining your resilience in the long-term.”
- Resilience at Work by Barry Winbolt: “The key here is that resilience is not a passive quality, but an active process. How we approach life, and everything it can throw at us, has a massive impact on our experience.”
- Inspiring Stories of Resilience by Chris Johnstone on Positive.News: “What is it that helps resilience happen? For each person there may be choices they make, resources they turn to, strengths they draw upon or insights they apply.”
I'd love for you to share your story or thoughts on the topic of “being resilient” in the comments section below.