Resilience is the ability to face life’s challenges and bounce back from difficult events. It doesn’t mean that you don’t experience problems and stress, but that you can work through them.
One of the teachings of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is, that there is no failure, only feedback. Adopting this idea is a great opportunity to build your resilience. Rather than seeing a problem, issue, mistake or challenge as something that is overwhelming and potentially a failure, you could view it from a completely different angle. What you can learn from it? How could this new perspective change your feelings and responses to a situation?
Consider some of the biggest stressors in your life, they’re generally your biggest problems too. Whether they’re related to health, relationships, finances, etc. – they come in all shapes and sizes. And they all have one thing in common – they present you with something, you wish was different in your life.
Interestingly, the amount of stress experienced isn’t always directly related to the size of the problem, it’s also related to how you perceive the problem and react to it.
For example, think about a person with a spider phobia who suddenly spots one, lurking in the corner of the room. To anyone without this fear, it’s a simple case of ignoring it, or quickly catching the spider and putting it outside. For some people though, this is the worst imaginable problem they could face – one friend referred to having “nearly died” when they had an encounter with a spider.
Whilst this is an extreme reaction, it demonstrates brilliantly the way our imagination can allow problems to grow disproportionately.
You have a problem, your imagination creates your interpretation of the situation which then influences your response to it. This is the fast lane to becoming stressed and feeling stuck which affects your ability to deal with the problem at hand. If you want to flow through life, rather than feeling like you are constantly getting dragged down, try building your resilience with these tips:
View Your Problems as Teachers
The ability to step back and understand the feedback and insights your problems can provide will help you to make better choices for yourself.
For example, following an operation, a colleague discovered there were a number of things that initially they couldn’t do. At first, they were frustrated by their limitations and hated constantly having to ask for help. Realising that feeling this way wasn’t helping them, they looked at what they could do – they got creative and looked for solutions to their challenges. Finding new ways of doing things helped to build their confidence and sense of achievement as well as calming their stress response which in turn supported their body to heal quickly.
Recognise You Have a Choice
At times you will find yourself facing a problem that you don’t want to address, but burying your head in the proverbial sand doesn’t change it, and you have to find a way through it. You may not have a choice about the situation, but you do have a choice over the way you respond to it. Recognising this will help you to take back your power and navigate the problem in the best way possible.
Accept the Problem
Rather than fighting the problem, accept it, and face it with an inquisitive mind. This will allow you to consider the challenge at hand more objectively and calm your internal resistance, helping you to relax and promoting your ability to think clearly and cleverly.
Instead of constantly reliving a situation by playing the same memory over and over again, in the same way, imagine you’re observing yourself from a different angle – as if you were a fly on the wall calmly watching what’s happening. What is really going on here? What could you learn from this situation? What could you do differently?
This option is like asking a friend for a second opinion on something. Imagine you had been attempting to start a project but found yourself going around in circles and getting nowhere fast. A friend will provide an objective view of the situation and offer alternative feedback and solutions to your predicament.
Focus on Solutions
Changing your focus to finding a solution will get your brain working towards finding answers and ways to help you start moving forward again.
This isn’t going to resolve every challenge you have overnight, but by creating calm and peace around a situation, you’re going to build your resilience and be in a much better position to deal with any challenges that are ahead of you.
If you’re struggling with this, contact us and find out how we can help you.