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  • Writer's pictureChrissie Mowbray

The Truth About Resilience

Updated: May 29



Resilience can go an awful long way - Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards


Resilience - Noun

 

  • The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties – Oxford Dictionary

  • The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape - Oxford Dictionary



Most weeks we teach about resilience. Our usual audience is comprised of healthcare professionals, primarily doctors, and often we see a noticeable ‘bristling’ at the use of that word.


Resilience has become a word that is not liked by many of our delegates.


When we have opened the discussion, we have heard that resilience suggests ‘suck it up – we know that your environment is tough, but you need to be more resilient – here’s some training for you – now go off – get tougher and stop complaining.’ There is a general and very much warranted concern amongst our delegates that this approach of bolstering the Self puts the emphasis of the sufferer to ‘become OK with suffering’ so that the powers that be do not have to take steps to improve the environment that they are being asked to work in.


This is not the case. Recent workplace resilience research has shown that to improve workforce wellbeing, care must be taken to both improve the working environment and to empower the workforce by teaching personal resilience.


In addition, when we become resilient, we are better able to challenge the systems that we work within and affect the appropriate changes without it negatively impacting our wellbeing. When we are resilient, we can move mountains of behalf of ourselves and those colleagues who have not yet learned these life-changing skills. We can change the world more effectively when we ourselves are not offended by it.


One of our favourite ways to define resilience is:

The ability to show up in the world in the presence of all your triggers and to not be triggered by them.


Are you OK in the presence of your triggers – or do they drive you crazy?


Anything that has the power to drive you crazy was given that power – by you.


If you are reading this thinking:

“I don’t need to be resilient - I’m fine – it’s just other people that need to be more grateful/less rude/ more efficient/less stupid/less lazy/more considerate’ or ‘if there wasn’t x,y or z in the world everything would be great’ - then you are empowering whatever that ‘thing’ is that you cannot stand – to make a dent in your wellbeing. If you learn how to take that power back – you become bulletproof! 


We wrote ‘How to Rise – a Complete Resilience Manual’ with the intention of gifting as many people as possible with practical evidence-based techniques for personal resilience that can easily be woven into the working day. We did this as a result of regularly meeting together and sharing all the weekly situations that had negatively affected us or left us feeling drained or depleted. We wanted to work out exactly what had happened for us during each event that had led to a feeling of having lost a battle or taken a wrong turn and we wanted to create a strategy for each situation so that if we even came upon a similar thing we would be armed with the tools. We wanted to share those tools with everyone.


Time and time again we came back to the phrase – ‘it’s my stuff isn’t it?’


There is a big difference between someone saying something offensive – and me being offended by it. The ‘offensive’ is the business of the person who made the comment and may well need to be challenged – but the way that it landed with me – is my stuff to deal with. I can do that in a much clearer and cleaner way if the challenge is not contaminated by my emotions.


During these personal explorations  we kept coming back to one vital principle - It all comes down to Self-awareness. If I work on becoming ‘untriggerable’ I can challenge those things that are unacceptable because they are unacceptable – and not because I am triggered by them.



Try this:

Set the intention to begin building personal resilience.


In doing this, you are not agreeing to put up with more uncomfortable situations or accept more bad behaviour, but you are deciding that you will challenge these things without being at the mercy of your triggers – and the deeply uncomfortable peaks and troughs of negative body chemistry caused by emotional responses to the things that bother you – set the intention to learn why it is that they bother you.


Once you begin to shine a light on your own ‘stuff’ you will become accountable for it – this puts you in a place of immense power. When you accept that these are your responses, you are no longer bound by them. Once they are conscious, the work can be done, and you can choose differently. There is also the added benefit of permanently resolving the things that have long been triggers for you. This frees up so much energy for the things that you actually want to take up space in your life. Those things that you would consciously choose to invest your energy in.


There are countless articles on this website that teach you the tools to do this. Browse and begin with the one that speaks to you the most. Try the practical tools at the end of each article. Record your experiences. Explore and experiment, but above all begin with acceptance and accountability.


With these as your mainstay you cannot fail – you can only learn!

For more insights and a host of tools and techniques for exploring the Self and improving your

human experience see our book:

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3 Comments


therabbi
therabbi
May 26

Outstanding as usual. Since we cemented our friendship, you have been a constant source of blessing to me, my clients, my friends. I simply love you both. xoxoxo 💜

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Neil
Neil
May 25

I totally agree with the last comment. A lovely article that says everything you need to know about how we as humans act at times, the consequences and what we can do about it.


I love both the word and the idea of being "untriggerable", and of retrieving power rather than giving it away.


Thank you both of you for this and the amazing work you do. You are truly appreciated.

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Kathleen Richards
Kathleen Richards
May 24

I absolutely love this. Taking on this resilience practice will not only help me but those around me. Thank you so much for always sharing such useful and insightful teachings. I don’t know how you do it but the timing is always perfect. Thank you both.

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