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Get up, Dress up, Show up

Resilience Strategies for leadership and life
Why is it that some days are one of those ‘bring it on’ sort of days where no matter what happens we are virtually unstoppable and in fact revel in the opportunity to manage competing tasks and resolve conflict? Why is that there are other days where those same competing tasks and conflict situations are a source of stress and it is a test of our resilience to ‘get up, dress up and show up’ to face the day.

How would it be if you had the knowledge and skills to create more of the first kind of days for yourself? What if you could turn resilience on at will? What if you could model this to others so that they too could have more of the days where they ‘get up, dress up and show up’ with vitality regardless of the challenges?

This article invites you to come to a definition of resilience; to understand the stages of resilience and to explore one strategy to install a resilient state.

Resilience is what puts ‘bounce’ within us giving us a sense of energy and focus. Resilience is what enables us to operate from a passionate love for what we do and puts a spring in our step. Resilience is what empowers us to quickly and immediately bounce back from setbacks and disappointments.

We need resilience because we live in a world where things can and do go wrong, where things knock us down, where expectations are violated, where the rules of the game can completely change, where hurtful things occur, where shocking and even traumatic things sometimes occur, where we can experience a mental and emotional shock, and where our hopes and dreams can be knocked down so that we need to re-invent ourselves.

For these and other reasons, we all need an inner core of stability that gives us a sense of resilience.

To live in a full and vigorous way, we have to have the sense that we can handle set-backs and challenges. If we don’t, we typically begin living our lives on the defensive, avoiding danger and risks, fearful of what might happen, always on the lookout for problems and difficulties.

The strategy of becoming resilient typically follows five stages.

1. The Setback Stage

Something happens that knocks us down, that sets us back financially, physically, in a relationship, business, career, etc. We experience the triggering event as negative, hurtful, and undesired. It is an event that creates a feeling of stress

2. The Emotional Roller Coaster Stage

If the set back is a surprise, we feel shocked and may go through the ‘grief process’ of shock, bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance. We experience an emotional up and down about the set back, accepting/rejecting.

3. The Coping Stage

We begin to cope with things, surviving, putting our world back together. The internal and external actions that we take address the set back. We begin gathering up resources – internal ones and external ones.

4. The Mastering Stage

We move beyond mere survival to mastering things, reclaiming our vision, renewing our sense of power and energy, getting back our passion and dreams.

5. The Recovery or Come Back Stage

This is the stage where we can say, ‘I’m back! ’

One of the foundational strategies to move us through the stages is to deliberately install an optimistic state of mind, an attitude of putting the most favorable construction or spin on people, events, happenings, and actions.

An optimistic state of mind has self talk like:

  • This is temporary about this particular time/person/situation it is not forever.
  • It is about this particular contextual situation it is not about everything in my life.
  • The problem is external to me it is not all about me.
  • I am solution powerful.
  • I am response-able for my own thoughts/feelings/words/actions.
  • What is the first of many actionable steps I can take?
  • There is no failure only feedback.

Adverse events (adversity) alone do not ‘make’ us feel bad, depressed, angry, fearful, or make us victims or victors. It is our explanation of adversity, or our explanatory style, that does that.

What self talk would enable you to use the optimistic explanatory style to induce you into a more resilient state?

The primary source of this material is from a complete two-day workshop on the Neuro-Semantics of Resilience by Dr L Michael Hall. Twilight sessions as well as one day and the complete two-day accreditation program can be delivered locally by arrangement.

Download a PDF of the article.