Psychological resilience is all about how you view yourself, the situations you are in and your ability to cope with and learn from them.
People who are low on psychological resilience yet are usually lacking in self-confidence, are pessimistic and make mountains out of mole hills. They tend to need certainty in all situations which often leads to micro-managing. They don’t trust themselves to make the right decisions, so probably don’t make any. They also don’t learn from their experiences, so get stuck in the cycle.
Have you ever felt like that? Yeah…me too!
I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been there at one time or another. That’s the thing with resilience…it’s like a tank…if you don’t keep an eye on the level, it can run empty before you realise. The secret, if there is one, is to find out what your gauge is, and top up before you run dry.
The good news is that although some people are naturally more resilient than others, anyone can learn and practice skills to boost themselves.
When you find yourself thinking that everything is going wrong, that it’s always going to be shit and wondering “what’s the point” FLIP IT! It may not seem natural, and you may need to force it to begin with – ask yourself what you could be happy about in this situation if you wanted to be. Even a little glimmer of something good can help you find more. As you find what you look for, once you pinpoint a few good things, more are likely to appear before your eyes.
Have a healthy view of who you are.
Notice I say healthy, and not just positive. If you have an unfailing 100% positive view of yourself you are not resilient, you are a Narcissist. The balance is knowing what you are great at, loving the positive things about yourself whilst acknowledging that you have flaws.
If you are thinking that you don’t know what you are great at or what you love about yourself start making a list. I know this can be really hard to get started with – start small if you have to. Maybe you rock at picking the perfect nail varnish, maybe you are a considerate driver, maybe you smile at strangers, maybe you do all these things – let the list snowball and don’t worry about being modest with it, blow your own trumpet loud and proud.
Do you know what is going to happen? Nope! Can you control the outcome? Nope!
Let it go.
It will be fine.
The reason we don’t like uncertainty is that we are clinging to a specific outcome, that we have no control over. Put in your best efforts and be proud of yourself for that. Then be excited to see what the outcome will be.
Learn from experience, good and bad.
So, did that work out as planned? No? What will you do differently next time you are in that situation?
Yes? Great! What was the key thing that made it work? What could make it better next time?
It’s like when you have an argument with someone, then later, when it’s too late you think of what you should have said. Well, that’s in the bank now, you’ve got it for another time.
This is not about rehashing bad experiences and blaming yourself forever more. It’s about having a positive lesson to move on with for the future. Once you’ve found the lesson, let it go and move on. Don’t allow yourself to be a prisoner to past mistakes.
Psychological resilience can win wars.
If you’d like to catch up on the other rest of the bouncing back series, the introduction and Physical Resilience sections are here.
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