Xcellence Session 4 – Building Resilience

There are many different definitions of resilience, and they all seem to reflect a similar sentiment. That is, resilience is generally considered to be the ability to withstand adversity (trauma, failure and disappointment) and bounce back from challenging life events. Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn’t experience stress, emotional upheaval and/or suffering. However, resilience describes our capacity to work through and recover from adversity.

In this session, you did a Timeline Activity where you reviewed the last 10 years of your life and identified any major changes that had taken place. The benefit of doing this analysis is that I hoped you would uncover patterns and themes in your way of adapting, dealing with change and, most importantly, pinpointing how you developed resilience due to the situation. Some further analysis could be useful in uncovering your patterned responses to life events. I suggested you might like to review, say 3  more stressful events in your life, analyse them and see what emerges.

The subsequent discussion we had was, I think, beneficial to everyone. It is interesting that when we share our stories, which can be highly personal, just how much we realise, we have in common with other folk!

We looked at four key elements of a resilience plan Support, Strategies, Sagacity, and Solution Seeking. It will be of most prize that it was called the four S’s! Its benefit is that it provides a process to break down or compartmentalise the patterns of what you did in each category, which enables you to build your own plan of how you may strengthen your capacity for resilience.

Holmes & Rahe Life Stress Inventory

I spoke about this in the session and have included it for you. You might like to explore this inventory to see how you score!

Tools for Developing Resilience

Developing resilience takes conscious effort. There is a great video on 10 Ways to Build and Develop Resilience. You may recall some really great discussions on that.

I took the opportunity to reinforce the understanding and development of a Growth Mindset instead of a Fixed Mindset. You may recall we did a quick little quiz to see whether you prefer one or the other. We moved into the benefit of choosing and setting boundaries and being clear about what works best for you.

Holmes & Rahe

Holmes & Rahe – Life Stress Inventory

There is tremendous value in utilising the EQ, MBTI & TKI information to consider how you are uniquely predisposed and how you may want to expand your skill base. Within the EQ assessment think about how you compared to the ‘top guns’ of leadership. Remembering that the 15 subscales are ranked relative to each other. So where you might be lower in a subscale could represent an opportunity to think about that subscale and how you could strengthen that behaviour which would result, with practice, in helping also to strengthen resilience. Your MBTI and TKI add another dimension to your thinking.

Do you practice visualisation or mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s happening around us. When mindfulness is present, we can see our thoughts, feelings, motivations, reactions, and responses with greater clarity and wisdom. We can pause before reacting and choose the appropriate response for the moment we are in.

Visualisation has an interesting history. Shakti Gawain was a new age and personal development author. Her books, all 17 of them, have sold over 10 million copies. Her best-known work is Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Life (1978). It has been on the bestselling book list for nearly 40 years!

I believe her work morphed into today’s more popular term of mindfulness. Mindfulness is more focused on being fully present and can be grounding and empowering when overlaid with creative visualisation.

According to Wikipedia. Meditation is a practice in which an individual uses a technique such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought or activity to train attention and awareness and achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm and stable state. Having said that, Wikipedia says there is no universally accepted definition, and many cultures have used meditation. There is also a category called guided meditation which seems very similar to Gawain’s visualisation process.

No matter what you call this relaxation process, visualisation is a simple demonstration of relaxation whilst using your mind to create vivid images to support your notion of relaxation and success.

Some of you from APAC  shared different Yoga practices which is a practice seen as being widely practiced within Indian culture – I am envious!

Meditation, mindfulness, and/or visualisation have many similarities. Yet, each has its own approach and nuances, with there being many mental, physical and emotional benefits of engaging in some form of this practice.

Session Videos & Slide Deck

Building Resilience

Timeline Activity & Discussion & 4S’s Strategy

Tools for Building Resilience

Backwards Brain Bicycle

Building Resilience – Slide Deck 

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