Weebles wobble…

Building on my last post, I was inspired to explore the concept of resilience further as this is such a key concept for creating success and well being  at work and in life.

So what is resilience and can we develop it?

Did you ever play with Weebles? They were comical little egg shaped characters who refused to lie down.  They pretty much embody resilience for me.

Resilience  is essentially our ability to bounce back from adversity, to learn and grow when faced with difficult circumstances and to adapt to stressful or uncertain situations.  Or, ideally to bounce forward – to come back stronger and wiser.

According to a YouGov survey of more than 2,300 people commissioned by Robertson Cooper we rate Nelson Mandela and Lance Armstrong as strong models of resilience. Both of these inspirational men have triumphed despite cruel and crushing challenges and demonstrated extraordinary tenacity and courage. 

Although emotional and physical resilience is, to a degree innate with some people just naturally more able to handle changes and surprises, we do all have the ability to develop it if we decide to.

Emotionally resilient people tend to have high levels of self awareness and are able to focus on, and persevere with, tasks. They are optimistic, able to ask for help and avoid a victim mentality by:

  • keeping a sense of humour
  • reframing problems into challenges
  • learning from their mistakes

They also typically take regular exercise, have a spiritual aspect to their lives and, most importantly, have an internal locus of control which means that they believe that they, as opposed to outside forces, shape and control their lives.  In other words  they realise that although we can’t control what happens to us we can always choose how we react.

If you want to develop your own form of  “Weeble Power” here are some suggestions:

Develop your emotional awareness by exploring rather than repressing or ignoring your feelings. Knowing why you feel upset, afraid or overwhelmed can help you decide whether you need to make any changes in your life.  Writing your feelings down daily can really help you to understand why you feel the way you do in certain situations and give you ideas about how to manage your emotional reactions constructively.

Be open about your vulnerabilities to people you trust and work to build a  supportive network  of people who can help you out when you’re under pressure.

Aim to take life  a little less seriously, look for the funny side of difficult events and laugh at life’s inevitable frustrations.

When things go wrong, look for the lessons you have learned and reflect on how you have grown as a result.

You know you need to exercise regularly so enough said….

Get in touch with your spiritual self – whatever this means to you (it’s usually about acknowledging that there is something out there that is bigger and greater than us all). Enhancing your sense of  spirituality can provide renewed strength in the face of adversity.

Be patient with yourself; trust yourself.

And finally, practise  realistic optimism – this has huge payoffs.

“Self sufficiency appears to be a worthy goal, but it’s now impossible if you want to actually get anything done. All our productivity, leverage and insight comes from being part of a community, not apart from it. The goal, I think, is to figure out how to become more dependent, not less.” – Seth Godin



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