Happy 2017!!!

As promised, I am back and ready to tackle the New Year alongside all of you! This year, I am committed to building an online presence and will bring you information on resilience and strengths every Monday. That’s right! Every. Single. Monday. Think of it as a small spark of motivation to begin your week.

As you know, I am PASSIONATE about wellbeing! I love helping others discover their personal strengths and develop resilience in my workshops. AND I’m particularly drawn to helping artists thrive in a difficult business. That said, this blog is for anyone and everyone who is curious about and interested in well-being! 

It is my BELIEF that we are all worthy of well-being and that there is no one way to get there. We are individuals that possess a unique constellation of strengths. Learning to capitalize on our personal strengths is one way to become more resilient.

It is my HOPE, that over the course of this year, these little sparks of information will give you a motivational boost, guide you with helpful information and ask you questions that will challenge you to look inward and grow outward.

Before we get started, I do have a DISCLAIMER – This is not a quick fix. There is no magic pill for well-being. If you are looking for that, please look elsewhere. I’m going a journey. And you’re INVITED!

Will you join me? 

Oh, good! You’re still here.

So, first thing’s first. What am I talking about anyway? What is resilience???

RESILIENCE has been called Ordinary Magic (1) and there is good reason for it! Resilience is defined as the ability to positively adapt in moments of adversity (2). Let me say it again – Resilience is the ability to positively adapt in moments of adversity. It’s what helps us get up after we’ve been knocked down. It’s how we bounce back.

And let’s face it - everyone needs resilience (2), because life will bring us moments of adversity both large and small. It’s just part of living.

How we respond in moments of adversity can be a powerful tool to create well-being. Before I get into what skills help us become more resilient (a topic for coming weeks), let’s talk about what resilience is NOT. Today, I want to debunk a three commonly held myths about resilient people (3). 

MYTH #1: Some folks believe that resilient people don't show emotion. It’s simply not true. Actually, emotional regulation is a key to resilience. Developing awareness of and agility with ALL emotional states - both positive and negative - creates true resilience. Sometimes life sucks. Ignoring those moments, stuffing negative emotions, or just thinking positively without awareness of your reality can create emotional backlash and decrease personal resilience.

MYTH #2: Resilient people act alone or as independent leaders. Do you feel that in order to be resilient you have to do it all by yourself? Well, research supports that resilient folks actually reach out for support! We are generally social creatures and social support can be key to creating resilience. When you look at resilient people, you see that it’s often a group effort!

MYTH #3: Resilient people act quickly in moments of adversity. Perhaps the common phrase of ‘bouncing back’ has distorted the timeline for resilience. Well, good news! Your 'bounce back' does not have to happen over night to be resilient. In fact, learning to sit with and tolerate uncertainty can be critical to resilience. 

So great news! If you ever feel overwhelmed by negative emotion, in need of assistance, or like you just need some time to digest information before moving forward – You’re not alone. Even highly resilient people feel that way sometimes. So take a moment. Breathe it in. Reach out. Honoring the reality of your situation can be a critical step towards and not away from resilience. The key is not getting stuck.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll share more about the skills that help us build resilience. But for now, I invite you to think about this question – When have you been resilient? Can you think of a time when you rose to a challenge? Or grew despite adversity?

Awesome. I invite you to take a few minutes this week to write about that moment.  And I’ll see you next week!

 

Where would I be without the thoughts and work of others?! Credit and thanks are due to the following --

References:

1. Masten, AS. Ordinary magic: Resilience processes in development. American Psychologist; 2001; 56(3): 227.

2. Reivich, K, Shatté, A. The Resilience Factor: 7 keys to finding your inner strength and overcoming life's hurdles. Random House Digital, Inc; 2003.

3. Saltzberg, J. OnSite 2 Slides. Retrieved from https://courseweb.library.upenn.edu; 2014, February 2.