Resilience Wrap Up!

Hi!!! And Welcome Back to Motivated Mondays! 

We’re talking about self-efficacy and resilience. 

A quick recap of last week before we continue.

Last week, we learned that self-efficacy or the belief that personal skill will result in a desired outcome within a particular situation is essential for personal well-being. Self-efficacy helps us persist in the face of challenges (1). It provides a sense of control over our environment, is key to successfully navigating stress, and builds resilience (2). 

What’s more, self-efficacy provides a spark to motivate positive change, and like the other skills of resilience, self-efficacy can be developed (1,2)! As desired outcomes are achieved through intentional action, self-efficacy is strengthened (3). Self-efficacy can also be built through vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and awareness of physiological arousal.

To be clear, having high self-efficacy does not guarantee success (3). But it does help us take on new challenges, grow, and promote personal well-being (2). And that's exciting stuff! 

Did you take my invitation last week to begin building your own self-efficacy beliefs? Perhaps you acknowledged your small successes or took stock of personal progress? I hope you did!

We’ve covered a lot of ground over the last 12 weeks! While there will always be more to learn about resilience and the ways in which it can be developed, this week, I want to take a moment to wrap up some thoughts on resilience before we move on. 

Some people thrive in moments of stress.

The ordinary magic of resilience helps us positively adapt in moments of adversity (4). While resilience used to be viewed as a trait that someone either did or did not possess, it is now understood that we can develop personal resilience (5)! 

Resilience occurs when an individual combines the belief that they can control events in their life with the power to make desired change and accurate thinking (2). In the last 12 weeks, we’ve examined our triggers to increase flexible and accurate thinking; cultivated emotional awareness and regulation; practiced real time resilience and impulse control; learned to aim for realistic optimism; discovered that reaching out and providing empathy can build intimacy, trust, and connection; and seen that self-efficacy is core to resilience. 

Well, guess what?!? These are all skills that bolster personal resilience. And good news! Mastering as few as two or three of these skills can lead to beneficial outcomes such as increased productivity, energy, and over-all well-being (2). 

Like it or not, we are all going to encounter moments of adversity. Some will be small and some may rock our worlds.

So, as it turns out, everyone needs resilience.

Resilience can help us conserve energy and grow even in the midst of challenges. Accurate thinking is key. What we think matters, because our BELIEFS are the lens through which we see the world (2). When adversity strikes and we answer the questions - why? and what comes next? - we have an opportunity to build realistic optimism (6,7). This is important as our beliefs have consequences that impact our resilience and well-being.

Remember, resilience is not about trying to avoid difficult emotions. Rather, emotional awareness and agility is critical to develop personal resilience. And while no one skill of resilience will offer you a panacea for all ill, when combined, the skills of resilience offer you a powerful tool-kit to cultivate resilience and personal well-being.

As our exploration of resilience comes to a close, I want to leave you with these thoughts...

Ten Tips for Resilience:

  1. Don’t believe everything you think.
  2. Take the time to understand your triggers. 
  3. Ask yourself - is my thinking helpful or harmful?
  4. Value accuracy. 
  5. Find tactics that keep you calm in moments of adversity.
  6. Work towards realistic optimism.
  7. Embrace all of your emotions.
  8. Remember, beliefs are powerful and to dispute yours when it’s helpful.
  9. Reach out for support. 
  10. Celebrate your progress!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our journey into resilience and gained insight in the process. I invite you to continue to cultivate personal resilience by working the skills we've explored together! Feel free to revisit previous posts whenever you need a refresher.

AND I'm excited to announce that next week, I will dive into strengths to help you discover you at your best. Join me as we continue to learn about our well-being and find ways to flourish. Until then, I wish you well!

As always, gratitude for the expertise of the following resources.

References

1. Maddox, J. Self-efficacy: The power of believing you can. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology, 2nd ed. (pp. 335-343). New York: Oxford University Press; 2009.

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. Bandura, A. Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological review. 1977; 84(2), 191.

4. Masten, AS. Ordinary magic: Resilience processes in development. American Psychologist. 2001; 56(3): 227-238.

5. Alvord, MK, Grados, JJ. Enhancing resilience in children: A proactive approach. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 2005; 36(3), 238-245.

6. Schneider, S. In search of realistic optimism: Meaning, knowledge, and warm fuzziness. American Psychologist. 2001; 56(3), 250.

7. Seligman, M. Learned optimism. New York: Knopf; 1991.