Resilience is the capacity to skillfully return to calm confidence after a stress, painful experience, shock, trigger, or trauma.
- Practicing resilience builds confidence that we can thrive even though life will at times be hard.
- Resilient people co-create with a deeper sense of security with less need for control over people and situations.
- With resilience, our choices expand!
Without resilience, our territory contracts and our range of choices do, too.
Imagine that you’re sitting calmly in your car. You look at the rear view mirror as a large truck slams on their brakes and comes to a screeching stop just a hand’s width from your rear bumper! How terrifying!
It’s normal we would brace for impact. It’s unavoidable that chemicals would flood us. Whose heart wouldn’t start racing seeing and hearing that unfold?!?
But now what?
The resilient person would acknowledge the terror of that and tend to the needs of their body and mind to unwind the event and restore balance. If done with skill this might take 20-30 minutes, with the first few minutes being key.
Without resilience as a conscious and well-practiced skill, many humans can find themselves freezing in trauma. The relief they might initially feel from “not dying” can fester into an increasing anxiousness when driving… and eventually concretize into a phobia that stops them from even leaving the house. Truly, the “range” of their life becomes tiny. They are trapped by trauma.
The good news is that even if our range has been so narrowed by past experiences, we can consciously improve our resilience. Emotional technologies like EFT Tapping can bring relief to phobias and fears. We can take anything and everything that distresses us and practice breathing, grounding, and calming our system.
As we build credibility with ourselves that we can restore calm, confidence grows and our range of options expand with it.
Life can be a stretch! But it’s not bad that life stretches us (or even that we sometimes snap). For a thriving life what matters is how (and whether) we bounce back… and whether we get stronger and more resilient in the coming back to calm confidence.
Our neurobiology is designed to get triggered! It isn’t a defect that we get scared… or even stopped in our tracks. Lashing out is human. Avoidance helps us survive. We learn to say NO before we’re ready to say YES.
If you get scared, we invite you to learn how to recover consciously (rather than criticize yourself). If you worry about some remote possibility, look to what you need more resilience around… and build that strength!
- How can I calm myself, right here right now?
- What situations do I fear? If I was more (realistically) resilient if that happens, what would that look and feel like?
- What happens regularly in my world that I could use to practice resilience?
Adapting, Choices, Co-Regulation, Fresh Fears, Powerful Pause, Primitive Brain, Real Skills, Trauma Informed, Uncertainty
We invite you to share your experiences and wisdom:
- Life examples where this concept has played a role
- Other useful questions
- Links to audios, videos, books, and courses that add to our shared understanding of this concept
- Memes, quotes, and inspiring images