BLOG by Karen Offord
14th June 2015
Life is full of new and unexpected events and experiences. Some can be very traumatic and stressful and out of our control. Our control - our part is how we feel about it, how we respond, how we handle it.
Resilience enables you to pick yourself up and move forward, often stronger than before. It gives you the ability to think clearly, find acceptance for the things you cannot change, the ability to adapt to change, the resources and strength to get back up when life knocks you down and the ability to productively and positively help with life's obligations and challenges.
Resilience is a tool that anyone can learn and apply. Like all new skills it requires patience as you learn and integrate new ways of thinking. Remember we weren't born with any of the self-defeating behaviours, patterns or thoughts that govern our experiences, we learnt them. So we can certainly learn new ones that promote resourcefulness, happiness, peace, love and fulfilment. One step at a time.
Resilience doesn't remove the emotions and feelings. We can still feel initially angry, afraid or upset amongst many other emotions. What resilience does is:
- Help us look at the big picture,
- Respond not react,
- Understand from other people's points of view,
- Accept and make conscious informed decisions with the ability to find and draw on all available resources. It helps us to see the light and the hope so as not to get stuck in misery, fear and feelings of helplessness or victimisation.
The best time to start is now. Even if things are great! because life is full of surprises. If you build it now - it will be there for you when you need it most.
The Key Points to Building Personal Resilience
- Personal Responsibility
- Positive Affirmations
- Deal with it now, don't dwell or ignore
- Quality Questions
- Good Support Team
Personal responsibility is being accountable for everything YOU think, say and do. Personal responsibility is not about blame or pointing the finger it means no more excuses; "I can’t, I’m too old, too busy, too late, the devil made me do it, it’s my parents fault, his fault, her fault". You are always responsible for how you handle things. There are many things outside of our control (e.g. other people words and actions, the weather) but no matter what challenges you face, you control you – you can react from fear and blame everything or everyone else or you can respond with love for your highest good.
Responding with love for your highest good is about looking deeper when something happens, troubles or confronts you. Understanding why you feel a particular way. What is the underlying reason for the reaction or belief you have? Where did it come from? How is it justified? and what ways can you move forward that promote healing, growth and the best possible outcome or solution.
I once read "what if you woke up with only the things you were grateful for yesterday"..... An interesting thought to ponder! Gratitude is one of the most loving, beneficial and positive things you can do for yourself and others. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful, the willingness to show and express appreciation for...... Gratitude is a choice. We can choose to be grateful for the gifts and blessings in our life, acknowledging them or we take them for granted. One of the glorious benefits of gratitude is the more you become consciously aware of the many things you are grateful for - the more things you will actually find to be grateful for. What you focus on you create!
"Gratitude is one of the sweetest short cuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there's always somthing we could be grateful for" Barry Neil Kaufman.
From the simple joys of a morning coffee on the porch whether sunshine or rain to the health, smiles and happiness of our children and family. Every night as I close my eyes, I smile and acknowledge gratitude for all of the things and people throughout my day, it's a wonderful way to drift of to sleep.
Self-care is looking after 'YOU' in every aspect, it is an expression of self-love. Self-care is the foundation of well-being, without it we cannot function properly let alone to the best of our ability. I love the analogy of a car. We need to have our cars regularly serviced, put good fuel in, keep them clean & fresh, check the oil, check the water, the tyres, the spare tyre. If neglected the car breaks down, runs rough, it may get you from A – B but what sort of trip will you have? Taking care of yourself includes getting a good night’s sleep, being conscious and aware of what you think, what you eat, drinking plenty of water, your posture, regular exercise, good mental stimulation, meditation or relaxation and time out enjoying your own company and the things you love.
Self-care is an expression of self-love. The beauty is that not only will it enhance your world - but also all of those around you.
We have always and will always ask questions. Some of the greatest dreams and discoveries started by asking great questions. For many though the questions we ask hinder rather than help, such as "Why me?" - "Why is life so unfair?" - "What will everyone else think". Unhelpful questions only prolong our stress or worry, keeping us stuck, weighing us down, playing on our minds sometimes for days, months, years, Why Suffer?
Learning to ask great questions will lead to great answers, it's not rocket science I know but it is very powerful!
DEAL WITH IT NOW - DON'T DWELL OR IGNORE
Learn to face things as they happen. Instead of pushing it aside hoping it will go away or dwelling on it – for it will always be there waiting for you until you deal with it – the question is how bad will it be when you eventually get around to it or it confronts you without escape this time? How much time would you have spent stressing about it when you could have possibly solved it simply or at least sort help to deal with it if it is a bigger issue. Money is one very common issue, most financial institutions have payment plans and understand that sometimes we have other commitments or unexpected, sometimes unavoidable things crop up. There are also many financial counsellors out there that can help put you on track if it is all too overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, they will negotiate on your behalf and help you put into place a realistic plan to re-gain control and get you back on track. The 24/7 free helplines can give you the number of free services. Ofcourse Deal with it now could cover numerous areas; our health, our work, our relationships, our children the list goes on. The point is, no matter what it is, facing things as they happen using all the resources available will help you find; solutions, options, possibilities, and answers that will take away a lot of unnecessary worry and stress. Let me add; I understand that often we think the worst and don't want to know - just in case! (because if were right it will be an even bigger stress) however until you know - you're forever assuming and possibly blowing things way out of proportion. Once you discover the facts then you can take the appropriate steps which may include speaking to Professionals for counselling, treatments, support groups and the next step.
Keep in mind each time you face something straight away you become stronger, more resourceful and confident. Any time you waiver draw on your past successes, use that knowledge and experience to help you.
An affirmation is a statement, a declaration that something IS or WILL BE. We make them everyday without even realising we do, often our affirmations are negative ("I can't do anything right" or "I'll never meet anybody"). Your affirmations influence the present moment - your now and thus create your next moment and future.
A Positive Affirmation is just a conscious productive, positive, helpful statement ("I love and accept myself right now" Louise Hay or "I am a beautiful intelligent human being" or my personal favourite "every minute of every day my life gets better in every way") . Simple but powerful. You can use Positive Affirmations to increase self-esteem, change negative behaviours, thought patterns and habits, to achieve goals and to create and live a happier, healthier life.
Positive Affirmations do require action though otherwise they just become nice words that won't have the impact or effect they are capable of...
GOOD SUPPORT TEAM*
Surround yourself with the right people. People that encourage you, really listen, help you grow and expand and inspire you. In turn be a good quality support for others. Build a team that makes you smile. This could include friends, family, community support groups, sport or hobby groups that interest you and include like-minded people, people who share a common passion. Be-ware not all family and friends are good support – if they encourage you, believe in you, listen and support you, share the same values as you then invest your time with them. The team that you build should generate a loving higher energy that inspires, creates, supports and moves forward in a positive direction.
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less" Marie Curie
The Difference between Responding and Reacting
Reacting has it's place, if you can imagine needing to think quickly to get out of the way or remove your hand after touching something really hot but when it comes to most human interaction responding is the wiser, positive, productive choice.
Reacting is a reflex, there's not much thought, generally it's based on limited information, jumping to conclusions or self-defence.
Responding comes from love, a concious choice with thought to understanding, seeing the bigger picture, taking personal responsibility, gathering all the information and looking for a fair resolution.
"When you react you are giving away your power. When you respond you are staying in control of yourself" Bob Proctor