Resilience: do more than survive, thrive!
Angela Cox – Spear’s 500 Top Female Life Coach 2020
With the current life challenges we’re all facing during the COVID19 pandemic, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed, and indeed, concerned about the coming weeks, months, and even years ahead.
So, with that in mind, we’ve asked our good friend, Angela Cox, to write some inspiring and insightful mindset articles for our wonderful clients and professional connections.
Angela is a multi-award winning Behavioural Change Life Coach, who has the following accreditation’s:
- Spear’s 500 Top Female Life Coach 2020
- Leader’s in Law Behavioural Coach of the Year 2020
- Innovation and Excellence – Behaviour Coach of the Year 2020
Her first article for Longhurst focuses you on RESILIENCE. We hope you find value in what you read.
Resilience is much talked about, particularly in challenging times like those we are currently facing, but what is it and, more importantly how do we put it into practice?
Let’s start with a definition; the noun ‘resilience’ is the capacity to recover from difficultly or, in the case of substances and objects, the ability to spring back into shape. Both feel very apt now.
When faced with change and challenging times our natural response is to resist. It’s built into our subconscious programming even though we are quite adaptive as a species primarily, as change has become inevitable in our lives.
It is our resilience that shapes our adaptability to ‘survive’ and prosper. However, resilience is a capability that we develop rather than something we are born with. Therefore, it is something we can grow. Those who take a different path, showing the greatest resilience, tend to reap the highest rewards. These tend to be our innovators and early adopters, so what is it they do?
We’ve summarised the key steps that resilient people follow that will help you grow your resilience too.
Being clear on your purpose.
What is it that you really want or is most important to you? What are your values and beliefs? Resilient people are very clear on their ‘reason for being’ and this creates meaning or purpose to what they do.
We love this quote from Meg Cabot on courage “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than the fear”. If we see fear as an emotion that stops us from acting, then it is our purpose that drives us to overcome our fear.
Create your clarity of purpose
Take charge of your emotions.
In challenging times, our instincts kick in and our emotions and feelings take centre stage. There is a danger that these can take over and rendering us frozen; feelings such as fear, helplessness, worry and failure can quickly create a negative spiral.
Resilient people actively manage their feelings, focusing on having a positive mindset. This is not about over-optimism, much more about thinking forward and being action orientated; thinking about what can be done and then doing it. It’s also about being realistic; knowing this is temporary and recognising when you’ve been through difficult times before as examples.
Control the emotions, looking forward positively and pragmatically.
Face up to the true realities of your situation.
It’s easy to get caught up in the wider issues and impacts of change. Resilient people step back and work out what is the reality of their own situation rather than taking on every problem that exists as their own.
This creates a laser focus on what they must face up to and they can prepare to tackle them head on with all their energy. It also helps them take advantage of the specific opportunities and avoid pitfalls that will come along the way.
Be crystal clear on what you are facing into.
We really like this word; it pretty much says it all! You will face problems along the way and not everything will run smoothly, resilience is the ability to get back up rather than never being knocked down.
Linking back to taking charge of your emotions, accepting that you will mess up or get it wrong at times, is important. The only failure is not getting back up again.
When it gets really tough, think back to your purpose.
Keep going & keep growing
‘Just keep swimming’ as said by Dory in Finding Nemo which covers the first part in a nutshell. Resilient people keep moving forward as life doesn’t stop.
Their growth is taking more and more steps forward, being braver and more courageous each time and taking more control over what happens. It’s good to take a moment to draw breath and reflect on what you’ve done and where you’ve come from but don’t stand still too long.
Apply different thinking
Einstein’s definition of madness was to do the same things over again and expect different results. To face these challenges, we must think and act differently to come up with solutions we need.
This links nicely back to facing up to the reality of your own situation – what’s the problem you are really trying to solve? Your experience can be a guide but often, it tells us ‘what not to do’. This helps prevent us making the same mistakes again or applying a solution that fixed a different problem to our current situation.
Resilient people apply different thinking and learn from their mistakes. Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of doing the same things.
Build and use your relationships
During tough times, having a strong personal and professional support network is a massive advantage. In good times, invest in building relationships to reap the benefits when you may need their help.
Connecting with people for support is a key trait of resilience, it is easy to shy away from asking for help. You will often be amazed at what people will do to help you. Work out who can help you, be brave and ask for their help
The original boy scout motto from Robert Baden-Powell. When he was asked, be prepared for what? His reply was ‘For any old thing’. Resilience is under-pinned by planning and thought before action.
Once you understand the situation and what you can do, take the time to be clear what steps you will actually take. Your plans can include financial plans or budgets, communication plans, daily activity plans – whatever is needed to turn what you can do into what you will do.
Spend time working our what you can do, writing it down makes it more real.
Celebrate small wins
With clarity now in place, you will start to see progress being made. Part of resilience is recognising and celebrating these small wins. It fuels positive thinking and helps us manage our emotions effectively creating a positive spiral to take on the next challenges whilst also providing protection for when we will inevitably fall during our journey.
In business change management quick wins are often pushed through to kick start positivity towards projects and programmes.
Find your quick wins to give yourself a boost.
Throughout, we’ve talked about you, your challenges and your journey through difficult times. The truly resilient are also generous and respectful and look to help others, achieve win: win situations and share benefits.
As well as the feeling of well-being and positivity, it is a cornerstone of building relationships demonstrating reliability and low self-orientation.
Always be kind, look to see how you can help others as well as yourself.
In these challenging times it’s great to know resilience is something you can develop and build. We hope these steps have given you some ideas on how you can do this.
We’d like to leave you with one more thought, based on the Stockdale Paradox made famous by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great. Resilience (and these 10 steps) will help you to hope for the best whilst planning for the worst, giving you greater control of both and the opportunity to thrive.
Contact details for Angela:
Legal Notice & Links
Angela Cox operates under her own business, which you can find here. ( You are now departing from the regulated site of Longhurst Ltd. Neither Longhurst Ltd nor TenetConnect Ltd can be responsible for any content created and published by a third party outside our regulated site.)
Longhurst Limited does not accept any legal or financial responsibility for the services Angela Cox provides.
Behaviour Life coaching is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.