Building Resilience: Essential Life Skill for Navigating Life’s Challenges

Do you bend in the wind – or fall down?

2020 has proven to be a challenging year for everyone. Resilience and creativity have emerged as this year’s must-have soft skills (or power skills as we like to call them here at STEERus). We collectively didn’t know how badly we needed these skills until recently.


Resilience: A Must-Have Soft Skill for Challenging Times

What is resilience anyway? It’s the ability to recover quickly from a tough situation or challenge that we’ve come face-to-face with. Psychologically, it refers to our ability to mentally and emotionally cope with the situation so that we can quickly return to our pre-crisis emotional and mental state. On paper, that all sounds pretty simple. But it’s not.

When we think about resilience symbolically, we often imagine that lone flower or flowering weed that has the obstinance (and resilience) to take root in a sidewalk crack and find a way to bloom despite a lack of water and nutrients. Not to mention getting trampled on over and over. We also conjure up image of mature trees, whipped by the wind over decades, growing in dry and harsh conditions that somehow manage to survive. That’s today’s theme image because it teaches us that we can endure more than we think that we can.

Despite one obstacle after another, we can find a way to keep going. And keep growing. Sure, there may be setbacks and loss, but we don’t stop making forward progress. We have been fixated on a particular path (e.g. growing straight up to big and tall, like the “standard” tree) but few things in life are “standard.” Things change, whether we realize it or not, but each decision that we make and each new situation that we find ourselves in shapes us. We either conform to the pressures of our environment or we allow them to break us. That’s resilience.

Here are a few coaching tips on how to become more resilient. We’re here to steer you, equip you with essential life skills, and help you navigate tricky situations in life, at school, and at work.


Coaching Tips to Develop Resilience

1. Stay Connected: whether you’re feeling isolated or not, make new connections and stay connected with the people that you know. Even if your new connections are virtual, they still count.

2. Contain Your Crisis: some things are truly at crisis levels and hit that 10 out of 10 scale on our crisis alarm. But other day-to-day things aren’t always scoring a 10 on the crisis alarm. When you think about it, maybe they’re only a 2 or 3 and they’re certainly not worth getting really stressed about. Let them go without allowing yourself to become fully worked up. Keeping things in perspective this way will help you stay focused on your goal of making forward progress.

3. Accept What You Cannot Change: this one’s really tough. Sometimes, it’s hard to accept that we’re in the situation we’re in. It’s easy to want to wish it away and dream of something different. It’s like that bent tree who began life assuming that it would go to be big, tall and straight; but the Universe had different plans so it grew up bent over and crooked. But it still GREW. This is acceptance and we’ll cover this more in a future blog.

There’s always going to be another wind gusting up to try to blow you off your path or knock you down. But it’s up to you. You can choose to fire up your resilience and bend to grow anyway, despite the odds. Or you can let yourself be blown over.

We want you to grow! We don’t want to see you blown over. That’s where we can help. Check out our coaching journeys and coaching capsules to boost your power skills for greater success in life, at school and at work.

 Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay  

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