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Building resilience requires us to reflect on our narrative in adversity i.e. noticing how our narrative plays a part in our judgment and interpretation of the situation. We ask ourselves – can I reframe my narrative by seeing the situation in a different light?

When it’s difficult to move away from our narratives at the moment, Byron Katie’s 4 questions are very helpful to challenge our thoughts. First of all, compose a statement to capture the core of our narrative and then ask these 4 questions:

  • Is it true?
  • Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
  • How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
  • Who would you be without that thought?
  • Then practice Turn it Around; i.e. see things from different perspectives.

These questions and the exercise of “Turn it Around” can support us to re-evaluate the situation in adversity and help us build resilience.

To deepen the learning, we want to examine our emotions next.
The steps can be as follows:

– Noticing what emotion is triggered, what the trigger is, and what our default response is. This is practicing self-awareness.

For example, I feel anxious (emotion) when my team does not deliver as expected (trigger). I would push them to work harder (default response).

– Noticing a trigger, acknowledging the emotions triggered, halting our default response, and responding in a new way. This is practicing self-management.

For example, I feel anxious when my team does not deliver as expected. Instead of pushing them to work harder, I negotiate one more week to deliver. We all feel relieved.

With self-management, we build our resilience accordingly. David Drake says “Resilience is a continuous process of calibration”. That speaks to building resilience too. It takes intentions to calibrate and it’s a process!

What other tools do you use to build resilience?

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