Skip to Navigation

I am often asked what contributes to personal resilience. When writing a new guide for one of my clients to accompany their training on the topic. I came across Clark and Nicholson’s book, Resilience; Bounce Back from Whatever Life Throws at You, and I have listed some other titles below that cover similar ground but each from a different perspective.

Clark and Nicholson conducted research that identified five key elements which they believe are central to personal resilience. These elements are given in descending order of importance these below, and I have added short explanations for clarity:

Optimism

The degree of optimism that an individual can marshal when faced with a challenge is an important factor in deciding how they react to it.

Freedom from stress and anxiety

We all experience stress and anxiety to some degree. Being resilient does not mean being stress-free. Resilient people however can mediate the effects of stress by the way they explain it to themselves and the way they think about it. Certain thinking styles tend to dramatise and exaggerate the impact of stress, whil;e others can help ut to be more resourceful when dealing with stressful events (see the section on Thinking later in this document).

Individual accountability

While it is important to have good social networks and collaborative relationships – both at work and elsewhere – resilient people recognise and accept those things for which they are responsible and accountable.

Openness and flexibility

Openness to others, their ideas and suggestions but also their needs and wishes, and the ability to discuss these as necessary is key attributes in social teamwork and leadership. This in turns implies receptivity to ideas and the flexibility to adapt to change.

Problem orientation

This slightly misleading expressions used by the Jackson and Nicholson in fact means adopting a positive orientation towards problems, which translates as the ability to:

  • Create success from disaster
  • Anticipate difficulties
  • Find solutions to problems
  • Strive to control events rather than being a victim of circumstances
  • Make sound judgement
  • Know when to cut one’s losses.

Each of these patterns is associated with a distinctive set of attitudes and behaviour, and taken together they signify personal resilience. Everyone is different and so individual capacities for each will vary. By studying these key elements and thinking about how they apply to us, we can make an individual assessment of our strengths, and decisions about areas we may need to develop.

References:

Clarke, J., Nicholson, D. (2010). Resilience: Bounce Back from Whatever Life Throws at You. Crimson Publishing, Richmond, Surrey.

Goleman, D. (1996). Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Bloomsbury, London.

Seligman, M. (2007). Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realise Your Potential for Deep Fulfillment, Nicholas Brealey, London.

 

Latest from the blog

Patterns In Your Life

How do you change self-defeating behaviour when you don’t know what it is? Simple really, when you know how.

It’s a bit like quantum physics (I think, but I could be wrong here). In quantum science they have had to test for things by assuming they are there and then working from that assumption. Its the same with patterns of behaviour. If you assume there is one and act to change it, you’ll soon find out if it existed or not.

Continue reading

Your Vision – Without It You’re Stuck

visualisation, vision

You’ve heard the expression “Be careful what you wish for”. When we hold a belief that something will happen, it’s more likely to. This is generally associated with negative events, but it also applies to positive ones, like goals and aspirations. Successful people – especially the super-achievers – in any field know this. Every success […]

Continue reading

Free Stress Reduction

There is something on the horizon. We all see it every day, but mostly we keep our eyes lowered. The something that we all see but many would prefer to avoid noticing is the common-sense dictum that taking time for ourselves, outside, is essential to both short- and long-term wellbeing and health. Whether it is […]

Continue reading
FREE DOWNLOAD - Get it now.

How to be more Resilient

Get my super-helpful guide '9 Steps to Resilience' absolutely FREE, when you subscribe to my newsletter.

Understand the steps to resilience and you can develop the ability to cope with problems and setbacks with less stress and more confidence.
close-link
%d bloggers like this: