Resiliency theory has posited resiliency as being a trait, a process, a set of outcome behaviours or an interconnected combination of all three which additionally include both internal and external constructs. Internal constructs may include things like having a sense of humour or adapting a positive attitude whereas external constructs may include social support from family, job, friends or group affiliation. Through these combined constructs and processes, a person is said to be resilient when they can bounce back after adverse event affects them. Below are six goal-directed resiliency strategies:
1. Pushing past Fears
There’s an old saying that talks about how it’s okay to be scared but to not let it stop us. Those who are resilient are looking past their fears and focusing on their personal goals. By pushing through what scares them (i.e. facing toxic habits, dismissing unhealthy relationships from their lives, learning healthy, new skills) they are empowering themselves in recognizing their value and worth. While stopping a self-sabotaging habit or walking away from an unhealthy relationship with family or friends may be tough at first, in the long run it increases inner strength and helps a person grow in self-awareness, both of which are important in building resiliency.
2. Goals and Behaviour
When a person chooses to increase their resiliency, they are also choosing to align their values, their goals and their behaviour to make sure they are all in sync. For example, if you have a specific goal of increasing your sense of autonomy and self-direction, part of that goal may include a value you have set for yourself such as not comparing yourself to others or in allowing yourself time to build your resiliency. By holding true to your own values, your goal-directed behaviour can become a goal you reach. Similarly, when your values, behaviours and goals are out of sync you may notice that you are not reaching your desired outcome as fast as you hope to. If this is noticed, it may be a time to refocus and make modifications to your goals so that you can once again be on track with where you want to be.
3. Journal to Realign
Sometimes when a person is faced with adversity or struggle they may feel overwhelmed and may not be able to talk about what is bothering them. This often leads to a viscous cycle where nothing ventured and nothing gained. By journaling, whether it is electronically or by writing in a notebook, you are able to get your thoughts and feelings out on paper which can help you reorganize your needs and help you in creating goals aligned with enhancing your resiliency.
4. Change your Mindset
When you hear words like “suffer” or “pain” you can begin thinking of yourself as having been victimized or that you are a bystander in your own life. The words you choose to identify yourself and your experiences can affect how you feel and what you believe to be true about yourself. Using positive words like “thriving” and “empowered” can help restructure the lens from which you view your world. By choosing to look at adversity as empowering you are taking control of your life and the choices and goals you set for yourself.
5. Positively Challenge Yourself
Resiliency is about reframing adverse life events as a way of rising to new challenges and conquering them. Those who are resilient often view challenges in their life as exciting or motivating where they begin setting new goals or where the lessons gained from past experience are now taken with them in their lives. By looking at adversity as a personal and positive challenge it can build your inner strength by creating goals that are aligned in overcoming those challenges.
6. Engage in Self-Care
Self-care is about creating time each day to do such things as exercise, meditate, meal-plan or learn how to create a healthy budget and so on. Self-care may also include talking with supportive family and friends or your EAP Assist counsellor who can help empower you.