Resilience is the capacity to skillfully return to calm confidence after a stressful situation, painful experience, shock, trigger, or trauma.

  • Practicing resilience builds confidence that we can thrive even though life will, at times, be hard.
  • Resilient people co-create with a deeper sense of security and with less need for control over people and situations.
  • With resilience, our choices expand!

Expanding Our Range

Without resilience, our territory contracts and our range of choices do, too.

Imagine that you're sitting calmly in your car. You look at the rearview mirror as a large truck slams on its brakes and comes to a screeching stop just a hand's width from your rear bumper! How terrifying!

It's normal to brace for impact. It's unavoidable that chemicals will flood us. Whose heart wouldn't start racing when seeing and hearing that threat unfold?!?

But now what?

The resilient person would acknowledge the terror of that experience and tend to the needs of their body-mind to unwind the event and restore balance. If done with skill this might take 20-30 minutes — with the first few minutes being key.

Without resilience as a well-practiced skill, many humans can find themselves freezing in trauma. The relief they initially feel from "not dying" can fester into a growing anxiousness when driving… and eventually concretize into a phobia that stops them from even leaving the house. Truly, the "range" of their life becomes tiny. They are trapped by trauma.

The good news is that even if past experiences have narrowed our range, we can consciously improve our resilience. Emotional technologies like EFT Tapping can relieve phobias and fears. We can take anything and everything that distresses us and practice breathing, grounding, and calming our system.

As we build credibility with ourselves that we can skillfully restore our inner calm, our confidence grows, and our range of options expands with it.

It’s About the Bounce-Back

Life can be a stretch! But it's not bad that life stretches us (or even that we sometimes snap). What matters for a thriving life is how (and whether) we bounce back… and whether we get stronger and more resilient through our practiced return to calm confidence.

Our neurobiology is designed to get triggered! It isn't a defect that we get scared… or even stopped in our tracks. Lashing out is human. Avoidance helps us survive. We learn to say NO before we're ready to say YES.

If you get scared, we invite you to learn how to recover consciously (rather than criticize yourself). If you worry about some remote possibility, look to what you need more resilience around… and build that strength!

Useful Questions

  • How can I calm myself, right here right now?
  • What situations do I fear?
  • If I was more (realistically) resilient if my fears manifest, what would that look and feel like?
  • What happens regularly in my world that I could use to practice resilience and return to calm confidence?


Related Concepts

Adapting, Choices, Co-Regulation, Fresh Fears, Powerful Pause, Primitive Brain, Real Skills, Trauma Informed, Uncertainty


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