Life coach Noni Boon shows you how to find strength and power in your inner self and to discover that you were created with a spirit as your force field.
Resilience is something we are all born with. According to studies in positive psychology, it is naturally enhanced in children who are raised by authoritative parents as opposed to children raised by authoritarian or passive parents. Authoritative parents are warm, affectionate, structured, and supportive; they raise well rounded, independent, self-reliant, and self-controlled children. Authoritarian parents are unnecessarily strict, stringent, and overbearing, and passive parents are loose, inattentive, and lacking in discipline or control. Authoritarian parents are more likely to raise rebels while passive parents are more likely to raise insecure children.
Regardless of how you were raised, you can increase the resilience that resides in your heart, and evolve into a greater version of yourself. Studies show that psychological resilience in children is affected and influenced by their parents' education, socio-economic status, and home environment. A child’s personal resources, strengths, and beliefs also contribute to their level of resilience. For example, children with a positive self-image and good problem-solving skills are self-regulating and adaptable, and more likely to be resilient. Having love, faith, a positive outlook, skills and talents that are valued by the self and the community, plus a general acceptance by others, are also fundamental to establishing and building resilience.
Even if the environment you grew up in wasn’t fertile ground for resilience, it is never too late to enhance this quality. Being resilient is not a personality trait; it is a dynamic learning and growing process that develops through hardship, struggle, and adversity. A major aspect of learning resilience is being able to expand your perspective on things. During stress, you need to be able to ‘zoom out’ and view the situation from a more distant perspective that minimises the problem. A useful exercise is to ask yourself how much your current situation will matter to you in five years' time.
Transformation is the jewel that emerges from the centre of resilience. It is the reward that insists upon your growth, the spreading of your wings, and the certainty of your ability to take flight in your life. The human experience takes place on two levels. Firstly, the ego experiences life through your persona - your identity, character, and nature. Secondly, your soul experiences life through your growth and the building of your strength of character into who you can become. Strength comes through adversity. Your ego resists adversity whereas your soul welcomes it. Your ego likes to control, order experiences to your liking, and ensure happy endings to every circumstance and event. Your soul, on the other hand, thrives on the result that comes from turning pain into promise.
There is nothing more inspiring than someone who has overcome adversity, someone who has been knocked down and risen with courage and determination to transform into a stronger, more assertive, confident person for having been through the struggle and survived the pain. We are in awe of the underdog when they triumph and hit the mark, because there is a part of us that controls our willpower and our human drive to beat the odds and defy hardship. Survival is instinctive and involuntary. Most psychologists agree that people possess the will to live along with the will for pleasure and connection. Sigmund Freud coined the term 'the pleasure principle' to explain our preference for pleasure over pain.
The will to live provides a platform for other drives to become established and satisfied, and one of the greatest influences on the will to live is hope. Researchers in the field of positive psychology have uncovered the role hope plays in human potential. Hope is not just an emotion; hope ignites motivation and generates the drive required to accomplish goals. Purpose also plays a major role in overcoming challenges. Victor Frankl, author of Man's Search for Meaning, was one of the first psychologists to state that having a high-level belief system and purpose in life supported and enabled people to endure and overcome hardships. Hope is closely related to faith, and these two vehicles rev their engines when you choose to believe that regardless of what is presenting in your life right now, your future will be bright, there will be an end to suffering and without a single doubt in your mind, hold tight to the belief that you will be happy and fulfilled once again.
Easy as ABCDE
Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, has been studying optimists and pessimists since publishing his book Learned Optimism. Pessimists believe that it is somehow their fault when bad events happen, and that there is no way out. Optimists believe that defeat is temporary, that they will overcome adversity, and that there are many ways out. Seligman says that pessimism is escapable and changeable through learning new cognitive skills that allow you to make more positive choices. This is the ABCDE Method, a process that generates awareness of reactions and allows you to develop a more adjusted and healthy response to adversity.
It goes something like this: imagine you receive a rejection letter from the company you had pinned your hopes on working for. This provides the ‘A’ – the adversity you are faced with. The ‘B’ is your beliefs associated with this event, such as “I will never get a good job”. Then comes ‘C’, the consequences that arise from your beliefs – this might be to eat a whole tub of ice-cream, making you feel even worse. The ‘D’ is the disputation you then have with yourself – you find all of the inaccuracies in your beliefs and you begin an internal argument. Finally, ‘E’ is the 'energisation' you create, the outcome from redirecting your thoughts and attention, such as sending off another job application.