More on Resilience









Somewhere in my Internet surfing, I came across the above graphic on resilience. I love the way it puts the skills into six simple domains. I especially like the part about composure and the skill of remaining calm and in control.

You might ask, “Control of what? Haven’t you always said, Dr. Russo, that we should relax and know that nothing is under control?” Well, yes dear reader, I have said that. The point is to remain calm and in control of yourself.

Following last week’s post on Resilience and The Little Engine that Could, a client of mine sent this along. It is from a daily email entitled the Christian Relationship Devotional. It was written by Karla Downing.

Resilience is being able to competently meet life’s challenges. It makes you able to adjust to life’s demands and weather the difficulties.

Resilient people have good support systems, good stress-management skills, a positive viewpoint, and high self-confidence.

What are some of the skills resilient people have learned? Well …

  • They have learned how to reach out to people that are supportive. This gives them additional support when they need it which helps them to respond to more effectively to problems. Cut out the life-suckers and surround yourself with life-givers!
  • They look at things optimistically rather than pessimistically. Looking at the positive gives them confidence when facing difficulties. Moreover, they know, instinctively, that it is HOW you look at events in life that matters.
  • They know how to problem solve. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by problems, they hit them head on and figure out what can be done rather than focusing on what they have no power over. Remember that to be overwhelmed is to be fearful. And we have learned from the wonderful Dr. David Rast, to be grateful is not to be fearful.
  • They know themselves. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses gives you an advantage because you can maximize the things you do well and then get additional support for the things that are hard. Remember the words of Dirty Harry Callahan, “A man has GOT to know his limitations!”
  • They are adaptable. They adjust to things by making necessary changes rather than wasting time upset about the things that they cannot change.
  • They know how to feel their emotions and yet manage how they express them, so they don’t create more problems by emotional reactivity. In other words, they know how to respond and not to react.
  • They know how to take care of themselves. They recognize their needs and proactively find ways to meet them. This isn’t ego. This isn’t a me-first approach to life. It is simply the knowledge that without self-care they can be of no help to anyone.
  • They have good self-control. This gives them confidence in meeting challenges and for doing what it takes to take care of themselves. My clients and readers will know that I am not a big fan of that notion of “self-esteem.” Instead, I have always labeled it as a function of self-control.
  • They trust themselves to know what they need and to respond to problems wisely. Go ahead – try it. TRUST YOURSELF to do right.

The moral of the story is this: If you don’t have resilience, begin working on the skills in the six domains that you need to develop to become resilient. The list above is a great starting point.

Thank you, Karla!

— Dr. Russo


About Dr Joseph Russo

Born and raised in Woodland Hills, California; now residing in Laramie, Wyoming (or "Laradise" as we call it, for good reason), with my wife Cindy, our little schnauzer, Macy Mae, and a cat named Markie. I hold a BBA from Cal State Northridge and an MBA from the University of Nevada at Reno. My first career was in business, for some 25+ years. In 2007, I shifted gears and entered the helping professions as a mental health counselor. I earned an MA in Educational Psychology and a Doctorate (PhD) in Counselor Education and Supervision. In my spare time I enjoy mentoring young and not-so-young business and non-profit executives as they go about growing their businesses and presence. I also teach part-time at the University of Wyoming, in both the Colleges of Education and Business.
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One Response to More on Resilience

  1. Cynthia Helen Brock says:

    Thanks, Dr. Russo! These ideas are helpful!

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