How's your resilience holding up?

Monday, 2nd July, 2012

During periods of constant change or excessive pressure, what often keeps us going is our resilience.

Resilience = the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, or having a level of toughness.

So how do you top up your resilience levels?

… By celebrating all your ‘wins’ – even the smallest?


… By keeping up with regular exercise to reduce stress levels?



… Or by giving yourself something to look forward to?


Whilst coaching a Head Teacher recently, resilience came up in our discussion. She commented that resilience for her was about deflecting unwanted situations, and being able to bounce back when you couldn’t deflect them. Deflecting unwanted situations (particularly potentially stressful ones) can be dealt with using assertive responses. Things you can’t deflect are often things you have no control over.

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change …” (Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr)

Here are my Top 3 Tips for Building resilience for things you can’t change …

Build good focus

Focusing on the negative stuff, and the things you can’t do anything about, is counterproductive. Don’t drain your energy levels this way.

– So focus on the things you can do something about

– Focus on what you do well, and do these things at every opportunity

Build optimism

Find a positive perspective from which to view the situation.

– For example: “I can’t make that parent agree with me, but I can make my point clearly, and be assertive in my behaviour with him/her. I can then learn from that situation for future similar situations, and know that I’ve done everything I can.”

Look for opportunities to create a positive outcome.

– Remind yourself of your strengths and resources to help you do this.

– Tell any negative thoughts that work their way into your mind that you haven’t got time for them!

Build flexibility

See the things you can’t change as a positive challenge, and use flexibility to find a range of options that are potential solutions to the challenge.

The more flexible you are, the more in control you will feel.

So how do you build and maintain your resilience?

debbie019 fThank you for taking time to read this blog.

I’m Debbie Inglis, a performance coach, mentor and trainer, working with Heads, Principals, School leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in you.

If you’re interested in my services, please get in touch, and you can read more here.