Resilience has much less to do with Mental Toughness and much more to do with Grounding.
Back in 1995 Dr. Edith H Grotberg was involved in something called the International Resilience Project. But it's interesting because her study started out as a study of pathology. She was looking at kids that had gone through some really difficult times, and she expected to see so damage, some challenges in terms of the way that they socialised or went about life or tackled goals, because of the really difficult circumstances, with which they grew up.
The interesting thing was that she began to notice, and turn her focus towards, those kids that actually seems to thrive. Despite their circumstances, as she began to steer her studies, towards this issue of resilience.
For many years I've introduced my clients to what I call the 'Undeniable Affirmation'. Affirmations seem to be very popular these days, but we need to be very careful with affirmations. Because if we are stating things that are aspirational, that can be encouraging and inspiring, but it's possible that we start to say some things to ourselves things that are simply not true; things that are simply unbelievable. We need to be honest with ourselves, we need to be aware that if we are stating some kind of aspirational affirmation that there isn't actually a little voice inside of us say, "Matey, you are lying to yourself!"
Because if that is going on, it will undermine everything that you're seeking to positively declare. So, the most important affirmation, I seek to steer my own clients towards, is this Undeniable Affirmation.
And it goes like this.
"I am what I am. I have what I have. and I couldn't do what I can do."
So, whilst mental toughness is a really applaudible trait to have in your life. Actually, the grounding that these three statements provides you is a more important foundation for all that you think, say and do.
"I am what I am. I have what I have and I can do what I can do."
It brings you back to who you really are. It brings you back to the moment, it brings you back to the core of what makes you, you in the reality of the situation you find yourself in like from that foundation, you can rebuild your life, you can tackle your goals you can press through the pain and deal with the challenges that are in front of you. Without it, you're very likely to find yourself overwhelmed by certain challenges that will come your way in life.
Now I've used that as a technique for years myself and for my own clients, but this was the interesting thing: I've only just come across, Edith H Grotberg's study on resilience, and in that study, she makes it very plain, that there are three areas of focus for resilient characters: they tend to focus on who they really are, what they really have and what they really can do.
Identity, ownership and opportunity.
And in her research she defines a series of example questions for each of those areas that are extraordinarily helpful and lay the foundations that are necessary in order for any one of us to build that resilience from the inside out.
So, as you face your own challenges today, this week, this month, this year.
Take a moment to focus upon the Undeniable Affirmation. "I am what I am. I have, what I have. I can do what I can do." I just feel that for yourself, just have grounding that is and how empowering it is for you. In that moment.
So this is Pad -giving you a boost to your own personal and professional resilience.
Pad is a trusted adviser to business leaders across the globe. He is Director at Come Alive Success Coaching ltd. and the Author of TEAM ME - How to Play Your Best Game in Life, and TEAM GUY - Forging Men of Soul & Steel.