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  • michela henke cilenti

Ingredients to Boost Resilience Succeeding in Uncertain Times

This week in dedication to mental health awareness, I spoke about the challenging and contradictory nature of resilience. It's important.

From recent observations and client conversations I am boldly deducting that our commonly held understanding of resilience is actually preventing the creation of our own natural resilience. This blog shares my findings and looks at how we can reframe our experiences to not just survive but thrive.


The Issue is This

A common cultural piece in the Northern Europe/ American culture is the encouragement of gratitude and to choose a positive outlook. That means then that events that are adverse and tough, aren't fairly framed as tough or difficult. Of course add on that different people, have different reactions. See my DISC blog for a summary on how people see things through 4 different lenses.

Our Reaction

We use people, friends, colleagues to compare our experiences to those of others to gauge and regulate what kind of reaction to take. These are trying, unnavigated waters, are encouraging us to reflect off others more than before. DISC's Mighty Steady types relationally connect many decision points to feel comfortable with their choices and reactions.

Steady Types- Kind, Patient & Truly Care

During Covid-19, most of us have done OK and are indeed super grateful that it could have been a lot worse. Framed as such, in that light, the small adverse events we have experienced have not psychologically registered for what they actually are. That in turn means that we haven't allowed or don't react to them as we should to allow our resilience to grow. We definitely have not allocated enough time to recover from adversity which would enable us to return to our pre-adversity state or the normal that we remember.


It are actually causing more of an issue than we would care to think. Because we don’t frame small, unpredictable but often adverse events as something that requires our full attention. Then we neither redress and manage that we are stressed, anxious and making perhaps a few faulty decisions allow the way.

"So how do we know we aren't creating resilience within ourselves and not bouncing back as much as we need to?"

Even though it's hard to evaluate the climate we work in, objectively (it’s our reality right? Or how we perceive it, we aren't 100% sure are we?) One thing we can judge is our job performance outputs - our mood, or cognitive function, feelings about ourselves (self confidence or self efficacy). We have many other measures that don't always spit out a number but are a valid sentiment that we can tap into. Stand back, reflect, be fair and kind to yourself.

How resilience works is quite unique and incorporates personality, processes and the situation we are in.

This other dimension to resilience that needs acknowledging to heal/right itself. The frequency, duration and predictability (or lack of in the Covid-19 pandemic) has blown smaller events out of the water, but our processes haven't matched the reaction needed to pull ourselves back and regulate-essentially build resilience.

If we have been bouncing back, or maintaining our position it was at a cost, if at all. Hang tight friends check out my list of ingredients to bake a resilience pie for yourself and your team.

Much has been written on resilience(see McKinsey & Company, June 2021, for a great summary) but it doesn't acknowledge that half of the challenge is that we feel like we haven't enough, but don't explore and explain why.

My aim was to truly start that conversation and share something we all been feeling to a less or greater extent. Please share, comment, like and of course, reach out and start a conversation.

My coaching approach uses appreciative techniques- which look at what you do best and augment it to other areas of your life. Connect for a complimentary session to get different, more positive outcomes.

@drmichelahenkecilenti / / 314 728 1109


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