Resilience and handling setbacks

The advantages of resilience

When you know how to handle setbacks and stress in a healthy way, that is the definition of resilience. It enables you to remain productive, creative and social, even when you are confronted by adverse situations.

But what if you notice you are losing your resilience? You notice you are not as productive, your creativity seems on the wane, and you cannot always control your emotions.

Then you need to find a way to restore it, and come back to your own healthy style of dealing with your life and work. This is possible when you know why you lost your resilience, and what you need specifically to find it back. Coaching is a valuable tool here.

Here we describe our take on resilience and how to build it once you have lost it. At the end of the article we listed the ways in which coaching can support you in restoring your resilience.

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  • how to handle setbacks and stress and
  • building resilience

 in the category Resilience.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the inner ability to recover from disruptions and setbacks in your life. These disruptions and setbacks are events in your life like disappointments in your career or in relationships, conflicts or anxiety inducing situations, the general bad turns of life, or long periods of stress.

Resilience means you are able to restore your emotional balance, your mental stamina, your physical wellbeing and socially adequate behavior. Resilience enables you to return, without a draining effort, to what is within your influence.

The factors that aid resilience

We are born with the ability to bounce back. The will to live and be happy and interact with other people is innate. That is the core of what enables people to be resilient even in the face of stressful events.

Research also shows that some factors in the social setting are of critical importance in supporting this innate ability. These are mainly factors having to do with support from other people, targeted towards one’s individual needs and abilities.

Yet your resilience needs some time to kick in after a setback. Some aid to strengthen the process may be useful. Our coaching can assist you in finding what skills you need to bounce back, and how to make these applicable to your situation. (See below for a list of possible skills acquired or strengthened through coaching your resilience).

What happens when you lose your resilience?

One of the main consequences of setbacks is that your mental and emotional condition gets exhausted. This also has deteriorating effects on your physical condition. You lose your flexibility, either because of the shock of a one-off event, or because of stress gathering over a long period of time.

When you experience a setback, it is a common consequence to experience draining thoughts. Setbacks usually engender a feeling of unrest, while what your body and mind really need is rest. You lose your feeling of self-control and self-direction. The thinking process takes over and stresses the rest of your system.

This process leads to worrying and focusing on the problem. Your focus turns away from the resources, capabilities, and solutions that remain available to you. You become less social, discouraging the one important factor that could support your resilience: other people.

It is hard to think your way out of thought. The only way out is rest. After a setback you need rest and the right support to eventually restore. What this support should entail, and where to find it will become clear only after you have recovered from the immediate impact of the setback.

Together this often results in an inner feeling that makes it hard to believe that you do indeed have the resources available and accessible to be resilient. But they are there. It just takes awareness of where you can find them in you.

The process of restoring and building resilience

The process of restoring and building resilience is mainly about awareness and recognition. It begins with seeing the factors that cause your current situation. Next you acknowledge what is within your influence, and what is not. Then you define or feel what is feasible for you to do (without undue effort) that will improve your wellbeing.

An important part of this approach is to leave those aspects of the situation that trigger exhausting emotions alone. Exactly these emotions prevent you from taking the right social action and inhibit your ability to bounce back.

By next focusing on what you need to restore a sense of wellbeing, the natural energy of resilience returns in your active awareness. You will feel your physical energy returning and your sense of what is possible will grow. It will provide you with at first the hope, and soon the certainty you are indeed able to overcome the setback. Then it is feasible to take the right actions.

Coaching shows you what kind of support you need specifically, where to find it within your social circle, what to do, and how to do it. The result is that you find your resilience and are able to bounce back successfully from the setback.

Coaching Resilience and handling setbacks

In our experience, coaching resilience and the handling of setbacks has these results:

  • Handling personal and professional setbacks successfully.
  • Regaining confidence and well-being.
  • Recognizing emotional and mental triggers and learning to deal with them.
  • Practicing effective stress management.
  • Working effectively under pressure.
  • Enhancing your inner flexibility.
  • Learning and applying practical social adaptability.
  • Focus on fulfilling your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
  • Restoring your capability for right action in line with your purpose, goals, and with fitting social behavior.