Pen, Book & Resilience


Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties however it is so much more than that. In actuality, resilience is the ability to be adaptable when under stress in ideas, behaviors, and emotions. This stress can come from the relentless demands one is faced with overtime or can even be triggered due to one-of-events like a career setback. The more stress one faces, in this case, demands and setbacks, will lead to a loss of that adaptability and flexibility they once had.

What is Resilience?

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines resilience as both the process and the outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences. It means “the mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and ability to adjust to both internal and external demands.”

It is important to mention that it takes time and effort to develop resilience and build resilience. To build resilience takes time, strength, and help from others around you. However, you may experience setbacks depending on personal behavior and skills (self esteem and communication skills) and external factors (social support and availability of resources). Being resilient does not mean that you do not face emotional distress, but means to work through emotional pain and suffering.

What are the types of Resilience?

The word resilience is usually used on its own to represent the overarching theme of adaptability and coping. However it can be broken down into four categories which are psychological, emotional, physical, and community resilience. These categories refer to the capacity of resilience that each of four types are. For instance, psychologically resilient people develop coping strategies and skills that allow them to remain calm and focused during a crisis and move on without long-term negative consequences.

“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”

– Elizabeth Edwards, author

Why is Resilience Important?

Resilience is important as it is a vital tool needed to process and overcome challenges. People lacking resilience tend to get easily overwhelmed, turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms, which should serve as a cautionary tale, stressing the importance of being able to develop resilience and build resilience. It is these individuals that have built and developed resilience that are able to tap into their strengths and support systems to overcome and work through adversity.

What is Resilience Theory?

People face all kinds of crises in life. There are personal challenges like, losing a loved one, illness, or financial instability as well as the shared reality of tragic events like, terrorist attacks, war, or global pandemics. This just goes to show that regardless of the issue people have to learn to cope with and work through all of their life experiences.

The concepts underlying how people respond to and adjust to difficult situations including adversity, change, loss, and danger are referred to as resilience theory. The resilience theory states that resilience is not a fixed trait (one can develop and build the capacity to practice resilience) and is not a constant meaning a person may demonstrate resilience in one challenge they have faced however fail to do so when up against another.

Being flexible, adaptable, and having perseverance allow people to tap into their resilience by changing specific thoughts and behaviours. According to research, students do better when they feel that both intellectual and social skills can be taught and improved. They also become more resilient, responding to adversity with less stress and performing better overall. With Dr. Sood citing gratitude, compassion, acceptance, meaning, and forgiveness as the five principles of resilience.

The top factors that Develop & Build Resilience

Developing resilience is a personal and complex journey that involves a combination of inner strengths and outer resources. Be aware that there is no universal formula for becoming more resilient and that it takes time and effort to develop resilience and build resilience. As per the APA some key factors that contribute to one’s personal resilience are: the ways someone views and engages with the world, the availability and quality of social resources, and specific coping strategies. A combination of factors contribute to building resilience and as said before there is no simple way to work through life’s challenges.

Developing resilience is something a person does over time. In a prior longitudinal study, traits including familial cohesion, a positive self-perception, and strong interpersonal relationships that were protective for teenagers at risk for depression also contributed to greater resilience in young adults.

According to the resilience theory, other factors that can help build resilience and develop resilience include the following: social support, self esteem, coping skills, communication skills, and emotional regulation. Resilience is not something one can just tap into during moments of adversity, but is a tool that builds as you encounter stressors all day.

What are the 7 C’s of Resilience?

The 7-C’s Resilience Model was developed by Ken Ginsberg, MD, a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and co-founder of the Parent and Adolescent Communication Center, designed to help children and adolescents build resilience. The 7Cs are: Ability, Confidence, Connection, Character, Contribution, Coping, and Control. With all these skills and factors, we can build inner strength and leverage external resources – regardless of age, says Dr. Ginsburg.

What is Resilience coaching?

Resilience coaching is often misunderstood. The job of a resilience coach is to help clients gain back the adaptability they once had. In short, the resilience coach will do so by focusing on what aspects have been impacted and then build the capacity of said impacted areas.

In resilience coaching one can tell that they have suffered a loss due to the following:

  • Loss of self confidence
  • Difficulty in decision making
  • A changed outlook: optimists become pessimists, pessimists lose their counterbalancing perspective
  • Reduced creativity
  • Difficulty in managing their emotions
  • Reduced desire for social contact

What does a Resilience Coach do?

A resilience coach will use psychometrics to measure resilience. Resilience coaching is a value based system and so resilience coaches will assume that a client would act the same in certain situations. For example if a client scores high on self-confidence the resilience coach will make the informed assumption that they will always be self-confident. However, the psychometrics used in resilience coaching ignore context which is an important part of resilience.