The Resilience Tight-rope

5 strands of resilience, and 5 steps for better balance - Dr. John Allan

Resilience is made up of skills needed to overcome difficulties and cope with everyday challenges. Resilience also reflects the time it takes to use these skills to bounce back from set-backs and move forward. The good news is that resilience is something we can learn through practice. 

To increase your resilience, you first need to understand what it means and how it works for you. Finding out about your strengths and weaknesses will help you to become more adaptable and prevent you making the same mistakes. Importantly, it will help you to recognise things that get in the way and those behaviours that bring you success. Finally, it will help you appreciate the help and support others can provide. Resilient people are able to ask for support along their path to growth. The most able people in the world take responsibility for their own development and ask for help to become better.

The Resilience Tight-rope

Resilience can be represented as a tight-rope we walk along throughout our lives. Developing a thicker rope will help us to maintain our balance as we face challenges which may unsettle us. Our ropes are made up of strands of skills that protect us from stress and promote learning. These strands can be developed by actively facing challenges and not being afraid to try something new. Sometimes this can mean getting it wrong and falling off our ropes. Getting back onto your rope and being more able to cope with future challenges is made easier if your rope is thicker.

Five strands of your resilience rope need to be developed equally to create a tight-rope that helps us to balance. Each of these strands reflect skills which can be learned.

This pink strand of resilience is concerned with developing close and secure relationships. This involves dealing with change and using past success for dealing with new challenges.

This red strand of resilience reflects how much you feel in control of what you do. This means setting and achieving personal goals and being able to ask for help.

This blue strand relates to understanding your place in the wider world. This includes being in tune with inner senses and beliefs of what you feel is right and wrong.

This green stand is about getting better and having pride in your achievements. This includes enjoying challenges and giving your best efforts.

The yellow strand of resilience is the extent to which you can trust your own feelings and actions. This means being able to take the lead in problem solving, remaining focused and coping with stress.

Achieving balance

A thick rope of resilience is developed through hard work and effort. This means appreciating your successes when overcoming challenges and also learning through failure. In general terms, resilience is gained by experiencing a balance of approximately three positive emotional experiences (e.g. fun, interest, pride) which provide confidence, to one negative feeling (e.g. nervousness) which motivates us to get stronger.

The five-step cycle for better balance

The Five Step process helps you to achieve better balance on your tightrope by reflecting upon your experiences. The process includes setting a goal to move forward on your rope, dealing with set-backs, making plans and then achieving your goals. The following YouTube clip may help understand each stage of the process. View here