Tag Archives | emotional resilience


When was the last time you felt really good about yourself? It is so easy to be self-damning, and so much harder to be self-congratulatory! And somehow in our culture we think that it is a good thing to run ourselves down. I can remember as a small child being told that just because I was a good speller didn’t mean that I should get bigheaded – but I wasn’t! I was just proud of my ability to spell…

Those who make the best of themselves know intuitively that they need to build on their strengths to get even better. They notice their own good points, and see how they can use these to enhance their not so good points. Just as we all thrive on positive feedback from others, we also thrive on positive feedback from ourselves!

So this month, why don’t you start giving yourself some feedback!


  1. List 10 things you are really good at. It doesn’t matter what they are – work-related or personal
  2. Each day notice 1 thing you do well and remind yourself of how you did it
  3. When someone thanks you for something, or gives you positive feedback, don’t dismiss it – say thank you and revel in it!
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Emotional Resilience

An aspect of emotional intelligence that we don’t often pay attention to is the ability to ‘bounce back’ when something unexpected happens. This can be anything from an unexpected traffic jam which makes you late, to a bereavement or drastic change of work circumstances. It is so easy to get knocked back in our culture. We tend to see the world as conspiring against us anyway, and so fall too easily into self-pity and being a victim of circumstance. If we were to view the world as ‘on our side’, then we would look for the gain from the change. When we develop emotional resilience, we react differently.

We forgive ourselves if our initial reaction is negative, and just let it go.

We pick ourselves up and get on with things, just like a child who has fallen over when learning to walk
We consider what the learning is for us in the particular circumstance, and actively take the learning.


Take an example where life dealt you an unexpected blow in the past. What have you/could you learn from it, in a positive sense?

Identify 4 ways in which the world has conspired with you, by offering you unexpected changes.
As you receive some ‘knock’ this month, stop and go through the process stated above.

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As we start the new year, it seems appropriate to ask how we can make life a happier experience for all of us – let’s make a positive difference.

Keeping your fuel tank filled – see previous blogs – is a good start, because that will help you to be more positive in your outlook on life.

But what about those who have a negative effect on you, and seem to take that positivity away? Not only do they disturb your happiness, they also suffer a lack of happiness themselves – it is the rare person who really feels good when they are causing others to feel bad.

There are ways we can change this effect, to the benefit of all parties involved.

  1. Don’t give away your power! Remember that we choose to allow something to affect us. After all, what to one person is a disaster, to another person is an exciting adventure – they have obviously made different choices about how to react. So choose to react differently to the person. Imagine their comment or attitude as a brief rain shower which temporarily wets you and then dries up. Even better, imagine that you have an invisible shield which protects you from getting wet at all!
  2. Even more powerfully, experiment with how you can change their reaction to you, which causes them to behave in a way which affects you badly. Step into their shoes for as moment. From their perspective, what could you do differently that would provoke a different and more useful behaviour in them? We often unwittingly provoke just the behaviour we don’t like and by making a change in our own attitude or behaviour we can change theirs.


  1. Practise using your invisible shield when someone next seems to want to offend you or upset you in some way.
  2. Take a person that you always seem to have a negative reaction to. Imagine you are them, and ask yourself, ‘what would make me behave more positively with …?’ Use the answer to guide your behaviour next time you encounter them.


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