Review: Resilience is all about being able to get thru life’s difficulties & then bounce back – either to a previous level – if that was acceptable, or to an internal & external upgrade, if needed (Post-Traumatic Growth).
As listed in ‘Resiliency – Traits‘, healthy internal resources are a foundation for thriving – in general, but especially needed in times of stress – to solve problems or just stay afloat. They include:
Creativity, confidence, courage, gratitude, humor, kindness, optimism, persistence & spirituality.
As mentioned in “Resilience – Personality“, this trait is crucial to successfully managing all sorts of problems. It means that the person is their own motivator, instead of being pushed around by other people’s needs & wishes. It’s the opposite of co-dependence.
This character trait can only be applied to adults. By definition, children are directed by others, but healthy parents teach them to develop this quality, so they can eventually function both autonomously & inter-dependently with others. This eliminates the need for the compulsive, all-encompassing “Harm-Avoidance” of most ACoAs.
Naturally, appropriate harm-avoidance is part of being resilient – the wisdom of staying away from PPT that drain energy & have little or nothing to give back. At the same time resilient people (Rs) do not assume everyone & everything are potentially ‘dangerous’ to their well-being. They trust their own observations & intuition to distinguish safe from unsafe.
In order to have self- directedness, Rs would have had to grow up with a consistent sense of efficacy – the experience of having an effect on their environment, starting with their parents. As children —
— this does not mean they had to be in charge of the drunk, the depressed, the siblings, the chores…..
— it also does not mean being left to their own devices to figure things out without guidance or supervision
As children —
• It does mean that THEIR needs & dreams were heard & provided, whenever possible – instead of being forced to ignore & suppress them
It means they were listened to when they were unhappy (comforted & validated), had a legitimate need ($ for school), a problem to be solved (a school bully), a passionate desire (for karate or piano lessons)…. without being ignored, shamed or punished
• It does mean they were allowed to gradually figure out their own natural way of thinking, feeling & doing things – with age-appropriate boundaries, but without being forced into a mold that didn’t fit
• It does mean that the adults paid attention & responded well when the child objected to how they were being treated, or pushed in a direction that ‘isn’t me’
• It does mean the children were supported in exploring their own interests, as well as encouraged to expand their talents & dreams a little beyond their comfort
Adults with some or all of these benefits become their own motivator, instead of having to rely on everyone else to tell them what to be & do – ‘a strong sense of ownership over their fate’. Self-directedness means having a gut-knowledge that they’re in charge of their choices & actions, empowered to be the best they can in the circumstances, & so never need to see themselves as victims
Self-Regulation (re. Actions)
Violation of our deepest values causes guilt, shame & anxiety. An aspect of this necessary ‘Internal Locus of Control’ is a person’s ability to act in their own long-term best interest, consistent with their principles & values. This is especially true when trying to master a skill – hopefully one that interests them a great deal – which would require being goal-oriented, responsible, reliable & resourceful.
Self-focused Rs are able to wholeheartedly give their attention to small tasks or big goals, without worrying about what others think or want – while taking into account possible consequences to self & others.
They can accept responsibility for problems that crop up, without self-judgement or blaming others, so they can learn from any mistakes, & then continue toward their end-point. It’s being in the driver’s seat of one’s life, with strong motivation, concentration & effort – in both planning & execution. Along the way they can evaluate their progress or achievement realistically, without perfectionism or harsh judgment (S-H).
NEXT: Resilience – individual #2