Power Tool created by Darlene Schindel
(Health and Wellness Coach, CANADA)
Have you looked inside your toolbox lately – your coach’s toolbox? Is it full of great powertools? How many of the tools in the box have you used lately? How are you keeping those tools in perfect working order – sharp and ready when you need them? As a coach, the importance of powertools is that they help define and determine the client’s as well as your own perspective. Each powertool is meant to provide a word that a coach might recognize in the client’s discussion, which begins to shed light on the current perspective, belief and attitude. The opposing word is offered as an alternative perspective, not a position of this is good and that is bad. One of the most critical skills of an effective coach is the ability to help frame and reframe a client’s perspective. Consider the following powertool, and if it resonates with you, be sure to add it to your tool kit.
Resilience versus Defeat
At the fulcrum point of leadership is the essence of your resilient strength. Resilience is your inner strength to take it, your mental strength to react to it, your outer strength to respond to it, and all your strength to recover from it. – Jeffrey Gitomer
Just the sound of the word – resilience – sparkles as it rolls off the tongue. It has energy and enlightenment and feels like a powerful word. For those that demonstrate resilience in how they deal with life’s challenges, this is exactly how they see themselves. Ask yourself this – when faced with life’s challenges, when things go wrong, when your plans don’t fall into place, do you bounce back or do you fall apart? Resilience is about how competent and adaptable we are. In his book The Charge, Brendon Burchard states
those who trust their abilities to understand, perform and master their worlds are more willing to adjust their courses if something isn’t working. They get up faster when knocked down, because they take the knockdown as a lesson rather than a defeat.
What determines our resilience more than genetics, intelligence, or any other single factor, is our style of thinking. Resilience is influenced by a number of things – especially the positive aspects we have in our lives like positive relationships, experiences and our inner strengths like our values, skills and commitments (Reivich,K. & Shatte, A.)
There is substantial research that shows that resilient people are healthier, live longer, are more successful in work and at school, are generally happier in their relationships and less likely to suffer from depression. Lack of resilience is often linked to lack of physical activity which stimulates the brain and exercises the body (Ratey, J.) Gitomer (2011) states
resilience is not what happens to you, it’s how you react to, respond to, and recover from what happens to you.
Those three words, react, respond, and recover are fundamental to understanding the nature of resiliency, and determining in which of these areas there may be some need to change, to learn, to grow, to alter perspective or let go of beliefs that no longer serve us.
Where we need to begin is with our own strength of attitude and our thinking.
- Reaction: in this part of resilience our thinking is challenged. This is where we either take on the “poor me” negative kind of response OR we come away with a more positive response like “I can handle this”. We start to think about ideas that we have right away that may help, and then we think about what it is we have to do. In the reaction to what happens in life, resilient people do not let the situations make them think poorly of themselves, or get them down. In most instances, they are motivated to do better.
- Response: this is where our current attitudes and past experiences come into play. Our response is determined by our inner strength and shows up in what we say and do. Thinking quickly on your feet, controlling your emotions and figuring out how to respond takes character. If you have that character, your response will be something that is a positive, progressive idea, rather than something self-defeating. It will show your willingness, rather than being defensive; an I can-do NOT an I can’t do attitude.
- Recovery: is where personal learning and growth takes place. Dealing with life situations always has a lesson for us, and for resilient people, this involves building character. Every time you recover from some experience, you are laying the foundation for your resilience. This is where you build your stature, self-esteem, self-resilience, self-confidence and it takes both inner strength and mental strength.
Gitomer’s (2011) words sum it up best:
Every time an opportunity arises, every time your character or attitude is challenged and you react, respond and recover in a positive way, you build personal integrity for who you are, and who you seek to become.
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