That’s a lot to consider, so let’s break this down. First, we’ll define capacity and then we’ll talk about how capacity relates to resilience.
A person’s capacity is their ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice. Take reading, for example. There was a time in your life when you were not able to read. You were a small child; you were busy playing and eating goldfish crackers. Your parents may have read you simple books and fairy tales. One day, you began to be interested in reading the books yourself. You looked at the pictures but you couldn't read the words. Then, you went to school, and learned your alphabet…you increased in your capacity for reading the words but you weren't reading quite yet. After much practice, with the letters and how they all went together to make words, you began to read all on your own. You built a capacity for reading, yay!
Did you check reading off your “to-do list” forever the day you were able to read “Dick and Jane”? No, in fact, you’re reading right now and I bet you've read many other things this very day. You've probably read your email, the street signs on your drive to work, your calendar, and the list of things your spouse wants you to pick up on the way home tonight. And, you practice reading most days of your life. Your skill at reading has improved since you were small. In fact, if you've read novels, or poetry, maybe even Shakespeare, you have increased your capacity for reading way beyond the first grade primer.
We started by defining the term capacity because it’s central to building resilience. In fact, the coaching I do is called “resilience capacity building”.
So, now let’s discuss the capacity for resilience specifically.
It looks like this:
- The ability to be AUTHENTIC – when we live authentically we know our strengths and we live them out. We do not try to be someone else, excessively focus on our “areas of opportunity”, or squash our dreams. We are in line with our personal gifts, how we can leverage them to contribute to the world, and how to be happy. We are self-confident.
- The ability to be EMOTIONALLY FLEXIBLE – when we are emotionally flexible we acknowledge our emotions and the emotions of others in respectful ways. We are able to observe and reflect on our emotions in order to learn and create meaningful lives. We are also able to have our feelings without becoming overly attached to them as the only way of seeing things. We know that there are other valid points of view.
- The ability to COPE WITH STRESS – when we have good stress management skills we take care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We know what recharges us and what drains us. We choose to actively manage our stress so we can live in service to our gifts and our life’s purpose.
- The ability to live with INTENTION – when we live intentionally we see ourselves as the designer of our life’s path. We are not reactive, letting events and circumstances send us to and fro. We are proactive and take the time to define what we want, who we want to be, and we create our lives from there. When the unexpected comes our way we don’t get lost, we reset. We use our intentions as our compass and find a new way to achieve our goals.
A strong capacity for resilience leads to lives and businesses that are fulfilling, rewarding, and significant. As you build your capacity for resilience, you are better able to cope with daily life challenges, navigate change, and meet difficulty head on.
If you want to build your capacity for resilience, contact me today. You’ll have skills you can use for the rest of your days.