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Building Resilience

Posted 1123 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles

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Julie Hickton, Success Coach and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner shares her thoughts on why support is so important to resilient growth.

Julie Hickton, Success Coach and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner shares her thoughts on why support is so important to resilient growth.

I was chatting with a colleague the other day about a group of young women she had been working with and remarked on the fact that they were all having a difficult time within their work place. What had struck her when they were sharing their experiences was their belief that they needed to be strong and deal with their difficulties by themselves.

That they felt that being resilient was all about personally getting through it, this link to having to be independent and capable and that in some way asking for help and support is seen as a weakness. If I think back to my younger days when I was striving to prove my ability and develop my career I could relate to what she was telling me, it took a very difficult personal experience to help me realise that well being and resilience is supported through the help of others.

There is now evidence on the power of social connectedness and support and its link to well being and happiness. In my book – The Tree of Resilience, I’ve identified one of the key acorns of resilient growth being that of support.

The first aspect of this is being able to recognise when support would be helpful and being compassionate and supportive to our self. Developing our ability to understand ourselves and what and who we need to help us is crucial. Being prepared to feel vulnerable and ask for support from others or just recognising that you can be more supporting to yourself rather than being so hard on yourself. Life at times is hard for all of us and being able to accept that we are finding a certain aspect hard and understanding the emotions that we have connected with this, is a strength. Accepting and acknowledging how we feel about it, rather than “having a go at ourselves” or giving ourselves a stiff talking to, be compassionate to our self, acknowledge that life is difficult and that others also find aspects difficult and challenging we are not alone in how we feel. Being able to understand and be compassionate with ourselves about how we feel about our difficulties enables us to be supportive to our self.

The next aspect of support is to be understood and allow yourself to access what it is you need to help you. This might just be a discussion, being able to share what is going on with you, with someone, it might be that you need to ask someone for some help or guidance or might be seeking out professional help and support, like a coach. It might just mean that you need some time out for yourself.

The other aspect of support in connection with wellbeing and resilience is the support we offer to others, unconditional and often spontaneous. Being able to be aware of others challenges and difficulties and offering support to them is helpful because it removes you away from our worries, it helps us to connect with the fact that others also have challenges to deal with. The main benefit with wellbeing is that we as humans are naturally caring of others and it makes us feel good about ourselves when we help others. Which is interesting when you go back to our resistance to ask others for help and support.

As coaches I feel we have a role in helping our clients understand the importance of support and self-compassion in dealing with life’s challenges and supporting them in being supportive to themselves. We also need to ensure we are looking after our own well being and resilience and that we recognise the importance of support in caring for ourselves. Its hard when we are encouraged to be independent and have phrases such as “its down to you” said to you at school. Yes it is but it doesn’t mean we have to do it a lone with out support to ourselves or from others.

Develop your self compassion and kindness be more supportive to yourself and you will find your well being increases as well as your overall happiness.

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