Over the next few posts I’ll describe seven resilience characteristics that help us navigate change or challenge, and how to increase each one.
The First Resilience Characteristic is Positivity
People who are highly positive see the bright side of situations, even when it’s new to them. You might say they are “sunny side up”. Positive people see the opportunity that exists within each challenge, and they know the value of learning from failure. Also note that overuse of any one of the seven characteristics has a downside. If we are unrealistically positive we may ignore problems or overlook risks.
What Is Your Level Of Positivity?
Let’s run through some examples. Image that your co-worker misses their deadline on a project that will affect your ability to deliver. Is your first thought “he’s an idiot” or “she’s incompetent?”. Or, do you think “he must be feeling overwhelmed” or “she must be having a tough week”? The first examples are more pessimistic and you don’t have many options to help if they are true. If your coworker is an idiot or incompetent, what’s your next step?
However, if you suppose that they are experiencing a temporary struggle, you can talk with them, find out what’s going on, and help them get to a solution. Right? So by taking this more positive approach, we have a path to move forward. And guess what, it’s your choice!
In order to be more positive, the first step is to pay attention to your self talk. Listen to that voice in your head to determine when to change the narrative. If your first reaction is negative, try saying yes. You might get inspiration from a funny movie that Jim Carey stars in called “Yes Man”.
Understand that our brains are elastic throughout our lives, and we can re-wires the neural pathways for positivity through committing to a gratitude practice. It simply requires that we write down or say out loud three things that we are thankful for each day. Try it for 30 days and notice the difference.
Now go and be grateful, be positive and you will become even more resilient!