Resilience Series 7 – Experimenting

Resilience Series 7 – Experimenting

In this post we cover the seventh and final resilience characteristic in this series which is Experimenting. People who score high in this characteristic are risk-takers. They are willing to try something new – even at the risk of embarrassment or other costs. Experimenters will take action in the midst of uncertainty; and they even seek out new challenges.

You may wonder how this relates to resilience. The first way is that solutions can be found through experimentation, or trial and error. And, it takes courage to stretch outside of our comfort zone but that’s the only way to be braver in the future. Think about how scary it is to speak in public for the first time. And, the more times someone speaks the more comfortable they become.

How To Increase Experimentation

The way to increase experimentation is try it out.

Think of an activity that you are interested in but also feel nervous about. We’ll use stand up paddle boarding as an example.

  • Ask yourself “what’s the best thing that could happen if I do this?” – maybe you love it, and you feel proud of yourself, and you get some exercise outdoors!
  • Then think about the worst thing that could happen. You could be embarrassed by falling or perhaps suffer a minor injury.
  • How likely is the worst case? What can you do to prevent that from happening? Maybe you take a lesson or watch a “how to” video. Make sure to wear a life vest.
  • Now imagine yourself doing the activity successfully.
  • Take the first step and don’t forget to celebrate your effort. Then you’re ready to move on to bigger challenges. Take comfort knowing that the first time we do anything it feels awkward at best.

With each characteristic of resilience it’s important to acknowledge the negative effects of overuse. Experimentation, or risk taking, is certainly a positive trait to increase resilience, and if overused it can be harmful. So, take a thoughtful approach while you lean into the discomfort.

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