The secrets to thriving through self-awareness and self-regulation
In our previous blog we discussed why building your resilience matters. Today we’ll dive into the Science of Resilience’s essential ingredients that are vital to your resilience.
The game-changing power of self-awareness
Positive Psychology has the power to boost resilience and identifies two dimensions of “protective factors”: physiological and psychosocial. The physiologically is basically the part of resilience tied to your physical well-being. The psychosocial is in essence the part of resilience tied to your mental well-being and interpersonal connections. Given the importance of the physiological and psychosocial, it makes perfect sense that developing resilience starts with self-awareness.
It’s always worthwhile to take a step back to ask yourself key questions that explore your mental, emotional, and physical reality and that even gauge your reaction:
§ How often do you notice your pattern of thoughts? Is it helping you in this situation or creating obstacles?
§ How are your thoughts impacting your feelings? Can you pinpoint the exact emotion? Do you have your own “dictionary” of words that precisely describe emotions?
§ What about your physiology (your heart rate and breath)? Are they steady, slow, or fast?
§ What types of behaviour are being triggered as a result? How are you approaching this situation? Is your behaviour aiding you or hurting you?
‘CREATE HIGHER AWARENESS OF STRESSORS AND HOW THEY GENERATE PARTICULAR BEHAVIOURS OR SPARK CERTAIN ACTIONS’.
Everything is ultimately linked and this is where Cognitive Behavioural Theories (CBT) help since they create higher awareness of stressors and how they generate particular behaviours or spark certain actions.
An article in Forbes highlights that “self-awareness has been cited as the most important capability for leaders to develop, according to the authors of ‘How To Become a Better Leader,’ which was published in the MIT Sloan Management Review. Successful leaders know where their natural inclinations lie and use this knowledge to boost those inclinations or compensate for them.” The article also mentions a study by Korn/Ferry International that shows a solid correlation between self-awareness and firms’ profitability. Examining “the stock performance of 486 publicly traded companies” revealed that firms with good “financial performance” usually have team members with greater self-awareness in comparison to other firms. This suggests that self-awareness also plays a role when facing business challenges.
Take control with self-regulation
Emotional and mental self-regulation are other factors that make a difference, and building resilience involves using hands-on tools and strategies that help with this. Psychology professor, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson explains that, “positive emotions solve problems concerning personal growth and development. Experiencing a positive emotion leads to states of mind and to modes of behaviour that indirectly prepare an individual for later hard times. […] positive emotions broaden an individual’s momentary mindset, and by doing so help to build enduring personal resources.” Emotional regulation is about embracing these positive emotions and focusing on the present, without regretting the past or worrying about what tomorrow will bring. Positive Psychology powers up how strong and long we experience positive emotions by honing skills and through exercises.
‘Mastering mental regulation through the use of evidence-based techniques and strategies transforms stressors from threats into challenges that can be overcome.’
Looking at things from multiple perspectives is vital for resilience and helps promote mental regulation (i.e. how you modify thoughts that fuel a “fight or flight” response). It empowers you to hunt down the real cause of an issue and to have a problem-solving action plan. Mastering mental regulation through the use of evidence-based techniques and strategies transforms stressors from threats into challenges that can be overcome. And this is where goal setting steps in, using self-regulation to drive your pursuit of a great future while adding to your resilience.
Thriving in VUCA times
In our VUCA times, people at all levels grapple with tremendous pressures to create a sense of clarity, balance, and focus so they can function and thrive. By working with a resilience coach, you and your organization are empowered with proven strategies and tools that let you build and maintain an agile, growing, and focused mind-set in addition to achieving outstanding results.
About the Author
As Executive Director of Resilience & Co FZE, Nada El Marji is responsible for setting the company’s overall strategic direction, including planning and defining the strategy, development, and evolution of R&CO’s portfolio of services and programs.
She has more than 20 years of global experience in various industries and technologies.
Given her life and professional experience, she’s particularly passionate about building the resilience of individuals, organizations and communities, enabling them to thrive and not just to survive during VUCA times.
Ms El Marji holds an MBA degree from Leicester University in the UK, she's also a Certified Leadership Coach, Certified Systemic Team Coach and Associate Certified Coach (ACC) by the International Coach Federation (ICF).