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The 4 traits of resilient people – social support

This is the third installment in our ongoing series about the four traits of resilient people. It’s a fascinating topic and one that I cover at length in my upcoming book Thriving in Change (working title).

I truly believe that resilience is a skill we can’t afford to live without. Why? Simply put, when we are more resilient, we tend to be better able to handle whatever circumstances life hands us. We also tend to take better control of our immediate future. To put it another way, when we’re more resilient, we aren’t paralyzed by sudden changes and we don’t remain stagnant in one season of life, thereby stunting our growth.

The question you may be asking is, but how do I become more resilient?  The easiest way to achieve this is to simply model your behaviour after resilient people, and in this series, we are discussing the top four traits resilient people tend to exhibit (you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here). Today, we’re discussing the third trait, which is SOCIAL SUPPORT.

Resilient people don’t stay the course alone. Instead, they tend to have very strong support networks in place that serve to buoy up their faith in themselves. They understand that:

  • Building good relationships with others and seeking support can help individuals overcome adverse situations as opposed to trying to cope on their own
  • Nurturing themselves is also key

Resilient people maintain relationships with family, friends, and people they connect with to share the burdens as well as the triumphs of life. They are also comfortable reaching out when they need help because they value the support of others. My clients often tell me about how helpful it is to have “someone to talk to”, be it friends, family, partner or workmate. When we reach this discussion point in my change programs, people always have stories about how social support helped them through a change.

It seems we all understand the inherent value of support networks. In organisational change, we see the ‘gossip’ or ‘water cooler chats’ increase dramatically as people connect and support each other with social grooming. Do you have a support group of your own? If so, how can you lean on them more during times of change? If not, who are some people you can begin to reach out to?

In addition, resilient people are givers of support as well as receivers, but they also know that it is important to look after themselves. You are no use to others if you burn yourself out. Think of a jug of water. It can fill many glasses, but once it runs out of water, it needs to be replenished again before it can be of service once more.

That being said, resilient people place self nurturing as a priority in their lives. They take time out, to renew, refresh, relax and do the things they love. Is this a staple in your own life? It’s amazing just how many people go about their lives constantly giving, helping, contributing…and yet they never take pause to recharge. It’s no wonder why a number of individuals report feeling overly stressed and over-worked in their lives. It’s gotten to the point where it’s almost an epidemic.

Self-care isn’t for the weak. It’s for the wise. Those who truly want to rise to their potential and also make a meaningful difference in the lives of others know that self-care is absolutely necessary for optimal functioning. Examine your own weekly schedule and ask yourself if you’re devoting enough time to nourishing mind, body, and soul. If not, make some necessary adjustments and pay mind to how nurturing yourself helps you to feel more supported.

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