Resilience is kind of a weird concept

But where, then, does 'resilience' come into the picture and when might it be useful?

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Resilience is kind of a weird concept

Posted by Patrick Cave on

Three or four years back, I had a client in London.  She came to me, as many do, with mention of relationship issues, some self-esteem stuff, financial woes and a whole host of other things.  We had our ninety-minute life-change session during which I gave her my standard warning that if she gave herself permission to change, to thrive, to be true, then her partner or others close to her might feel threatened or resent this change. 

People who are not yet at a point of discovery and empowerment, those who largely see themselves as victims of circumstances and others, usually do not like a close reminder of how powerful they could be. They can feel deeply uncomfortable if a loved one is evolving. In the case of my client, she messaged within 24 hours saying that her partner had indeed reacted negatively to the fact that she suddenly felt lighter and happier. 

She had followed an instinct of the moment and broken up with him.  Within a few days she had also taken out loans to go it alone in her business and she had started the process of buying her own house. She was happier than she had been in years.

Of course the rapid sequence of events with this client is not generally the case.  It may take days, weeks or months for people to weigh what value they place on old circumstances and relationships against the feeling of stepping into one's power and inviting the new. In this mix there is also the fear that can be felt in letting go of the familiar and trusting that the unknown situation we are attracting will be better.  (Spoiler: it will be!).

But where, then, does 'resilience' come into the picture and when might it be useful?  'Resilience' suggests riding out some sort of undesired or unpleasant external influence. Sometimes a client will go through the process I mentioned above and they will get to a point where they realise that allowing themselves to be healed, powerful and contented will mean saying goodbye to a relationship or situation that they are not yet ready to lose, and in these cases they might ask me for tools to 'cope'. 

Yet whatever tools they are given, if at some level they are choosing to be in a situation that does not feel self-loving at their core, this constant daily choice will eventually start to erode the positivity they have gained in other areas. 

Another client recently came with a variety of issues that included eating and weight problems.  She made initial great gains, but she decided that she was not ready to leave a partner who was replicating an unhealthy early parent/child relationship and so after a few months the negative food patterns came back.  No amount of 'resilience' can help if a person is not valuing themselves.

So I would counsel anyone seeking 'resilience' to start with the question, 'Are my major life choices right now a reflection of the love I deserve and the true self I am ready to be?'

It may be that the answer comes back 'yes', in which case the area needing 'resilience' will either be a temporary thing needed to work towards and overall goal - as, for instance,  with someone doing a factory job making shopping trolleys in order to save enough to spend a year backpacking around the world - or alternatively, the perceived positives of a challenging situation are such that they outweigh the negatives and the overall picture is aligned to and congruent with the self-loving and 'true' image of self that the client has discovered or allowed to come true.  For example, a single parent who loves their baby dearly and is absolutely committed to caring for them, but who is finding the process difficult.

In such cases I would lead the client to two ways of achieving 'resilience'.

1. Any re-framing technique that allows them to re-focus or remind themselves how their challenging circumstance is part of a blossoming of a desired outcome and a desired way of being and set of feelings.  This could be anything from creating a delicious 'future memory'  that becomes like a powerful magnet into which they can tune as often as they like (experiencing the wonderful feelings of that time to come) and by which they can see how they found the right resources to get there, to making a vision-board kind of device that includes everything from the largest most magnificent abstract goal of the whole of their life at this time ('fulfilment' etc.) down through all the branches of smaller and smaller 'chunks' to the little tasks and elements that feed into this goal.  NLP is full of such techniques of alignment and flow.

2. The putting in place of 'daily practice' for the client that serves both to re-align with their inner truth and give love to deepest self.  This practice could include daily routines - giving a 'gift' to self 3 times a day, such as getting a favourite hot chocolate or having a bubble bath or standing under the stars before bed; thinking of 3 times from the day for which they feel proud, just before sleep; going to the bathroom mirror once a day and speaking lovingly to the person they find there - and could also include elements designed to wash away the chatter and clutter that was getting in the way of physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing:  in my own practice I often set 'homework' of using 'Ho'oponopono', using positive anchors, using posture changes, walking through imagined cleansing waterfalls and the like.  If the client already has practices such as taking long walks, doing martial arts or meditation or anything similar, then it is a plus, and my clients always leave understanding that unwanted feelings are stored in all kinds of ways that can be washed quickly away with a change of sub-modalities, body position, location and routines.

Ultimately if a client is in the process of being 'true' and loving self, then 'resilience' will come easily. If they are not yet at that point, then reminders will come to them often, and by its very nature this will mean that resilience founders.



Patrick Cave
Patrick Cave (Member post)

Master Hypnotherapist, NLP Master, Coach, Author and Teacher. Helping you leave the past behind, end trauma and negative patterns, heal self and relationships, blossom freely