Survival and Resilience are NOT the same thing 

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There is a resilience myth held by many in society that resilience is all about one’s ability to bounce back despite adversity, to get back up and dust oneself off in the face of trauma or difficulty and return to ‘normal’.

I once shared this misconception around resilience. It wasn’t until adversity came to visit as an adult that I began to understand that what I had believed was resilience through childhood trauma was in fact just survival…and yes there’s a big difference.

Adversity visits us all at different points in life, and resilience is not about bouncing back or simply making it through difficult or traumatic experiences, but about one’s ability to experience, reflect and GROW through and because of the experience.

True resilience never involves bouncing and it’s not about getting back to where you were…. true resilience moves you forward of where you were when the adversity struck – it enables you to evolve and grow because of, not in spite of, difficult experiences.

We need to invest in better understanding what drives us as humans – what helps us to thrive. Core psychological and physiological needs that whether we have brought them to conscious awareness, or not, ARE driving our behaviours and emotions. Because the more conscious we are of our core drivers, the more we open opportunities to live and work in alignment with them. This is key to true resilience and sustainable peak performance.

Sadly, despite the massive advances in neuroimaging over recent decades, resulting in evidence-based approaches that can help us to improve performance, productivity, resilience, creativity and so many other ‘skills’ essential in modern workplaces and life, most of us know more about what our cars and electronic devices need to function optimally than we do our own brains and bodies. Taking the time to learn more about the psychological and physiological needs that are driving each of us, (whether we’ve brought them to conscious awareness or not!) will help more of us move from surviving to thriving – and wow what a thrilling ride that is!