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Systems-Inspired Tips to Cultivate Resilience

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

The systems approach acknowledges change as inevitable, constant and necessary. Change is a normal phenomenon. The ability to cultivate resilience in navigating change is a hallmark of systemic health. There are a variety of ways to develop and cultivate resilience, some more self-evident than others. Each of the ways we know of is worth a try when attempting to weather changes and challenges. 

  1. Make connections. Good relationships are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience. Be intentional and conscious in relationships that matter. 

  2. Take advantage of support. Lean into the resilience of your systems at work, at home and socially to find strength. Harness the energy force of the collective and draw out greater resilience from within the system. 

  3. Embrace flexibility. 'Who knows what is good and what is bad?’ - this is the systems rule for change. Conflicts and difficulties create the opportunity for growth when we can unfold what is happening moment to moment with awareness. Instead of regarding your situation as no-win, steer towards an attitude of being open to influence and get curious about what is trying to emerge. This adds to your resilience and helps your overall physical and mental health. 

  4. Practice optimism. You can train yourself to see opportunity instead of a dead-end. Be at choice and redirect the negatives. There’s truth in systems-fulfilling attitudes. If your systems stand in the believe it will be successful in overcoming adversity, the systems are more likely to succeed.  

  5. Avoid personalizing. It’s not about me nor you in a system, it is about ‘us’. There’s no point engaging in blame or engaging in toxic interactions. Instead find ways to infuse positivity to your relationships. A well of positivity will create the resilience in dealing with destructive communications. 

  6. Cultivate gratitude. Practice having regular appreciative conversations about what works well in your system to sustain resilience. This injects necessary positivity. When you are grateful and actively cultivate gratitude, you are taking advantage of a basic part of resilience and in contentment in life. The more you develop gratitude, the more resilient you’ll become.

  7. Remind yourselves of shared victories. In any intensely challenging time when failures and negativity seem paramount and inevitable, a reminder of past successes, examples of seemingly impossible hurdles overcame together, victories scored in unity serves as self-reminder that your system recovers from adversities. This increases the system’s resilience over time, keeping it strong and healthy. 

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