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The 5-Minute Read: “You are resilient” – by the authors of How To Rise

Authors Dr Karen Forshaw, and Chrissie Mowbray

In this blogpost, Karen Forshaw, co-author of How To Rise: A Complete Resilience Manual explains how we can measure and improve our resilience levels using a unique gap-analysis tool.

Resilience is becoming a much-used word. Some people like it and others do not, thinking that putting the emphasis on personal resilience takes away the need to fix the potentially broken systems we are living and working in. Attending to our own personal resilience does not take away the need for evaluation and reorganisation of our systems, this always needs to happen.

However, recognising that we can increase our personal resilience gives us power. It allows our mind-set to move to a more internal locus of control. In this mindset we influence the situation via our responses to what is happening.

Authors Dr Karen Forshaw (left) and Chrissie Mowbray (right)

We can recognise that our responses are, in fact, driven by aspects of our own psyche. We can move towards becoming self-aware and in understanding these components of Self are at play we can respond consciously rather than in an automatic way. We can strive to make those responses positive rather than negative.

We are all learning all the time. By experience, trial and error, and gaining knowledge and skills through targeted study. If we want to be able to play an instrument we take lessons and we practice. If we want to bake we follow recipes and hone our skills, adapting the recipe as we go. 

Personal resilience is much the same.

We can evaluate where we are with our resilience, we can learn more skills, tools and techniques and we can flex and adjust those tools to suit us. Building our own resilience toolkit tips the scale in our favour and we flourish.

But where do we start?

To begin to build our resilience toolkit we need to think about our current resilience. In other words we need to measure it. Measurements are most valuable when they are made by the individual. Measures of attitudes, values and behaviours are subjective, and therefore best made with questionnaires.

Dr Karen Forshaw’s book How To Rise, forward written by Dr Amir Khan

In our book How To Rise, we have devised a questionnaire that covers the all the factors that influence resilience; purpose, autonomy, conflict, work-life balance, health, social support, organisation and self-awareness. The questionnaire is designed as a Gap Analysis tool which you can view here. For each question give yourself a score out of 10, representing where you are and where you want to be. The questions with the largest gap between your current and ideal scores are the areas of your life where learning some resilience tools would be beneficial.

It is very important to be aware that the purpose of the questionnaire is not to receive a resilience score but to highlight the areas where you perceive your resilience to be lower than optimal. The power of this tool is that it becomes individual to you. Everyone will have different current scores and more importantly different ideal scores. For some, relationships are more important than others. Some may struggle with conflict more than others and so on. You can also repeat the questionnaire whenever you need tracking your progress.

If you haven’t already, fill it in! Look at the result. Where is your biggest gap?

This shows you which areas of your life you need to work on, which components of your resilience you believe are lowest at this point in time.

It is important to recognise that you are already hugely resilient. You have made it this far. The coping strategies you have employed in the past have helped you. However perhaps now is the time to look at how healthy those coping mechanisms are and investigate new ones.

Are you ready for a deep dive into self-awareness that allows you to take back your power in every situation?

Are you ready to live the life you want and deserve?

You are resilient.

How to Rise – A Complete Resilience Manual contains over 60 tools and techniques to help improve your mental wellbeing building a radiant, resilient you.