4 Your personal resilience through time
Figure 2 shows how an individual’s personal resilience also can vary over time. This is an important consideration, as it can help you to see that it’s normal to feel more or less resilient at different times of your life.
In Week 1 you looked at some of your recent experiences, focusing on different stress factors in your life and analysing stages of the ‘Personal Transition Curve’. You may already have recognised that some of these changes felt easier to handle than others.
In this next activity you will focus on your own personal resilience over time.
Activity 4 About you: resilience timeline
Access the toolkit, either by clicking on the thumbnail or selecting ‘View’ below. You might find it useful to open it in a new window or tab.
Click on ‘Timeline’ and then using the template provided in the toolkit, or by drawing a timeline in your notebook, think about variations in your personal resilience over time.
This might seem like a daunting task at first, so one way to start might be to divide the line into decades of your life. Then you can identify the points at which you have felt most in control of your life, able to meet and deal with challenges. Follow that by thinking about the points in your life where you have felt less resilient, and then join the points to create your resilience timeline.
Use the line to reflect on:
- a time when you may have moved from a feeling of helplessness about a situation to a feeling of control and optimism about the future.
- the relationships or circumstances that have made a difference for you. You might realise, for example, that being at home with a small baby removed you from the support networks you had with work colleagues, or alternatively – it might have introduced you to new support networks that you didn’t have before.
- whether there is anything from your past experience that you should rebuild into your life to enhance your resilience now.
Save your notes in the toolkit or your notebook.
This can be a challenging activity, and you may want to spend more time on it. But persevering will be worthwhile in helping you to recognise times in your life when you have felt more or less resilient. Reflecting on why you felt that way in the past could help you to identify strategies for enhancing your resilience now.
We all have the capacity to learn from our experiences and change our behaviour in the future. We can all develop our capacity for resilience – but how can we go about it?