How Well Do You Bounce? Part 3: Know Yourself Kristine Proctor, MSW, LCSW

How Well Do You Bounce?

Part 3: Know Yourself

Kristine Proctor, MSW, LCSW

One of the ways to increase our coping capacity is to develop our resilience, defined as the ability to recover quickly from difficulty. In part 1 and 2 of this series, we looked at characteristics of individuals who have the ability to bounce back from adversity in order to give ourselves a benchmark for our own level of resilience. We asked ourselves, “How well do I bounce?”

In addition to adapting a growth mindset (see part 2), there are additional strengths we can develop or improve to be more resilient. Essential to our ability to grow is our self-knowledge. Of course, we already know a lot about ourselves! In this instance, I am talking about getting to know your true self by thinking about some of the deeper aspects of your inner being that are not often part of your day to day thinking.

For example, ask yourself a series of questions such as these to help you understand what you believe and how it is influencing your life choices.

What is my belief about myself in this situation? What is my behavior? And what is the outcome of those? How is it helping me? What is this belief costing me? How can I change the belief to increase benefits & reduce costs? What are the triggers? What thinking trap is being coupled with the belief?

As part of this assessment, you may have identified some patterns you’d like to be different. This is the first step, as you can’t change what hasn’t been acknowledged. Remember, tracking your thoughts and behavior and observing with compassion is the lens you’re using. Remind yourself that change takes time and that your greatest goal is to know yourself better, not to find faults and beat yourself up. Start small and work on one issue at a time so as to keep from becoming overwhelmed. Apply that growth mindset you’ve been adapting from part 2 of this series.

A third helpful step is to assess how vulnerable you are to stress. This can be accomplished by taking a step back and looking at how full your life is currently and whether or not what you spend your time on fits with your true priorities. What are the major stressors in your life right now? What can be controlled about each of them?

If you recognize there are factors outside your control, you can choose to recognize your ability to choose your response to those things. Challenge the negative thoughts and put things in perspective.

One way you can accomplish this is to: a) Acknowledge the negative thought, b) Tell yourself to “Stop that thought.” and c) Replace it with a positive thought. Then, d) Repeat as often as needed.

Another option is to practice reframing your challenges as opportunities. For example, instead of a response of “Not THIS again!” you can reframe it as “I’ve done this before. I’ll be done in no time.” Or shift your naming of a task from “have to” to “get to.” Believe it or not, your brain doesn’t know you don’t fully mean it and will respond in a more positive, adaptive manner. And over time you’ll start to recognize a true shift in your perspective, as well.

Here’s wishing you much courage and fulfillment as you continue your journey to knowing your true self better.

Find yourself, and be that!

 

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    Kristine has an innate ability to meet her clients wherever they are at. She simplifies complicated issues by identifying the root causes and makes applying mental health principles to real life — like healthy boundaries — manageable.  — P.L., Deland, FL

    March 26, 2020

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