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How to Develop a Resilient Mind-Set

How to Develop a Resilient Mind-Set

How to Develop a Resilient Mind-Set

Having a resilient mind set allows people to deal effectively with the outside world. So how do we gain resilience?

We start by understanding that the outside world "is what it is" and has no intrinsic meaning.

Spiders are spiders. Spiders are not "scary" "Scary" is an evaluation that some human minds associate to spiders and it is the evaluative meaning created by the mind, that causes the emotional response.

The evaluative meaning (what something means to us) is the root-cause of how we feel about it. And to avoid reacting inappropriately our aim is to ensure we correctly identify the facts in a logical, realistic way, and as a result we will feel and act in a clear, rational and positive way.

In order to be and feel at our best, we must use clear and rational thought to evaluate every instance, and to determine whether "this thing" really does pose a threat and should be feared or not.

  • We don't use our imagination to create fears.
  • Nor do we use random associations to create fears.
  • Nor do we listen to other people to tell us what to fear.
  • Nor do we keep using old mental patterns given to us by parents or past experiences, to dictate to us who and what we are today.

Instead, we must:

  • Decide to be clear thinkers, to diligently distinguish the facts from the fiction.
  • Decide to judge events logically and rationally.
  • Decide to be positive, optimistic and confident, based upon the fact that we are clear and rational thinkers.

We recognise that most people are the opposite:

  • They remain unclear in their thinking and therefore, in their communications.
  • Many people are irrational because they know next-to-nothing about logic.
  • Therefore, most people do not feel positive; they suffer from endless self-doubts, worries, fears. Most people lack confidence and optimism.

Our experience of life depends upon the way we use our minds, since it is the mind that determines how we feel, what we say and how we react.

To be happy and productive we must learn to take control of the mind and direct it, because happiness is a state of mind.

The easiest way to take control of the mind is to control the evaluative questions that we use whenever we face a difficult situation.

Evaluative questions come in two types, empowering and disempowering.

Look at the following list of questions.

The cross ❌ indicates the disempowering evaluative questions, that create negative emotions.

The tick ✔ shows the alternative rational, logical questions that will produce positive, empowered responses to difficult situations.

❌ I hear your cat died. How does that make you feel?
✔ What facts DO we know?

❌ How could you/I have been so .... (stupid, thoughtless, naive, etc)
✔ What facts do we NOT know, but need to find out?

❌ Why me? Why do bad things always happen to me?
✔ Now we know the facts, what is our best outcome or goal?

❌ How come you/I didn't see it coming and prevent it?
✔ In order to achieve the goal, what additional skills do we need to develop or use?

❌ How do you think this make me feel?
✔ What material resources (money, technology, etc) do we need to gain access to, and from where can we get such access?

❌ Don't you know how you make me feel?
✔ What attitude should I have towards this?

❌ Who is to blame? Whose fault is it?
✔ What attitude should I have towards this?

❌ Why do I never seem to make any progress?
✔ With all the information so far gathered, what is the best plan of action?

❌ How can I get them back for what they did to me?
✔ What are the first three things I need to do today?

❌ Do you want to get drunk and forget about everything?
✔ What can we learn from this, and how can we make this situation more fun?

In developing a resilient mind-set, aim to use the empowering questions ✔, rather than the disempowering ones.

Building Your Resilience

We invite you to attend our Resilience Training Course if you are interested in developing a more resilient mind-set.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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