Prosilience #19: The Big Picture
An overview of the building blocks and tools we use to address life's challenges
The idea behind prosilience is that we can intentionally increase our challenge-readiness by building a set of tools to apply in a wide range of situations. (If you haven’t read my posts on Resilience is a Verb or Mapping Your Challenges, you might find them helpful as background.)
Four Building Blocks
I think of this tool kit in four parts. Here’s a very short summary. I’ll dig into various parts of this framework in future posts.1
The first is our ability to self-regulate—to bring our bodies and brains to a place where we can think clearly and control our emotions and responses.
The second is our effectiveness in choosing how to frame and approach the challenges we encounter. There are three basic options, which we use in combination:
Reframing—finding a different way to view a situation that opens up new possibilities and opportunities
Intervening—taking action to change a situation (or ourselves) to create a better outcome
Accepting—adapting and adjusting ourselves to a situation
The third is a set of capabilities we apply to use our energy effectively when working our way through challenges. There are seven of these “resilience muscles”:
Positivity—seeing hope and possibility in the midst of ambiguity and adversity2
Confidence—recognizing our own efficacy and capabilities to master challenges
Priorities—being clear about what’s most important, and aligning our energy and actions accordingly
Creativity—viewing situations from multiple perspectives, suspending judgment, and tolerating ambiguity
Connection—building relationships with others and drawing on them for support and encouragement
Structure—applying systems and processes to get things done; planning and thinking things through
Experimenting—trying new things; taking some risk and being uncomfortable
The fourth is creation, protection, and replenishment of our personal energy, with a focus on each of these areas:
Physical—health, strength, and capability to move with fluidity and power
Mental—thinking, reflecting, problem-solving, and clarity of mind
Emotional—effectively working with a wide range of feelings in ourself and others
Spiritual—connecting with and drawing on a sense of meaning and purpose
Prosilience and Resilience
When we intentionally work to increase our capabilities in each of these areas (that’s the prosilience part), we are then able to more effectively respond to the challenges that show up in life (that’s the resilience part).
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this issue of the Prosilience newsletter! See you in a couple of weeks for the next installment.
You can also learn more in my book Prosilience: Building Your Resilience for a Turbulent World.
And no, I’m not talking about rainbows, unicorns, or toxic positivity here. 😊