What is Resilience?:
Resilience might be summarised as navigating life’s stresses and bouncing forwards … being an overcomer and getting over obstacles and hurdles.
This is a case study about resilience in continuing lockdown. Resilience is a very important skill in lockdown – being able to handle challenges, respond and adapt - so that you can move on.
Jacci shows incredible resilience, in her words, ‘When the rubber hits the road’ and she faces challenges and adversity, in lockdown and throughout her life.
I interviewed Jacci about resilience in the context of her family. I put these questions to her:
1. What motivates you to be resilient with and for your family?
2. What is your desired outcome?
3. What emotions do you experience when you are being resilient?
4. What do you know/believe about resilience in the context of your family?
5. How do you know when your resilience is working well for you and your family?
Jacci was born in and grew up in the East End of London. Challenges started early in her life, when at 10 years old her parents divorced and, in her words, this led to ‘Ridiculous experiences as a child’. This caused her to start to learn fast how to navigate her landscape to survive and thrive.
Jacci ‘married the boy next door’ at the young age of 19 years old. Jacci and her husband went on to have two children and now have grandchildren. They and their immediate and wider family have experienced numerous challenges and adversity on the way including housing challenges, income challenges, serious health conditions, physical injury, divorce, loss, separations and yet …they are happily still together as a family.
Jacci is the embodiment of the song ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going!’. She is amazingly resilient in her personal life, her work life and her family life.
Q1. What motivates you to be resilient with your family?
Jacci answered this very quickly and easily and said ‘Failure is not an option’ with an air of absolute certainty.
Q2. What is your desired outcome?
Again – this was very easy for Jacci to answer and she immediately said, ‘This family stays together and we have consistency, stability and reliability’ and, she added, ‘Things do change and grow and we stay together’ and ‘we are all inextricably linked’
Q3. What emotions do you experience when you are being resilient?
When challenges arrive – and there have been many throughout her life, since she was 10 years old when her parents divorced… Jacci kicks into action.
She says there is a gut response and her whole body moves into action-mode. Jacci says there are not many emotions going on at this point – she clapped her hands and raised her upper body into an ‘alert’ position and said, I go ‘Right, what are the facts, what exactly has happened, what can we do now that’s going to help?’. There is a speed and a sense of urgency in this. Jacci moves immediately into ‘solutions-focussed mode’ and she says, ‘that gets me going!’ and she takes swift action, which also involves the whole family in the agreed course of action.
There is absolutely no sense that Jacci will allow herself to be guided by feelings and wallow in self-pity. She used the analogy of rain – and said that when it’s raining there is no point in ‘Standing about in it and getting soaking wet!’. She says she remains very calm, with almost an absence of emotion and is clear-minded and focussed on what can be done immediately and quickly to start to address the situation.
This process involves her and her family in taking joint agreed action. The speed of Jacci’s response to adversity is very evident.
Q4. What do you know/believe about your resilience in the context of your family?
Jacci knows that she has been developing this skill of resilience, within the context of her family, all the time she has been married and throughout raising two daughters and now applies this resilient approach to life with her grandchildren.
She believes that resilience is about finding the ‘right’ resources. She believes there are huge benefits to being resilient and that it could be very easy in moments of crisis in the family, to ‘go down a rabbit-hole’ and panic – but not Jacci. She gets positive energy from challenges that arise and ‘gets going’ on solutions-seeking straight away. Jacci has been described by others as ‘Action Woman’.
She knows the outcome she is looking for very clearly – she knows that she wants the family to have the ability to adapt and change, to find different ways of doing things and to deal with challenges that arise together, finding sustainable ways to do things differently. She is very much a believer in the definition of resilience as ‘bouncing forwards’, not going back to the old situation.
Jacci believes we all have to deal with problems – She said ‘how we do it is important and determines what happens afterwards’.
Q5. How do you know when your work is going well?
Jacci knows that these ways of being resilient make her and everyone in her family happier. Everyone in the family develops skill in being self-reliant, independent and resourceful and yet connected to the whole family. Her overall desired outcome – to ‘stay together’ is achieved through this incredible resilience. Jacci concluded this method of resilience works well for her and her family and said, ‘At the end of the day, they know how to live their lives, independently and are self-determined’ and our job as parents has been to give them (her daughters and grandchildren) the ability to live an independent life’. In this way Jacci’s family stay together and she said, ‘It works for me and it works for them’.
Jacci believes her skill in resilience transfers into other parts of her life and notices the same ‘Action Woman’ approach in her work life and this works well for her. She believes her amazing skills in resilience are a major part of her success in her working life.
Jacci’s family have a great saying which is, when challenges arrive, ‘There is no point in collapsing like a flan in a cupboard!’
Jacci’s story shows us how she role-models resilience within and for her family. She shows us how effective resilience can be as a strategy – not just for survival, but more than that – to ‘bounce forward’ as a happy, strong family. She is also mindful that resilience doesn’t always mean taking action and added that sometimes the right response is to ‘stand down’ and may sometimes be about being inactive. She concluded that resilience means, in her words, ‘Making the right response at the right time’.
Throughout this interview I got the sense that resilience is a ‘super-power’ of Jacci’s and is a transferable skill - she role models resilience with and for her family and carries it along with her everywhere she goes.
Lockdown is a continuing journey for us all. In continuing lockdown, could you consider how well you are addressing your resilience – are your head, heart (emotions) and body motivated?
What’s the smallest viable resilience experiment you could do that might be a big winner for you?
It is useful in lockdown to practise being even more resilient. Being resilient can produce feelings of contentment, connectedness to self, achievement, satisfaction and happiness. Becoming even more resilient can help you manage your mental, physical and emotional state and improve your overall wellness.
Don’t delay – get even more resilient!
Book a free coaching session with a Shared Inspiration Coach who believes in you.
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Joan Haines - email@example.com
Mobile: +44 7813 299957
Jacci Wright - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: +44 7776 378475
We would love to help you get even more resilient in continuing lockdown!