Take the Resilience Inventory

Practice of the Week
Take a Resilience Inventory

Category: Occasional. These are practices suggested for "every once in a while." Some of them are responses to a particular need that may arise; others are simply enriching occasional enhancements to the spiritual life. All of them are worth a try at least once. And any of them might become a regular and central part of your spiritual practice.

From First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, NM, drawing on:
Al Siebert, “13 Ways to Develop Your Resiliency";
Brad Waters, "10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient People,";
a Harvard Medical School symposium, HERE.

Take this resilience inventory. Read the qualities listed below. For each quality, mark a + (plus) by the ones at which you world rate yourself as reasonably proficient. Mark a ^ (up arrow) by the ones in which you don’t feel proficient and want to work on.
Alternative: mark a + (plus) by the THREE at which you're most proficient. Mark a ^ (up arrow) by the THREE at which you're least proficient.

_____ Constantly learn from experience. James Joyce said, “A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”
  • Consider some difficult experiences you havehad in your life. Ask yourself: What is the lesson to be learned here? Think of a key lesson you have learned from a stressful experience that you later applied to another situation.
_____ Have good friendships, loving relationships. Talking with friends and family diminishes the
impact of difficulties and increases feelings of self-worth, self-confidence and connectedness.
  • Think of a time when talking to someone made a dramatic difference to you as you were going through a difficult situation.
_____ Express feelings honestly. Highly resilient people can express anger, love, dislike,
appreciation, grief – the entire range of emotions honestly and openly. They can be vulnerable with
those they trust and can also suppress their feelings when they believe it best to do so.
  • Think of a time when were you able to express your feelings clearly and openly.
_____ Willing to sit in silence. We are masters of distraction: TV, overeating, abusing drugs, gossip,
etc. We all react differently; some shut down, others ramp up. Somewhere in the middle is
mindfulness, one of the oldest forms of healing and resilience building.
  • How well are you able to be mindful? What might you do to improve this quality in your life?
_____ Practice acceptance. Pain is painful, stress is stressful, and healing takes time. When we’re in
the middle of it, we want the pain to go away. Acceptance is not about giving up, it’s about leaning in
to experience the full range of emotions, trusting that we will bounce back.
  • How well are you able to accept your emotions when you experience a major setback?
____ Have solid self-esteem. Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. It acts as a buffer against
hurtful statements and destructive events. It is based on inner factors such as attributes, values and
principles rather than external factors such as job title, income level, physical attributes, and others’
  • Complete this sentence: 3 things I really like about myself are:...
_____ Practice forgiveness. There is a strong correlation between forgiveness, hope, and
depression. We may not forget what happened, but we can forgive.
  • Think of a situation when you have forgiven someone (or yourself), and that forgiveness has enriched your life in some way.
_____ Mentally and emotionally flexible; comfortable with contradictory personality qualities.
Being both strong and gentle; sensitive and tough; logical and intuitive; serious and playful, etc. are a
  • List a couple of contradictory personality qualities you have.
_____ Find purpose or meaning. Viktor Frankl said that to live happily, humans don’t require the
absence of suffering, but “the call of potential meaning.”
Recall a time when you found and focused
  • on the meaningful parts of a misfortune or struggle you experienced.
_____ Expect things to work out well. Look for the joy. Research shows that people who cultivate
positive emotion generally deal much better with adversity.
  • Find new things to be grateful for, focus on the good, exercise, meditate, do random acts of kindness. If you already practice some of these, think about how they affect your life. Which other practices might you consider adding to your life?
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