If you are familiar with my leadership model, you will know the 4 basic principles of Higher Self Leadership.    For those of you who are not familiar, Higher Self Leadership is a transformative approach. The principles integrate the notion of profound self-awareness, unity consciousness, connection to intuition and the ability to inspire others.  Today I want to discuss how Higher Self Leaders build resilience.  They do this as a natural byproduct of their ability to tap into their higher self.  This creates a connection to their inner strength, making decisions from the highest perspective, and fostering an environment grounded in love and unity.

What Is Resilience?

We must understand what we mean by resilience. While many people will see this quality through different lenses, here is my take on it.   Life is full of unexpected challenges, but resilience is the key to overcoming them. Resilience enables us to bounce back from difficulties and adapt to new circumstances, ensuring we stay strong and positive no matter what life throws at us.  Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. It involves emotional regulation, optimism, adaptability, and maintaining a positive outlook. People with high resilience can handle stress, adapt to changes, and keep moving forward despite setbacks.

True Resilience

However, it is important to understand true resilience is not always about maintaining a stiff upper lip. Gone are the days when people have to swallow their emotions to appear resilient when they are inwardly suffering.  True resilience involves the ability to feel negative emotions while still taking action to protect and heal oneself. Resilient individuals recognise their feelings are part of their emotional guidance system.  They know they can pivot their emotions towards a more positive state.  This is how higher self leaders build resilience.

Misusing Resilience to Excuse Bad Behavior

It’s crucial to understand that a lack of resilience should not be used as an excuse for bullying or inappropriate behaviours. In some organisations, I have seen situations where someone at the end of inappropriate behaviours has not been protected but criticised for “lacking resilience”. Labelling someone as lacking resilience when they are distressed can invalidate their experiences and feelings. Enlightened organisations will respond with empathy and support for everyone involved.  They will foster a safe environment where individuals can express their emotions and receive the help they need without being judged or mistreated.

Responses To Life Challenges

Resilience is crucial in various life situations, helping individuals to navigate and overcome challenges.  Challenges can include, personal challenges, team or organisational challenges.  Life and work can be hard and our response to these things can define us.  Resilience is not just about bouncing back from adversity; it’s about growing and thriving despite challenges. Shawn Achor, in his book “The Happiness Advantage,” describes three ways individuals can respond when they encounter difficulties: “Falling Back,” “Keeping the Status Quo,” and “Falling Up.”

Falling Back

Falling back is when a person is overwhelmed by a challenge and regresses, losing ground and potentially experiencing negative impacts on their mental and emotional well-being. This response can lead to a decrease in confidence, motivation, and overall life satisfaction. It’s a scenario where the individual struggles to cope, allowing the adversity to dictate their path and influence their future negatively.

Keeping the Status Quo

Keeping the Status Quo involves maintaining the current state without significant improvement or deterioration. People who respond this way manage to endure the challenge but do not grow or learn from it. They may handle the immediate issue but fail to leverage it as an opportunity for development, missing out on the potential for personal or professional advancement.

Falling Up

Falling Up, on the other hand, is the most resilient response. This approach involves using adversity as a springboard for growth and improvement. Individuals who fall up leverage challenges to gain new insights, develop stronger skills, and become more adept at handling future obstacles. This positive adaptation leads to enhanced resilience, increased happiness, and greater overall success. By viewing setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow, people who fall up not only recover but also thrive, embodying the essence of true resilience.
In my experience, people who are connected to their higher self have a greater chance of falling up.  Higher self leaders build resilience and support their teams and organisations to fall up.  Here’s how:

Ego vs Higher Self Leadership – Building Resilience

It’s important to recognise that for the majority of us, initial reactions often come from the ego and amygdala, driven by fear and immediate emotional responses. Most people naturally react this way, and it’s normal. However, the power of resilience lies in not judging ourselves for these initial reactions but in pivoting to a higher self response. Higher self leaders use their power as observers and decision-makers to shift their mindset from negativity to positivity. By doing so, they cultivate a resilient approach that enables them to navigate challenges with grace and emerge stronger. Here are some examples of a different approach.

1. The Ability to Recover

When faced with a significant challenge such as losing a job, the ego and amygdala might react with fear, panic, and a sense of helplessness. The immediate response could include negative thoughts like “I’ll never find another job” or “This is the end of my career.” This reaction can lead to prolonged stress, anxiety, and difficulty moving forward.

The higher self, guided by the prefrontal cortex and intuition, would approach the situation with calm and rational thinking. This response includes recognising the loss, processing the emotions, and then planning actionable steps such as updating the resume, networking, and applying for new jobs. The result is a quicker recovery and a proactive approach to overcoming the setback.

2. Staying Strong During Tough Times

During tough times, the ego and amygdala may amplify feelings of frustration, anger, or defeat. Thoughts like “I can’t handle this” or “Why does this always happen to me?” can dominate, leading to a sense of giving up or avoiding the challenge.

In contrast, the higher self would maintain a perspective of strength and perseverance. The prefrontal cortex would focus on problem-solving, breaking down the obstacle into manageable parts, and encouraging a mindset of “I can get through this” or “This is an opportunity to grow.” The result is sustained effort and resilience through adversity.

3. Adapting to Change

The ego and amygdala often resist change due to fear of the unknown and a preference for familiarity. This can result in anxiety, stress, and attempts to cling to old ways, thinking “I don’t want things to change” or “I can’t handle this new situation.”

The higher self embraces change as a natural part of life. Using the prefrontal cortex, this approach involves seeing change as an opportunity for growth and new experiences. Thoughts like “How can I make the most of this change?” or “What can I learn from this?” lead to greater adaptability and positive outcomes.

4. Managing Stress

When managing stress, the ego and amygdala can trigger a fight-or-flight response, leading to behaviours such as avoidance, aggression, or self-medication. The person might think “I can’t cope with this” or “I need to escape.”

The higher self manages stress through mindfulness and relaxation techniques. The prefrontal cortex helps in assessing the situation calmly, practising deep breathing, meditation, or seeking social support. This approach reduces stress levels and promotes a sense of calm and control.

5. Staying Positive

The ego and amygdala might focus on negative aspects, fostering a pessimistic view. Thoughts like “Everything is going wrong” or “Things will never get better” can prevail, leading to a downward spiral of negativity.

The higher self maintains a positive outlook by consciously choosing to focus on the good. The prefrontal cortex helps in reframing negative situations, finding silver linings, and practising gratitude. This results in a more optimistic and resilient mindset.

6. Seeking Help

The ego might resist seeking help due to pride or fear of appearing weak. Thoughts like “I should handle this on my own” or “What will others think of me?” can prevent reaching out for support.

Higher self leaders build resilience by understanding the importance of support and collaboration. The prefrontal cortex encourages seeking help from friends, family, or professionals, understanding that it is a strength, not a weakness. This results in better support systems and more effective coping strategies.

7. Learning from Mistakes

The ego and amygdala might react to mistakes with self-criticism and blame. Thoughts like “I’m such a failure” or “I can’t do anything right” can dominate, leading to a fear of trying again.

The higher self views mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth. The prefrontal cortex helps in analyzing what went wrong, what can be improved, and applying these lessons to future endeavours. This results in continuous improvement and resilience.

8. Setting Boundaries

The ego may either overextend itself to please others or become overly defensive to protect itself, leading to thoughts like “I can’t say no” or “I have to protect myself at all costs.”

The higher self sets healthy boundaries with clarity and compassion. The prefrontal cortex helps in assessing personal limits and communicating them effectively, ensuring balanced relationships and self-care. This results in healthier interactions and sustained personal well-being.

9. Embracing Vulnerability

The ego might see vulnerability as a weakness and react with defensiveness or denial. Thoughts like “I must always be strong” or “I can’t let anyone see my weaknesses” can prevent genuine connections.

Higher self leaders build resilience by understanding that vulnerability is a strength and a pathway to authentic connections. The prefrontal cortex supports openness and honesty, fostering deeper relationships and emotional resilience. This results in stronger, more supportive relationships.

10. Maintaining Balance

The ego might push for extremes, either overworking to prove worth or disengaging completely to avoid stress. Thoughts like “I must do it all” or “I can’t deal with this anymore” can lead to burnout or withdrawal.

The higher self strives for balance and harmony in life. The prefrontal cortex helps in prioritizing tasks, setting realistic goals, and ensuring time for rest. This results in a well-rounded, sustainable approach to life and work.

Resilience is Like Building A Muscle

Resilience is often compared to a muscle, and for good reason. Just like muscle, resilience can be developed, strengthened, and toned over time through practice and effort. This analogy helps to understand that resilience is not an inherent trait but a skill that can be cultivated. The way to create a more solid foundation of resilience is through operating from your higher self and utilising the 4 principles of the higher self leadership model.  Practising a different response, constantly is how higher self leaders build resilience.

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I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance.

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