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What is Resilience?

Resilience is often described as “the ability to bounce back to normal after experiencing pressure”.

The idea of resilience as an aspect of human behaviour originates from material science where it describes the property of a material to resume its original shape after distortion or stress.

Resilience is, in fact, a metaphor.

A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes a subject by comparing it to and describing it in terms of another, otherwise, unrelated topic.

Metaphors can represent experience more fully than abstract concepts and so enable more effective communication

Metaphors condense information, making things more tangible and easier to work with

The metaphor for an experience has a similar structure to the experience that it represents

Resilience, as a metaphor, in the context of human psychology and behaviour works for all these reasons but the metaphor has serious limitations.

What about too much resilience?

What about learning, growing and developing through stress?

What about adapting to situations and environments?

In these instances, the metaphor does not work so well.  As a human being, you continually evolve and improve yourself by learning from your environment and your mistakes and in this way develop your resilience.

Adapted from “The Authority Guide to Emotional Resilience in Business – How to Manage Stress and Weather Storms“, available as a book on Amazon or as an online course from Ei4Change.


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Written by Robin Hills

Tweets about #EmotionalIntelligence (EI) within business. Tweets about tools 4 #change in personal development, #training and #coaching. Managed by Robin Hills.

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