Friday, 24 June 2016


There are lots of variables that play into the experience of being resilient
as noted in the last post.  And also noted in that post was the question
about the strategy?  Which variable comes first, then second, and third?
Which variables are critical and which are secondary?  These are strategy
questions and they are the questions that enable us to create a model of
resilience.  After all there is a structure to resilience and if we want to
replicate the experience of healthy resilience in our lives and in the lifes
others, we need to know how to put the structure together.  It's like a
formula or a recipe.

When I first began modeling resilience, I worked from the assumption that it
was a primary state and like the NLP "Circle of Excellence" pattern, it was
a matter of putting all of the variables into the space of the experience,
step in, and "Whollo!" the experience of resilience!  But it does not work
that way.  No long-term complex state (gestalt states) work in that manner.
If they did, then we could do the following:

.             Imagine the state of being healthy, fit, and thin.  Identify
every variable that plays a role in that state of being, see, hear, and feel
it fully, step into it.  Presto!  You are now healthy, fit, and thin!

.             Imagine the state of being wealthy, financially independent,
with passive sources of income, able to budget, save, increase income, see
and seize opportunities. Imagine it fully in all of the visual, auditory,
and kinesthetic systems, step into it.  Aha!  You are now a millionaire and
have the mind of a millionaire and financially independent!

.             Do the same with leadership, with self-discipline, with
entrepreneurship, etc.

Obviously, and perhaps sadly, reality does not work that way.  "State
induction" in that manner does not, and cannot, create the experiences you
want.  When an experience is complex in that it has multiple layers of
states-about-states, belief frames that hold multiple belief-systems in
place, and that occur over a period of time (usually weeks and months, maybe
years), you cannot just "access" it so that it enters into your neurology.
These kinds of experiences have to be developed over a period of time as you
go through the steps and stages of its creation.  That is, first you take X
and Y actions and that creates the state of A, and then you repeat that for
the next action steps so you get into state B, and so forth.

For the experience of the resilient state there are several stages that
you'll have to go through.  Using the grief stages that Elizabeth
Kubler-Ross identified, we potentially have these:

.             The Set-Back Stage: An event occurs that knocks you down that
triggers a sense of loss, disruption, upset, block, etc.

.             The Shock Stage: You inwardly are shocked, surprised, in a
state of dis-belief, amazement, disillusioned, can't believe it, etc.

.             The Bargaining Stage: You look outside yourself to a
supernatural source (God) or to some other person (boss, wife, husband,
etc.) and beg that you will do anything to get your life back the way it
was.  You placate, beg, show remorse, confess faults and sins, etc.

.             The Anger Stage: You yell and scream, you threaten, you throw
a tantrum, you are as mad as hell, you curse, you blame.

.             The Depression Stage: You give up, press down your hopes,
expectations, and energies, you resign to your situation, you feel like a
victim, you stand in the rain and let it rain all over you.

.             The Acceptance Stage: You acknowledge what happened and face
it by thinking about what you can do that will move you forward.

I say that these are potential stages because it all depends.  The greater
your ego-strength in the first place, the less you will go through
Shock-Bargaining-Anger-and- Depression stages and move straight forward to
the Acceptance stage.  That is, the stronger you are inside yourself, the
more meaning and bounce you have inside you, the less you need to go through
those emotional roller-coaster stages.  The more reality-oriented you are,
then the less you will be shocked.  You will have anticipated potential
problems and take them in stride with a more philosophical attitude.  The
more realistic your expectations and the less demanding you are that
everything go your way, the less shock and anger.

All of that depends on the meanings you give to your maps about what's real
and what could happen.  The more childish you are, the less developed, then
the more cognitive distortions will govern your way of thinking and feeling:
you will personalize, awfulize, catastrophize, emotionalize,
over-generalize, demandingness with shoulds and musts, and so on.  This will
make you more susceptible to being "throw for a fall."

The emotional roller-coaster stages of upset make perfect sense depending on
how close or how far your expectations are to reality.  The more demands you
make on reality, the more you can be knocked-down.  The more unrealistic
your shoulds and musts, the more of an upset you'll experience and therefore
the more intense the emotional roller-coaster.

What stages you will go through therefore depends upon your preparation for
facing life on its terms, rather than your.  In terms of the stages that we
all go through, then the basic

.             The Set-Back Stage: Some event occurs that interferes with
your goals, hopes, and wants.  Now there is something blocking you that you
have to deal with.

.             The Emotional Roller-coaster Stage: The amount of emotional
distress that occurs as you deal with the upset.  This depends on how mature
and accurate your expectations, your meanings, and your resources for
handling the set-back.

.             The Coping Stage: The required skills for handling your basic
needs and getting through the set-back and putting your world back together.
What you need to know, understand, believe, and do so that you can get your
feet back on the ground.

.             The Mastering Stage: The ability to not merely get through it
and survive, but to use the set-back for learning, development, and
opportunities.  In the book, The Art of the Comeback, Donald Trump says,
"Take adversity and make it an asset." (p. 68).  Mastery involves rising
above the set-back to such a degree that you make good use of it- That's
what Viktor Frankl did with his experience of Hitler's Concentration Camp.

.             The Recovery Stage: You are now in the stage predicted by
Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous line, "I'll be back!  You're back!  You are
back in the swing of life- living with passion and vitality.

L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.

               Neuro-Semantics Executive Director

               Neuro-Semantics International

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