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Building Resilience Using The HERO within workshop

This article is inspired by our Introduction to Building Resilience using the HERO within workshop, run by Emma Lynch as part of the Wellbeing Workshop Series for companies and organisations across Ireland who want to support their employee's journey to flourish in life. The full 2 hour workshop is suitable for online and face to face delivery and can be tailored to address any specific needs of an organisation.


What is Resilience

Resilience, and how we can build our resilience has gained a vast amount of interest over the last few years. One of the challenges of trying to build our resilience is that we are not aware of how successful our attempts to build resilience are until, we are faced with a situation that tests us.

When trying to build resilience its important to firstly understand what resilience means. The most common belief is that resilience is the ability to bounce back in the face of adversity. Resilience is more than this it has three strands to it as outlined below:

The Three types of Resilience
Bounce back – a tree in a storm bends, but it comes back
Resistance, Stand Strong- Strong roots mean a tree doesn’t bend in a storm

Reconfiguration– Change- a tree looks slightly different after a storm

Resilience is a skill that can make the difference between struggling and flourishing. Having higher levels of resilience does not mean that you don’t experience distress when initially faced with a challenge, it’s a dynamic process that allows you to work through the situation to produce a positive outcome. As resilience is our capacity to cope with life events, our levels of resilience impact on our overall wellbeing and quality of life.


What traits do resilient people demonstrate?

During this workshop we invite participants to explore their awareness of resilient traits by looking at how resilience manifests in people around them with high levels of resilience. Typically highly resilient individuals may demonstrate some of the following traits:

· Sense of Purpose

· Confidence

· Learning from success or failure

· Self care

· Taking ownership or responsibility

· The past is the past- don’t get stuck on the negative

· Empathetic

· Flexibility

· Persistent

· Strong social support

· Good interpersonal skills


How do we build our levels of resilience

The following topics are key to building your resilience and these are explored in detail during the workshop.

· How to reframe your thoughts.

· Self compassion.

· Developing positive support networks.

· Health and vitality.

· Using the HERO within.


What is HERO and how can we use it to build our resilience?


‘HERO’ is also known in psychology as psychological capital. The acronym HERO stands for hope, efficacy, resilience and optimism

Psychological capital is the sum of the four constructs of Hope, Efficacy, Resilience and Optimism. Furthermore when the four constructs are all present and combined together research has validated that they have a stronger impact than individually. This means that by combining the constructs of hope, efficacy and optimism with resilience, it will lead to an even strong impact on resilience levels than just focusing on building resilience by itself.


What is hope and how can you build your levels of hope?




Hope is a validated theory from positive psychology and it says that 'hope is felt when the WILL to persevering towards goals is present and when necessary changing pathways or the WAY to goals in order to succeed is clear'.

Goal thinking is about having a clear vision of goals that are intrinsically motivating to us and fill our minds with pictures of the future.


The importance of goals to hope

Goals must be intrinsically important to us in order to bring to us the positive emotions associated with the goal.

How do you make sure a goal is intrinsically important to you?

You can make sure a goal is intrinsically important by asking yourself 2 questions:

1) Who is setting the goal? A goal can make other people happy but it will only make you happy and benefit your wellbeing when you achieve it if it is set by you and it is important to you.

2) Have you re- evaluated your goals? Do you review them once a month? Once a quarter? A goal that makes you happy at one point in your life may have little effect on you at another point in your life.


During this practical, reflective workshop we focus on encouraging participants to have practical takeaways from the sessions by inviting them to try different activities. One such activity is encouraging participants to think about when was the last time that they sat down and made a list of goals and intentions for both their personal and professional lives. If it is been more than 6 months since they have completed this then we encourage them to revisit their goals and intentions.


What is Self -Efficacy and how can you build it?



Self- efficacy is having the confidence to take on and put in the necessary effort to succeed at a challenging task. You build self efficacy by focusing on working with intention (or a goal in mind)

One of the best ways to increase your belief in yourself is taking time to recognise and celebrate what you have achieved even the small wins. We are moving at such a fast pace through life that we tend to neglect to take the time to recognise when we have hit the small steps towards achieving the goals that we have set as we want to focus on the next ‘bigger and better’ goal. It is therefore so important that when you have your goal, set small milestones, track your progress celebrate them, and ask for feedback along the way. During the workshop we discuss reflective tools to help this process. One such tool Is setting a timer on your phone for 2 minutes and writing down everything to have achieved so far this week in your notepad or on your phone, the reason we do this is because you will always write down more than you think you have achieved.


What is optimism and how can you build it?

Optimism is making a positive attribution about succeeding now and in the future, this positive attribution will drive the behaviours required to persevere towards your goal. Optimism is particularly important to us when we are faced with adversity as it will encourage us to persevere when times are hard. Optimism does not just entail thinking positive thoughts, it entails focusing on the positives that actually exist. During the workshop we discuss and try out a number of tools for building optimism. A quick tool for building optimism is finding silver linings: The activity involves thinking of a situation when things didn’t go your way, describe the situation in writing and list three things that will help you see the bright side.



Offer a Building Resilience Using the HERO within masterclass to your team:

We work with companies, organisations and schools across Ireland, helping you and your team to build resilience to adapt and thrive in these very challenging times.

If you would like to work with us please email contact@positivepsychologycoaches.ie

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