Being part of the village supporting dear friends who lost their 24 year old son in a tragic accident 3+ weeks ago, I’ve been drawn back to the work of Dr Lucy Hone. I wrote a post about Hone’s work on resilience a year ago and now, as I sit with the deep pain around me personally, I’m reminded once more of the usefulness of her approach for all of us no matter what difficulty we’re facing.

As an expert on resilience and grief (spoiler alert, Kubler Ross’s stages of grief really doesn’t cut it scientifically or practically) having studied it and experienced deep personal loss, Hone speaks to the importance of hope and agency and lists self awareness, self control and self compassion as the keys to developing resilience.

In listening to her TED talk and various interviews I keep returning to the question she encourages us all to ask in the face not only of grief and tragedy, but also in response to day to day realities of living and working in exceedingly complex times;

Is what I’m thinking/doing helping or harming me?

Imagine if we asked this multiple times throughout our day:

– Is looking at other peoples posts on Insta/FB/LinkedIn helping or harming me?
– Is checking emails as soon as I wake up helping or harming me?
– Is saying yes to every work lunch or dinner helping or harming me?
– Is sleeping in ….
– Is having that 3rd glass of red…
– Is logging on to answer emails at night….
– Is saying no to that speaking engagement….

Context is everything so what is helping you in one context may harm you in another. Sometimes I need to sleep in other times I need to push myself to get up and get out and exercise. That email blitz at night might help you sleep better, other times it might be the last thing you or your family need.

You know the Steven Covey circle of influence/circle of control model which encourages us to focus on what we can control? Well according to Hone, resilience research demonstrates that being in some sort of control and putting yourself in the drivers seat provides people with a greater ability to work through difficult experiences.

Choosing what you focus attention on and being conscious of the choices you make ie. Choosing NOT to do the things that are harming you even if they’re enticing in some way, helps build resilience.
As always, play with it and let me know what works/doesn’t work for you.