Building Resilience: How Strength-Based Approaches Can Help
by Adrian Holmes /3 min read
Here at SKATTLE, one of the guiding values the team holds onto is the idea we all have an innate need to recognise our unique skills and strengths.
When we live in a world that can focus on the problems that we face, we are often left feeling overwhelmed, drained, or even a bit hopeless.
When we are facing challenges, change, and adversity, the SKATTLE team believes that identifying and celebrating our strengths builds a strong sense of resilience in both individuals and community groups.
When we begin to view our lives from such a positive lens, we allow ourselves to develop a sense of hope for our future; a vital component in creating positive, long-lasting change.
So, how exactly can strength-based approaches help in building resilience? We have a few ideas.
1) Builds self-image and self-belief
It’s not often that we have the opportunity to really look inwards and take a moment to explore the great things that we are capable of doing. This can be unusual at the best of times, and so can often feel impossible during hardship. But when we recognise the strengths we use, we can empower ourselves with a sense of confidence and become a lot more self-assured.
This is particularly beneficial when we consider all that we do in spite of the adversity we face. When we stop to reflect on and appreciate how we not only survive, but strive through tough times, the boost to one’s self-image can be paramount.
2) Encourages openness to change
Change can be incredibly unsettling. When we experience things we haven’t before, the accompanying sense of uncertainty can leave our need for control feeling deeply threatened.
This is particularly apparent when the change itself is difficult and unwanted. However, when we consider the ways in which our skills and knowledge can aid us during times of change, we regain the sense of control we felt was lost. When we are reminded that we have the tools to help us through difficult times, facing them in the present and the future doesn’t seem so daunting.
3) Creates a sense of purpose
Focusing on one’s strengths doesn’t just encourage acceptance of change, but can also shift our perspective to see the chance of opportunity.
When we focus on the positive ways in which we usually manage change, we gain a strong understanding of ourselves and how we constructively engage with our world. Understanding ourselves from such a stance can help us to reflect on where our experiences have left us, and where we then want to go. This new insight and clarity can often lead to an increased sense of direction or purpose for our futures.
4) Reduces external validation
When we are sure of ourselves and our ability to manage our issues, we stop looking to others to validate our thoughts, feelings, and actions. While turning to others for support is not a bad thing, exclusively relying on external validation can cause us to lose our ability to solve our own problems.
Relying on external forces can also be problematic as we have little control over the things outside of ourselves. This gives the potential of creating even more stress when they don’t do what we want them to do. However, when we look within and utilise an internal locus of control, we regain that sense of control over ourselves and our lives.
By talking about our experiences in a way that highlights our strengths, we are even further strengthened by the knowledge that we can better handle ourselves and our lives in the future. Can you think of a time when a strength of yours has kept you going in life? We’d love to hear about it! Hit us up in the comments or on one of our social media plugs.