The science

There is a large body of robust science showing that emotional stability and resilience is strongly correlated to performance at work, life satisfaction, health, and longevity.

Wellbeing & performance graph

Where we sit on this performance/pressure curve determines whether we perform optimally and fulfil our potential.

Resilience is the ability to adapt, bounce back and recover equilibrium when faced with periods of pressure or setbacks. Resilient individuals use certain characteristic patterns of thinking, an adaptive cognitive style and flexible patterns of behaviour when they experience difficulties, setbacks or periods of intense pressure.

Genuinely resilient individuals employ a set of cognitive and behavioural skills, an adaptive ‘can do’ mind-set, that helps them achieve personal success and motivate positive change in others even in the most difficult times. The good news is that these skills can be learnt and strengthened. In fact the science of resilience has advanced to a point where individuals can enjoy greater psychological wellbeing, stronger motivation and optimal performance.

Brain imaging techniques clearly show how critically important areas of the brain, known to be involved in higher executive functioning, go ‘off-line’ when we perceive a significant threat or when our mood drops. The ‘threat response’ or ‘defeat state’ can be activated by previous set-backs, fear of failure, or a perceived loss of status or reputation. However, resilience accelerates the recovery time, brings the brain back ‘on-line’, and helps restore executive function.

In most walks of life there are dangers associated with over-confidence, hubris and impulsivity. There are also real problems associated with under-confidence, over analysis, fear of failure, procrastination and fear-avoidance. The better we understand how our brain works and the range of variables that influence our cognitive ability the better we become at making good decisions. Source:


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