Personal resilience in times of crisis

For many of us, times are tough right now. But, in a world where we often believe personal development and finding “happiness” should be our goals, this crisis has some valuable insights to offer.

If you’re reading this article, like me, you’re probably one of the lucky ones. We’ve enjoyed a good education, been in regular employment with a more or less decent salary for a while, and have benefited from some of the best health care in the world. We’ve been on holiday recently, enjoyed many of the amenities of modern civilization, and are more or less free to choose when it comes to the things that are important to us in life.

In this safe environment, many of us believe deeply that personal improvement and being “happy” should be our goals. But, even before this crisis, the search for “happiness” left many sinking under the weight of their perceived failures in life.

As a coach and counselor I’ve spoken with dozens of people – from managers to housewives, and students to small business owners – who felt lost and somehow guilty that they’d not achieved what they “should”. It has been my focus, to help these clients grow a new mindset. One where “success” is measured differently, one where meaning is more important than “better”.

Right now, maybe, you’re worried about how you’re going to get through this crisis. While I don’t claim to have the answer to that question, what I can give you, is a new path, and a new direction: the goal of improving your personal resilience and your mental health.

Psychologists the world over recognize the importance of 4 things when it comes to building personal resilience: a sense of belonging, purpose, transcendence, and the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. The 4 pillars are listed at the bottom of the page along with some questions you’ll need to reflect on.

If like many people, you don’t normally think about these questions, my advice is: take it slowly, but stick at it! These are big questions – and it’s you probably don’t have the answers – yet. But they do exist. Just don’t worry if you can’t “find” them. It’s possible to develop the answers for yourself, though perhaps you’ll need help along the way.

If so, reach out to others, and ask. Because if there is one thing guaranteed to undermine our personal and collective resilience, it’s the belief we can do everything by ourselves!

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BELONGING: • What are you part of? • Where do you belong? • Who do you belong with/to?

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PURPOSE: •  Why do you get out of bed in the morning? • What is the deeper purpose in what you? •  Who do you do it for?

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TRANSENDENCE: • How do you connect with the world around you?

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STORY: • How did you get here? • Who are you? •  What are you “worth”? • When will you be enough”? • Where are you going? • Why are you going there?

If you’d like support or further guidance on this or other personal issues, email me at or call + (49)160 9834 3472

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