In 2020, there seems to be no need to explain the importance of stability and resilience in life and in business. I will do that anyway, because I prefer an optimistic and forward-looking approach, driven by ambition, not by fear.
So, let us first clarify some concepts: what is stability and what is resilience? Why do we need them, and how do they help us?
Defining the Concepts of Stability and Resilience
Resilience and stability are not quite the same, although they are related. So, let us create clarity.
What is Stability
Stability means that we know
- what we are going to do tomorrow and in the near future
- that we can meet our needs tomorrow and in the near future
- that we can keep our commitments tomorrow and in the near future.
A lack of a minimum of stability carries a high price, because without stability we must worry about tomorrow: From where will our food come? Do we still have a shelter?
The brain power used by that worry is not available for our productive and forward-looking work. And if we are no longer able to keep our commitments to other people, our social network will suffer enormously.
So, we need a stability to allow our mind focus on opportunities and growth. We need specifically
- a safe home as a place where we can withdraw
- financial reserves, so that we do not need to worry how to pay each and every bill
- a network of strong relationships with other people, who will help us if necessary and warn about upcoming dangers
On the other hand, too much stability is also a problem. Think of a prison. There is almost perfect stability, but it will stifle any growth we would aspire. Complete stability means the loss of the ability to grow.
The cage keeping you from moving on and growing is in most cases not outside oppression, but fear.
What is Resilience?
Resilience comes in when we lost stability for a moment. It is the ability to cope with outside influences which surprised us and threw our life off balance. Therefore, resilience is the ability to restore fresh stability after an unavoidable change.
Resilience is the ability to switch the fear mode off, survey the damage and move on to build something better than the old system, which had turned out to be too vulnerable.
The State of Stability
The purpose of our life is personal growth. But growth is inherently change, which seems to be the opposite of stability. It is obvious: the quest for stability must serve our quest for growth.
A stable environment allows us to automate many small tasks. This automation helps us to focus our attention on those points, where we want to improve and grow. Therefore, stability is an important precondition for growth and success.
So, we need stability to grow. But stability does not always help us to grow. In certain cases, stability can hold us back. Sometimes it prevents us even from learning and improving our mind and our life. Such instances of limiting stability are often connected to fear.
Stability, that limits us and holds us back from growing, kills all joy and enthusiasm in our life. We suffer from lethargy, sickness, and depression, because our soul disengages in this scenario from our life. The soul engaged with this material world in the first place with the goal and intention to find new experiences and grow with us.
If such a limiting scenario persists, our soul walks away. We start to look in our life like a zombie. In the extreme case, our soul will withdraw its support completely. This means of course, that we die.
Therefore, we must beware of false stability. But by good luck our soul has a trick at hand to resolve such a situation. It will lead us into a disaster. That catastrophe forces changes in our life and breaks the barriers holding us back. It is a painful medicine, but mostly it works.
Balancing Resilience, Flexibility and Stability
After that sclerotic building of stability fell into ashes, we quickly find our way to a new state of affairs. Our soul will virtually drag us towards a new equilibrium, balancing stability with resilience and flexibility.
After waking up from such a nightmare, we should urgently start to do, what we neglected for a long time: listen to our inner voice.
The State of Resilience
As I said before, resilience is the ability to rebuild stability after a sudden change. That has a lot to do with our attitude and energy, and it does not depend on any present calamity.
After going through a disastrous change wiping out our plans and hopes, we may need some time for mourning. But afterwards, we have to change our attitude and perspective. We must look forward, again.
Specifically, we must
- accept the new reality and
- open up to the new opportunities coming with the changed reality
- choose a new course of action and rebuild our plan
- return to action
We could try to fight against the new reality and try to restore the old situation. But the day will come anyway, where we have to accept reality, if only because of utter weakness.
While denying the reality and fighting against it, we have no way to spot new opportunities. And even worse, if we raised the white flag because of exhaustion and weakness, we don’t have any energy left to find and pursue new opportunities. Therefore, denial is a big waste of time and energy.
As we have just seen, energy, openness and attention are the key ingredients of resilience. If we have been surprised by a disaster, we have lost quite some energy, and the surprise points to some deficits in openness and attentiveness. We have not been so present, and probably we had too many things running on autopilot.
Being present means the direct involvement of our soul in our life. We need the presence of our soul, especially in challenging times. We can automate daily chores like driving a car or brushing the teeth. But when it comes to spotting opportunities and pursuing them with the necessary level of energy, we need our soul.
Accepting Help from our Soul
Our soul provides direction and energy. We can provide a home to our soul in our human life by listening to our inner voice and appreciating what we hear.
If our soul is at home in our life, we have all the energy we could dream of. But there is more: Our soul observes the energy flow around us. This is beyond the senses of our body. Therefore, the presence of our soul gives us an unfair advantage of more and better information.
This combination of abundance in energy and abundance in information provided by our soul allows us to restore our life quickly, even after a devastating impact.
Resilience and Fear
Experiencing the direct help of our soul, we become aware of her power. Fear cannot rule us any more. This helps us to activate the state of resilience: Appreciating all the gifts life has given to us, and looking forward to finding and accepting the other blessings the world has in store for us.
After we entered the mindset of resilience, fear cannot rule us any longer.
Regaining the Freedom to Decide
One of the most important benefits of leaving the fear mode and turning to the state of resilience is that we regain with resilience full control over our thoughts and decisions. We are now again the master of our destiny.
Resilience and Stability in Tandem
There is a sweet spot combining stability and the resilience provided by the presence of or soul. We arrive there, if we use the stability provided by a safe home, a strong network, and financial reserves to shield us at certain times from the noise around us.
Such silent moments allow our soul to review and structure the mountain of information we sent her way via our subconscious mind. The same silence allows us to hear what our soul has to tell us and connect its information and wisdom to our conscious mind.
I talked about this process more in depth in episode 9 of Success and Inner Growth.
This was the manuscript of episode 16 of the podcast of Success and Inner Growth. Episode 17 will appear by the end of October. The topic will be “The four Pillars of a Successful Life”. You find all episodes of the podcast here, and all manuscripts here.