Introducing Positive Resilience

by | 12 Oct 2023 | Mental Health, Positive Resilience, Unleashing You, Wellbeing


Resilience is about coping and surviving everyday challenges. Positive resilience is about coping, growth, and thriving in the face of those challenges.  It is not a fixed capability but one we can develop. This blog introduces the 7 pillars of positive resilience.


Understanding positive resilience

The term resilience has been used extensively in recent years and it is a word I admit to having had some resistance to as there was a sense that if you build resilience, you should be able to cope with whatever life throws at you with all ownership on the individual. 

Positive resilience looks at it differently.

If we consider resilience as the ability to cope and recover when we face challenges in life, positive resilience is about having the strategies to cope, recover, grow, and develop.

It is the difference between coping and surviving, and coping and thriving.  Research* has identified seven components of positive resilience – purposefulness, perspective, control, connectiveness, growth, coping and wellbeing.   This really resonated with me as it draws on multiple elements of positive psychology (the science of making life better), with links to other models e.g. Seligman’s PERMA model of flourishing, and Ryff’s factors of psychological wellbeing.

It is important to recognise these elements are not fixed character traits but can be developed and may go up and down over time. 

We each deal with a unique set of stresses and challenges from multiple areas of life. The complex world we live in, uncertainty, and the pace of life contribute to these challenges. Some are in our control, others in the wider world.  Whilst we might not always be able to influence what happens in life, we can influence our response and the outcomes.

Developing and practicing strategies in the seven areas identified by the research will enable growth and development, along with the ability to persevere and adapt.

Advantages of positive resilience

How we cope with life is influenced by our skills, behaviours, thought patterns, and strategies.  By developing those identified as necessary for positive resilience, we can increase our overall resources, wellbeing, and happiness.  Benefits include:

  • Feeling equipped to cope with the pace of life
  • Confidence in our ability to deal with challenges
  • Pressure becomes a stimulant for growth and performance
  • Maintaining optimism and a positive perspective during change
  • Increased self-awareness and learning from experiences
  • The ability to get back on track after setbacks
  • Being able to think clearly in emotional situations
  • Motivating and energising others around us

Developing positive resilience

As our level of resilience is not fixed, through self-awareness, along with new behaviours and strategies, we can increase our level of positive resilience and access the many benefits.

The seven pillars of purposefulness, perspective, control, connectedness, growth, coping, and wellbeing cannot be considered in isolation.  The elements will inter-relate and collectively contribute to our overall levels of positive resilience, the ability to ‘bounce forward’ to survive.

This is the first in a series of blog about the Seven Pillars of Positive Resilience.  Each includes tips on developing the resource. You will notice overlaps and focusing on one can benefit other pillars with a cumulative outcome of greater positive resilience.  If you would like your personal Positive Resilience Profile to identify your current level in each of the areas get in touch.

*The Positive Resilience Profile is a psychometric test developed by Peoplewise which we are accredited to provide.  Your report gives your current level in each pillar and tailored guidance on developing each to enhance your positive resilience. Contact us now to obtain your profile.

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To learn more please contact us on 01202 612 326 or through the options below. We’ll discuss details and how we can help you or your organisation.


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