The Art of Bouncing; Developing Resilience

How bouncy are you?



How bouncy are you?

Are there choices  and chances in life that you regret not taking? Do you tend to dwell on decisions that need to be made because the fear of the consequences can seem too great? Is the result a life characterissed by inertia?

Developing some resilience is a vital life skill. The ability to bounce back when the going gets tough can have a huge effect on our confidence levels.

Knowing that we can cope when things don’t go according to plan can help us to take calculated risks  and sieze opportunties that we otherwise may avoid for fear of failing. Fear of what might happen  can stop us really living and making the most of oursleves, and spending our lives wallowing in the ‘What if…’ scenarios that can loom larger than life instead.

Understanding that in the majority of cases, the results of the decisions that we make will not be life threatening for ourselves or anyone else, can free us up to actually make one!

That’s not to say at times we won’t be left with egg on our faces, and it’s about accepting that things can, do and will go wrong; the key is having a plan in place to deal with those events and the feelings they provoke.

Here are some thoughts and ideas to help you BOUNCE!

BOUNCE is a model to help you think through the possible outcomes and weigh up possibilities – applied before a decision that you need to make or when you are faced with a seemingly tough choice,  it can go a long way towards helping you cope if you need to ‘bounce’ and develop the confidence to grab opportunities when they arise…and banish those ‘if only…’ regrets.

As with all things in life, preparation is key!


B: Balance. Weigh up the risks and the rewards. At this stage you need to quickly assess what the likely pros and cons of your decision might be. Are the outcomes weighted more in one direction than another? And how much does it matter?

O: Outcomes.Take a deeper look at what could happen, both positively and negatively and extend your thinking to explore likely and not-so-likely outcomes in more detail. Who else might be affected because of your decision? How much?

U: Understand your coping strategies. How is a negative outcome likely to affect you? What resources do you have at hand if things go pear-shaped? How have you coped in the past? Who do you have around you for support? Do you have a plan B?

N: Now or Never? Is this a once in a lifetime opportunity, or will it appear again? How pressing is the need to decide? Do you need more thinking time? What is the likelihood of something similar appearing for you?

C: Catastrophising. On a scale of 1 – 100 (1 = inconsequential, 100 = akin to death), where would you be  and how would you feel if things went wrong or you suffered a disappointment? Put it in perspective. What life event would be at 1 for you, and what would be at 100. For most of us 100 would be the death of a loved one or similar. Would a disapointment really be at that level?

E: Experience. What has it taught you? What have you learned from similar situations? What could you be prepared to learn from this decision and situation if things have an unexpected outcome?

Thinking through these stages can help you to understand and identify  the potential consequences of a decision and it’s possible outcomes, putting events in perspective. Feeling prepared in this way can help you to take that first step knowing you can cope if things don’t turn out the way you’d hoped, because you’re ready for them.

It’s all confidence-building stuff :)

Please feel free to comment and share your own ideas, I’d love to hear them!