The Resilience Model Part 4: Expression
The Expression Quadrant of resilience is interesting because it’s the most public one, but it’s mostly determined by how well you manage the first three. In other words, people see your actions, habits, and behaviors, which influence your social interactions and relationships, (as well as determine your influence with others) but your Expressions in your actions, habits and behaviors are determined by your Emotions, Experience, and Energy.
Yesterday, I shared how the Energy Quadrant affects your Resilience Quotient. And, part of that Energy Quadrant is the energy you receive from other people. There is no doubt that the relationships and connections in your life can be positive and help you be more resilient, but the type and quality of relationships in your life are determined by your values, thoughts, and actions. For some, this will be a difficult pill to swallow. We don’t really like to accept responsibility for our lives because it’s easier to blame external conditions instead of internal ones. When we realize that our internal conditions affect our external lives, we must accept the responsibility for doing something to improve it – assuming we aren’t 100% satisfied with where we are in life.
The type and quality of relationships in your life is determined by your values, thoughts, and actions.
There are two ways in which we can increase our Resilience Quotient in the Expression Quadrant: 1) Develop our character ethic; and 2) Intentionally develop high quality relationships and social connections.
Develop Character Ethic
Your character is your moral and ethical quality. At a very simple level, we usually consider character either “bad” (thief, con man, and some – not all- attorneys) or “good” (Mother Teresa). But, that is only a basic definition, and there is an incredible range in between of moral and ethical characteristics that determine our character. Andy Stanley states, “Character is the will to do what is right, (as defined by God) regardless of personal cost.”
And, Dr. Henry Cloud says, “Character is the ability to meet the demands of reality.”Good character demands that you have good values and that you are committed to them. A strong commitment to good values (Such as respond proactively, act with integrity, etc) will determine your Emotions, Experiences, Energy, and Expressions because you will make your choices based on those values. Here’s an example: Someone who values treating other people as real people instead of objects will ALWAYS take time to connect with the wait staff serving their table at the restaurant. If someone is rude to the waiter or waitress, it’s a sure sign that they don’t have a strong commitment to valuing people. And, their influence and relationship with other people who DO have a strong commitment to valuing other people will suffer.
Develop High Quality Connections
Much like we have to say no to some opportunities in life in order to say yes to others, we must be intentional about saying no to some relationships in our life in order to be able to attract the right relationships. We sometimes have to leave people behind when we are committed to growth. It doesn’t mean we don’t love them, but it means we no longer share values that the relationship is based on. For example, you would tell your teenager to stop being friends with one of their peers who starts using cocaine. “They are a bad influence on you,” you might lecture, “Don’t hang out with them.”
It’s easy to see when it’s someone else, but it’s more difficult to do ourselves. But, the principle is the same. The wrong relationships in your life will influence you in a negative way. The right relationships, even if you don’t have a lot of them, will influence you in a positive way. Your character will help determine the relationships you value, and your commitment to intentionally develop the right ones will help identify and develop them. You will be more resilient. And, happier.
Interested in learning more? Join me in February 2018 for a women’s retreat to learn how to overcome the past and create the future you want!
About Ria: Like many, I faced adversity in life. Raised on an isolated farm in Alabama, I was sexually abused by my father from age 12 – 19. Desperate to escape, I left home at 19 without a job, a car, or even a high school diploma. Watch my 7 minute TEDx Talk on Resilience here.