The Resilience Model Part 2: Experience
The Experience Quadrant, is where we find purpose and meaning in life’s experiences. The Experience Quadrant is in the Spiritual dimension of life because, regardless of your personal religious convictions, the Spiritual dimension is where we determine our values, purpose, and personal mission in life. It’s where we find alignment with our values, purpose, and where we find perspective for those negative experiences in life. It’s not “what” we experience” but rather “how” we experience it that gives life meaning.
There are four primary quadrants that make up your Resilience Quotient, one in each dimension of life: Mental/Emotional, Spiritual, Physical and Relational/Social. Yesterday, I shared how the Emotions Quadrant in the Mental/Emotional dimension is key to the other three.
It’s not “what” we experience” but rather “how” we experience it that gives life meaning.
What happens to us in life certainly impacts us and it influences us. But, it doesn’t influence everyone the same, because we all have the freedom of choice in our response to what happens to us. In my recent blog “No Hand, No Problem” I shared how Shaquem Griffin has not let the fact that his left hand was amputated when he was four stop him from his dream of playing college football. And yet, how many other people loose a hand or a limb and let that become their excuse for the rest of their life. The disability only exists in our mind – when we let it.
It comes down to our perspective. Two people can look at the same circumstance and while one looks for good and one looks for bad, both find exactly what they are searching for.
I know this because I’ve done it. Far too many women who had a childhood story of sexual abuse like mine, choose to view their experiences as negative. Don’t get me wrong – it’s an awful, terrible, painful past, and one I tried hard to forget for many years. But, when I was able to change my perspective it becomes a terrible thing used in a positive way. And, seeing that experience as something to be used in a positive way instead of simply a negative experience, is one of the key elements that make up your Resilience Quotient.
“What we believe determines how we behave.” Andy Stanley
It’s simple. But, that doesn’t mean it’s easy! When we choose to see experiences and circumstances as an opportunity for growth, we find positive perspective. That level of maturity only comes with intentional thought, reflection, prayer, or meditation. In the words of Wayne Dyer, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Do you see an old woman with a shawl or a young girl with a hat in the picture below?
What we look for is what we find. When you look for the negatives or the downsides, you will find them. If instead you look for the negatives to be used in a positive way, you will find them. Tomorrow, I’ll share how the third Quadrant, Energy, is critical determining how resilient one is.
Interested in learning more about making 2018 your best year yet? 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.