Resiliency Blog Part 1: Why Resiliency?
Written by Julie Ballew, LCPC, CCFP
“When we learn how to become resilient, we learn how to embrace the beautifully broad spectrum of the human experience."
Have you ever felt stressed out or overwhelmed? Feel like you are running in “the rat race” that has become such an ingrained part of our culture these days? Ever wonder when it became a competition with your family, friends, co-workers, etc. to see who is the busiest and most stressed out? Have you ever felt that life has handed you more than your fair share of pain, heartache, loss, disappointments? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then read on…this blog is for you!
In my job as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), I often sit with folks who are experiencing some sort of pain; be it emotional, physical, spiritual, or some combination of all three. Being with others who are hurting is difficult and I often wish that I could wave a magical wand and make all the hard and painful stuff go away. However, my graduate program did not hand out those magical wands along with our diplomas at graduation; darn! All joking aside, I am not powerful enough to take away the pain, stress, grief, anger, heartache, etc. that my clients experience. I am also not powerful enough to change their past or current life circumstances. I cannot change the way they think, feel or act. I am not able to do any of those things for you either. I, however, can invite you to boost your resiliency. Resiliency is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.
Why resiliency? If you are anything like myself, and honestly, like most everyone that I know, then you likely spend a great deal of your resources futilely trying to control things that you cannot control (e.g. how other people act, think or feel or by spending time in the waste lands of “what if?” or “if only…”) desperately wishing that things were different. Spending our energy trying to do those things is exhausting. In my personal and professional journeys, I have come to place a high value on where I spend my resources; mainly my time and energy. Resiliency embodies that shift. For example, I cannot always prevent painful situations from happening, but I can always control how I respond to those circumstances and how I live my life. In essence, that is resiliency.
In this blog series, I will introduce you to the 5 Core Resiliency Factors, drawn from Dr. J. Eric Gentry’s Professional Resiliency and Optimization Training and used with his permission. These skills have changed my life. When I diligently practice them I not only maximize my resources, but I also am able to live my life with purpose, meaning and joy. Whatever my life circumstances I can always maintain quality of life when I utilize these Core Resiliency Factors. Further, I know how to not ever experience stress again! This is a bold claim, but it is true. If you would like to not ever be stressed out again, feel empowered to take control of the things that you can control, and live a purpose-filled life then I invite you to read this blog series with curiosity and to try out these skills for yourself. Who knows, your life just might change!
Julie Ballew, LCPC, CCFP has over a decade of experience working in the mental health field. Her professional interests include: promoting resiliency, trauma recovery, anxiety, depression, and couples counseling. Following her passions, she completed advanced training to become a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional (CCFP). As a doctoral candidate in Counselor Education and Counseling at the University of Montana, she balances her studies, a part-time private counseling practice, and psychometry work. Additionally, Julie facilitates parent education and compassion fatigue seminars. She can often be found along a mountain trail with her beloved husband and dogs.