Mary-Ann Owens and Associates

Resilience Blog

Reaching your goals with Grit

Independent - Dependent - Where do you lie?

Independent - Dependent - Where do you lie?
Are you an independent person? 

Could you benefit from being more dependent on others?

It is important to find a healthy balance between being independent and being dependent.

When we are independent, we own our own issues and we don’t blame others for the state of our work and lives or the consequences of our choices. We also take personal responsibility for being the best we can be, by making the most of our time and opportunities. 

We can sometimes be too independent as outlined in the following story: I do an exercise with clients where they assess the support around them. I remember delivering a workshop where a leader did this exercise and stated that he had only one person that supported him. I wondered how much support he could receive though because he told me the supportive individual was in another country. This leader was off the scale in his independence, he was unable to be vulnerable with others and his extreme independence was getting in the way of his success. 

Some of the benefits of relying on others include:

  1. Gaining information and learning. We live in the information age where a wealth of knowledge is available to us. Change is also occurring rapidly. No one person can know all the developments that are happening around us. You can learn about opportunities, issues, and trends in your field by increasing your support and depending on others. You can also get advice from those who are more experienced or have different points of view. 
  2. Delegating work to others. We can increase efficiencies and access subject matter experts that can aid in resolving your situations or problems. When we ask others for help, we can usually get more done. 
  3. Gaining feedback. We can work through projects more thoroughly by asking others their opinions or for feedback on what we have done so far. By getting feedback from others we can build more robust processes and projects which leads to enhanced success. 
  4. Building your professional relationships and network. A healthy professional network can help you to gain work. You can also raise your professional reputation through opportunities you hear of through your network. Speaking at a networking event, or writing an article for an industry newsletter are ways to ensure others are aware of your expertise and skills. Having a diverse personal and professional network also gives you a wider base of support when you need it and can increase your confidence in sharing your knowledge and network to help others.

Where do you lie on the scale of independence versus dependence? Do you need to set a goal in either of these areas to achieve more success?

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Increase Your Resilience through Tapping into Resources

Increase Your Resilience through Tapping into Resources

There are two types of resources, internal and external, that can support your ability to be resilient. 

1. Which of the following do you currently utilize to support your resilience? 

2. Are there some new resources you want to tap into when you read the lists? 

Internal resources include:

  • Skills can be developed by learning with your body, mind, heart and soul. Examples of internal skills are using, strengthening or stretching your body. From swimming and running to carpentry or knitting, these are a few of the skills that utilize your body. Interacting, communicating and getting along with people are skills utilizing your heart, etc. If you want to become aware of your skills make a list of what you have learned over your life and the skills that you currently use in your day-to-day life and work. The actions we take and focus on are the result of the skills we have developed over time. How extensive and varied are your skills? 
  • Many of the following practices are soul practices in that they bring peace or lightness to your whole being. Examples of soul practices include contemplative prayer, centering, yoga, tai chi, chi gong, meditation, journaling, reflective writing, self-awareness exercises, relaxation, aligning with nature, and using your imagination to make positive progress.
  • Everyone is creative and anything you do can be done creatively. How do you exercise your creativity? Some examples of activities that demonstrate creativity are writing, dancing, painting, drawing, sketching, sculpture, ceramics, music, cooking, and many others (limited only by our imaginations). 
  • Knowledge is the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject using your mind. What areas of work and life do you demonstrate wisdom in and have knowledge to offer others? What areas of work and life do people repeatedly ask you about? 

External resources include: 

  • Classes, seminars, talks, podcasts, or conferences, 
  • Friends,
  • Family,
  • Colleagues,
  • Professional services,
  • Books,
  • Technology,
  • Money,
  • Public institutions and facilities such as educational, or health facilities, 
  • Libraries and art galleries
  • Community centers,
  • Science centers,
  • The internet or social media sites, and
  • Non-profit agencies, special interest collectives, and non-governmental agencies.
How could you utilize these resources to support your resilience? Are there areas in work and life where you are stuck? Would increasing your internal or external resources enable a breakthrough?
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