How resilience coaching accelerates personal development

So much of how we grow in life depends on our ability to just not give up. To get comfortable with discomfort until tough feelings pass. To stay on an uncertain path when there is no guarantee of success. And also to take risks and believe in our wildest dreams even when other people think we’re being ‘unrealistic’ or those dreams are very far outside our comfort zone.


Resilience - the energy you have to adapt, thrive and not give up - plays a huge role in this. This is why resilience coaching is such a great investment for personal development and growth in any area of life.

Healing from the past

We all have baggage. And in some cases that baggage makes growth hard because it takes up all our energy. Think, for a second, about something that you focus on that you know isn’t good for you. Ruminating about lost opportunities at work... Stalking an ex on social media... Revisiting family hurts... Think about all the energy and time that goes into those mental processes.

Maybe make a list of how long you spend on it every week. Gather some ‘data’ on yourself and look at what feelings get triggered and how that distracts or hurts you. All of this creates an environment in your head that makes it hard to develop as a person. Because you can’t heal from the past if you’re repeatedly recreating it in your mind through memories and old emotions - you’ll stay stuck in the same thoughts and behaviours and the same perception of yourself and your potential.

One of the key tools we develop through coaching is the ability to disrupt these patterns. To break out of what is keeping you stuck so that you genuinely can heal and grow.

Dropping the fixed beliefs

We tend to assume that there are lots of things about us that are fixed - how we do things, how we feel about things, and the reactions we have. But so many of these are simply the result of something that happened, something that was modelled to us or a limit that someone else placed on us and then we internalised. For example:

  • “I’m just not a confident person.” Actually, confidence is a habit, not a personality trait. So, if you don’t feel confident you just need to change your habitual thoughts and behaviours. No one is born confident. 
  • “I’ve always been shy.” Shyness is 80% learned - usually because you were taught as a kid not to take up too much space with your voice, thoughts and presence. It can be unlearned too.
  • “Motivation isn’t one of my strengths.” Motivation isn’t naturally occurring, it's about intentional behaviours - and knowing what works for you. For example, people who set goals that are specific and challenging are 90% more likely to achieve them. Compared to those who set wildly unrealistic goals and give up a week later.
  • “I’m just not someone who trusts.” There are many good reasons why we find it hard to trust other people, the world or ourselves. There is no such thing as “a trusting nature,” just someone who was shown how to trust easily and appropriately and who grew up in an environment that encouraged this over many years. Again, trust is something that is built up slowly over time - you can acquire it through your choices, thoughts, behaviours and habits.

These fixed ideas that we have about ourselves represent one of the biggest obstacles to personal development because we tell ourselves we’re “not the kind of person” who does public speaking/runs a marathon/makes a lot of money/takes risks. Resilience comes with the kind of growth mindset that means you’re less attached to a fixed idea of who you are and more open to experimenting and being curious instead. So, you can let the trap of fixed ideas go.

Becoming fearless

Low resilience makes us feel powerless - as if any small challenge will come along and blow us off track or make us collapse into fear and sadness. Feeling resilient means knowing you can stay connected to yourself whatever happens to you. You may have no control over what happens in life but you know you have control over how you respond to what happens. And this can create a kind of fearlessness - not that the fear ever really goes away but that you can still act even when it’s coursing through your body. That it doesn’t shut down your ability to think, problem solve and look after yourself and the people you love even when things feel really hard.

That’s why resilience can have such a big impact on one of the biggest elements of personal development - getting outside your comfort zone. Growth is uncomfortable. Sometimes terrifying. If you adopt a resilient mindset you will change the way you see that discomfort, as well as how you respond to it.

Learned resilience skills insulate against stress

We all struggle with stress from time to time - and short periods of stress are actually not that difficult for humans to handle. But ongoing stress, or stress that we prolong with the way we respond to it, can be very detrimental. Learned resilience skills insulate against stress, from the impact on the body to how optimistic you can remain during periods of stress and the tools you have to cope with whatever is creating that stress.

Learned resilience skills could be anything, from being able to flip a negative thought to a more optimistic one - to actually believing the more positive outlook instead of it feeling forced or fake. Staying in a state of stress will essentially put personal development on hold because you will be stuck in survival mode. Learning the skills that can reduce the impact stress has on you - and open up new pathways through it - can be life-changing.

The value of a coach

I recently had an intro call with someone who said they had done all the work on themselves, didn’t have much faith in the coaching process and felt like they knew everything they needed to know about personal growth. And yet they still booked an intro chat because (I think) they were struggling and knew that there might be a solution out there they just couldn’t see yet. Something about that call made them give me a chance as a coach. And, six sessions later, we have opened up so many new ways of thinking and behaving that have been life-changing for this client.

They did know an awful lot about growth and they were very practised in lots of the positive habits that fuel it. But what they didn’t have was enough distance and perspective from their own inner world to ask the kind of powerful questions that create big shifts (because none of us has this). All it took was a few questions, asked at the right moment in the right way, for an accelerated pathway of change to open up in a totally unexpected way. That’s the true value of what a coach can offer. 

Personal development and growth aren’t something you can outsource. But getting help building up resilience through resilience coaching will give you a huge advantage when it comes to overcoming some of the biggest obstacles to growth: the wounds of the past, the way we restrict ourselves, the impact of stress and how much we reject discomfort. If you’d like to find out more about resilience coaching - or the ways other clients have benefitted - get in touch.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Winchester, Hampshire, SO23
Written by Alex Pett
Winchester, Hampshire, SO23

Alex is an ICF trained and NLP cert coach focused on helping people to deepen their resources to adapt and bounce back - and go on to thrive. She works with resilience to help clients build confidence, recover from burnout, be assertive, set boundaries, find joy and move beyond limiting beliefs. Clients achieve tangible change in 6-9 sessions.

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