Springing ahead to Step 2 of your Resilience journey – Do you know where you want to get to?

Meaning and purpose & connections Resilience step 2

Step 2: Meaning and Purpose and Connections

This article explores two more resilience factors: meaning and purpose & connections. In our first article we introduced the first two resilience factors self-awareness and acceptance.  Another two resilience factors in the Insights® model are:

Factor 3: Meaning and Purpose – having an overall sense of meaning and purpose can help us keep difficulties in perspective.  With meaning and purpose, we are able to make a connection between the challenging present and a more fulfilling and positive future.  Everyone should dare to dream.

Factor 4: Connections – This factor could sit in every quadrant of a coaching framework but, for me, it fits best here.  Our relationships with other people should be based on a foundation of trust and mutual respect.  Friends, family and colleagues may challenge us and push us to be our best.  But they should not stop us being our best selves, nor should they sap our confidence.

Aspirational goals when making plans for the future fall neatly into our second question in our simple coaching model:

“Where do you want to get to?”

Meaning and Purpose

Whether writing a personal mission statement [Covey:The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People] or considering your authentic leadership style, a good starting point is personal values.

Many of us haven’t really given this much thought.  To help clients understand their own values, I ask them to think about the things that trigger a strong emotional reaction for them. 

With some self-awareness, we quickly learn to identify these strong emotional reactions with events that touch on our values in some way: honesty, fairness, freedom, appreciation, equality and recognition, to name but a few.  

Mission statement and values

It took me a whole summer to write my mission statement – it’s not as easy as it sounds; but I would encourage you to have a go as part of your planning. 

Values play an important role in good leadership.  Authentic leaders understand the importance of personal values – being true to oneself – and know how to align their personal values to those of the business.  Such leaders are able to influence and inspire their teams because they genuinely believe in the message they are delivering.

LifeForward Resilience Meaning and Purpose


There are several reasons why I have put connections in Step 2 of the coaching process.  Many clients suffer from a lack of time to do all the things they want to do as well as all the things they must do. Spending time with friends and family (building those critical relationships) often goes in the “important” box but then falls by the wayside because “urgent” matters consume our time.  We all know that we should focus on “important” before “urgent” but, in reality, it’s very difficult to put urgent matters to one side to fulfil a social engagement, no matter how “important”.

Connections Resilience factors

Are you a People Pleaser?

This brings me to another reason for putting connections here.  Transactional Analysis [Stuart & Joines: TA Today] considers drivers of behaviour that underpin our responses to the world around us.  The “People Pleaser” driver can be a big challenge and a massive drain on time.  This is particularly true if we don’t bring awareness to the connections in our lives and consider whether those connections are a positive or negative influence. 

People Pleasers find it very hard to say “no” when someone asks them to do something.  It may be a request to complete an urgent task at work, to go for a run or have someone’s child over for a play date.  Often such people say “yes”, even though it is a huge inconvenience for them; it significantly impacts their existing plans and puts existing work deadlines under greater pressure or eats into precious spare time.  Increased self-awareness helps us to understand how and when it’s okay to say “no”.

Learning to bring awareness to our connections and how we interact with people is an important part of considering how we want to live and work. 


Make time for your goals

Whether its time-management, focusing on “important”, learning to say “no” or spending less time with people who have a negative impact on us, having some goals and aspirations around connections is a good idea.

We have lots of great exercises to help you write your mission statement, identify your goals, analyse the relationships in your life and make time for your own aspirations.

Please get in touch to find out more.

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