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6 habits of resilience


Our human brain is an incredible piece of machinery and is the most complex thing in the known universe. It has performed such extraordinary feats such as taking us to the moon; however, our human minds often take shortcuts.

Mental shortcuts and automatic thinking were useful to our ancestors, and still are even now in our current world. In many respects though, these ways of thinking are being tested more and more in today’s complicated world.

For example, a keystone shortcut is the negativity bias. This is our innate tendency to notice and pay attention to the things around us that are negative. When presented with a good thing and a bad thing in front of us, we tend to pay more attention to, and spend more time thinking about, the bad thing.  Although this bias by design increases survival by reducing the chance of “new things that could hurt me” slipping through my attention, this can also become extremely exhausting in a world rapidly changing a faster rate than ever before.

This comes from our evolution, so it is something that we will find hard to change! But, we can leverage the adaptive-beauty of our brain, neuroplasticity, to establish habits that serve us better in today’s world by automating new and healthier ways to respond in our environment.

GROWTH – 6 habits that strengthen our resilience!

Our GROWTH Habits Model is a tool to help people understand how they respond to their environment, and to recognise healthier responses to challenging circumstances with a growth-mindset. This enables us not only to bounce back up, but to bounce forward and grow from adversity

GROWTH Habits Model

GROWTH is not only a simple model that an individual can take and use to help them examine their wellbeing in the context of their life more broadly, although it is that! This model is also something that employers and leaders can learn from to help them create better team and organisational habits for the people around them


As human beings we need goals. Something to strive for, to achieve or accomplish, is how we engage with and focus on our work.

  • Would you flounder without a goal?

Without a goal or direction, people lack that sense of direction, purpose, and even identity. Ultimately, this impacts our wellbeing, as people need a clear sense of purpose and commitment in the things that they do in their everyday life.


Human beings are inherently social creatures. We require that sense of connection that is offered to us through all of our relationships. From our spouse, friends, co-workers, or even the cashier at our local store; we require connection! Relationships offer us a sense of belonging and identity.

  • Would you be able to maintain perspective and focus without your connections?

Such connectivity with others is part of why our species has been so successful. Our ability to collaborate and work with others is born out of our relationships with these others. This collaboration and connectivity is key to helping people perform at their maximum capability.


Ignoring our ingrained negativity bias is hard to do. Not only do we have a negativity bias, we also have an emotional bias. Where we behave and make decisions first and foremost with our emotions, making it even harder to move away from the negative.

  • Would you be motivated to strive for anything good, if you only saw the bad?

Re-orienting ourselves towards a more positive frame of mind can be immensely beneficial. Perceiving problems as opportunities or challenges is a core place to start in understanding our world in a more optimistic light.

Who we are?

The identity that we gain from our relationships and the collectives that we are apart of is important. Each of us is an individual. However, as with our relationships, our strength when we act as a collective is greater than the sum of all our individual parts.

  • What makes us, us?

How we gain purpose and meaning is through those people around us who are closest to us. This can be harnessed to direct individuals as a collective to overcome the challenges they face.

Tough moments                                              

To err is human. Making mistakes is an inevitable part of being a person operating in the world with others, particularly in time of great stress and challenge. Mistakes do not define us. It is what we do after mistakes that make us who we are.

  • How do you learn if not through our (and other people’s) mistakes?

Once we recognise that it is inevitable that we will make mistakes, and that experiencing such a mistake is not a reason to beat oneself up over. Then we can begin to appreciate the value that such experiences can provide to us moving forward.

Healthy choices

We all deserve positive physical and mental wellbeing. Individuals who can establish automatic thoughts and behaviours that sustain a healthy body and a healthy mindset are better employees.

  • How do you take care of yourself?

Mindfulness, relaxation, exercise, and pacing yourself through those tough times, are just some of the things that people can do.

Bringing it all together

This GROWTH Model is a tool to help individuals or leaders reflect on their own behaviour and mindset. Thus allowing them to recognise how they could make changes to help themselves or inspire others. This short series has started here with an overview of the model. Keep an eye out for upcoming articles, which will go through each of the steps, with a dive deep into what each step means, and how they can be leveraged to help leaders supercharge the resilience of their teams.

Interested to learn more?

If resilience is being tested for you or your team and you would like to learn more about how we are building GROWTH habits with our clients, reach out at and a Mapien Consultant will be in touch.



Dr Ian Haslam
Ian’s consulting career and experience is backed by his deep interest in the application of science behind human behaviour, and psychology to engage clients and achieve sustainable results.