Part 1: Frustrated Attachments

Seismic Resilience Series (Part 1 of 5)

Welcome to the first of five parts in the Seismic Resilience Series.

Resilience has been on my radar for a long time. In essence, resilience is the capacity to withstand and navigate stress and crises. What’s intrinsically powerful about this is the meaning of capacity. It does not mean having a ready solution or freedom from feeling the impact of negative experiences. Capacity means having the potential, ability, and agility – regardless of situation, unexpected events, or transitions.

You have an innate capacity for resilience stemming from your personal experiences. It takes curiosity, creativity, and resourcefulness to be resilient. Because I also fully believe that you have an innate capacity for curiosity, creativity, and resourcefulness, it is within your reach to unlock and access your unique resilience.

In keeping with my working philosophy to instigate “seismic nudges”, the Seismic Resilience Series simply point to five high-potential portals to greater resiliency.  They invite you to boost your resilience to the next level. They are not meant to provide the “Top 10 Resilience Tips” or a universal solution. It doesn’t work that way. It’s about letting your curiosity shine a light into your own personal blind spots.

Maximize the impact of the ‘Seismic Resilience Series’
At the end of each part, there are powerful questions to help you get started. Use any method of your choice to note new thoughts and insights over the week. This isn’t about solving anything, although you might uncover more choices and possibilities. I ask that you get curious and be open to what comes up for you – there are no right or wrong answers. You might be surprised at your discoveries!

Be patient. Building your resilience muscles takes time, awareness, and conscious choice. Let’s start with one of my favourite places to discover greater resilience…


This is a big one. Frustration is one of the first signs of an attachment to a certain outcome or expectation. There might even be a frisson of irritation. It can stem from a perceived loss of control or influence, or feeling thwarted in some way.

For example, if I make a suggestion to someone and I become frustrated because he opts for another choice, this could be due to my attachment to a need to be perceived as being right or smart (i.e., validation that I’m “good/smart/worthy enough”). A very simple example, I know, yet commonly expressed in a myriad of ways, even by those who have the best of intentions. We’re all human.

What happens when you feel frustrated? Do you re-double your efforts? Lose patience? Get angry? See things as “either/or” (a.k.a. tunnel vision)? Lose motivation? I’ve responded in these ways in different situations myself.

What to do? Simply this: notice when you feel frustrated. The benefit is that you’ll start to notice it sooner and sooner. It gives you a chance to step back and get a better look at the bigger picture. Now that you’ve stepped back, what do you see?

Be curious
When are you most frustrated? Where are you feeling blocked or stuck right now? What do you notice about the times or situations in which frustration appears? How do you want to be the next time you detect frustration?