6 Cs of Resilience

I offer the “6 Cs of resilience” to stimulate your thinking and perhaps guide your actions:

Clarity about values, ideas, goals, and strategies to accomplish those goals. Such clarity will come in and out of focus and require fresh thinking when circumstances change within and around us.

Commitment to persist through difficult times. Resilience sometimes requires doing the thing we don’t want to do but that we know is important.

Communication that seeks first to understand and that is both respectful and assertive. Such communication is particularly challenging when people vigorously disagree with us by asserting values and positions that we believe are irrational and even immoral.

Community to gain clarity, support, guidance, inspiration, and the power of collective action when we are addressing powerful social and economic forces. Dialogue created in community can also help us find and maintain clarity.

Courage to do what is uncomfortable and even frightening. Courage is not the absence of fear, but instead acting in its presence. As someone once said, “Feel the fear and do it anyways.”

Care, beginning with self-care. Self-care means making our physical, emotional, and spiritual health a priority, because if we don’t care for ourselves the other Cs will be difficult if not impossible to achieve. Care also includes, of course, respect for others, especially those with whom we most strongly disagree.

No matter our starting place, the “6Cs” enable us to take well-considered stands about things that are significant to us and to join with others to achieve what we cannot accomplish alone.

Which of the Cs is most important for you at this particular moment in time?

4 Responses to “6 Cs of Resilience”


  1. 1 Linda McFall March 8, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Commitment and courage are so intertwined for me, not only on a global level but even in personal relationships and priorities. The self care issue can be so easily lost when aspiring to be truly committed and courageous.
    Thanks for this.

  2. 3 rickrepicky March 8, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    All are important so it’s hard to pick one, but COMMUNITY would be my #1. You need the others to prep you to affect change, but if you can’t get community, you could end up just a wise man wandering solo in the desert.

    • 4 Dennis Sparks March 9, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      I appreciate your comment, Rick. Both you and Linda have made a good case for one of the Cs being essential to the others. Self-caring gives us physical and emotional strength to do what we think is important. Community provides an ongoing source of inspiration and guidance and courage that can sustain us through difficult times.


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