Living the Resilience Tree Model

So often I hear people talk about resilience yet few share what it looks like for them. Below I will share with you the 4 components to Living the Resilience Tree Model. You can use these strategies at any time to increase your resilience in a given situation or season.

  1. Roots – Do plenty of activities that replenish me.
  2. Branches – Reach out to my network of people who believe in me, want the best for me, and/or see my potential.
  3. Leaves – Set boundaries around my seasons of giving to others.
  4. Environment – Be aware of the people, systems, and energy surrounding me.

I used a tree as my metaphor as it is a great representation of resilience. It can withstand a lot and yet not be broken. It can survive various weather conditions. The following are some explanations for the tree metaphors of each component:

  1. Roots – Brings the tree nourishment.
  2. Branches – Helps the tree expand it self in search of sunlight.
  3. Leaves – Is the output and what can be seen or experienced by others such as leaves, fruit, or flowers (depending on the type of tree).
  4. Environment – Is the ecosystems surrounding a tree; the ebb and flow of everything around you intersecting and impacting the overall experience.

Below are a few examples of how I have embraced the Resilience Tree Model in my own life:

  1. Roots – For me these activities are things like Salsa dancing, watching Hallmark movies, or eating chicken and broccoli and fried rice from the Chinese food restaurant.
  2. Branches – For me, these are family, friends, supervisors, mentors, or role models from afar like Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Debbie Allen.
  3. Leaves – For me, I ask myself, “Am I giving too much of myself? Am I making time for me?” “Do the things I have said yes to leave me filled up or depleted? “”More often than not am I bitter or sweet to others and if so why or why not?”
  4. Environment – I ask myself what I need and what I want from the environment and evaluate if I am able to get it where I am currently. 

Finally, below are the reasons why each of the components are important to the resilience journey.

  1. Roots – Adding these components to my life help me slow down, be present and enjoy what I have rather than judging or pushing myself. 
  2. Branches – Talking things out with these folks always gives me a new perspective to consider and helps me to see my contributions in a broader view or to see options I hadn’t thought of.
  3. Leaves – This is about boundary setting and being intentional about when I am in hibernation and when I am in bloom. 
  4. Environment – It is important to know whether you can thrive in the environment you are in and when it is time to uproot and replant in another environment that is a better fit.

If you want to know more about the Resilience Tree Model you can visit one of the links below for my website, TEDx style video, book chapter, and podcast interviews on the Resilience Tree.

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