Self Definition and Resiliency ~ By Michael H Ballard


Resilience, Resiliency, Positive, Positivity, Positive Imperative, Michael BallardBy virtue of the fact you’re reading this tells me you have resiliency.

A key question is how do we deepen, and widen our capacity to thrive.


Let’s start at the beginning.

A key component of being resilient is our ability to understand, manage and nurture our self-definition. What is self-definition you ask? Good question.


Self Definition is a compilation of how we’ve knowingly and unknowingly defined ourselves based on many variables. These include our race, colour, creed, gender, physical traits, IQ, EQ, how we where parented, our extended family, neighbourhood, workplace, school, the media, community and country.


Where  should we start?

Let us start with you considering this concept about Self Definition.

If there was a picture of you in the dictionary; not just any dictionary but one that is confidential and only you can see. Your dictionary only! Now, let us take a trip inside this confidential dictionary to see what you’ll discover and uncover.


First realize that there are three key types of items and memories stored here.


The first are the truths about us. However some of the things we think are the truth in time are not always 100% accurate.

half truth, half lie, truth, positive, positivity, positive imperative, Michael Ballard  

Half Truths – Half Falsehoods

~ These are beliefs about us that can confuse and misdirect us as we lack clarity because of them. I.e. You’re just like your (Place name here) and will never do well in math. When in fact perhaps you’re not going to be a Engineer, or a Physicist, yet could do very well as a business professional using business math.


Falsehoods and Lies – These can wear us down and hurt us, as like the half truths they are not all accurate.


What to do about these three categories?

Well, several years back I mentored a young gentleman who’d lived on the street for ten years. After several deep and meaty conversations he shared the phrase “Fearless moral inventory”. Great phrase. I’d suggest a slightly gentler approach. Consider something along the lines of a “Deep and wide honest inventory of how have I defined myself to date? Then, what should be adjusted? Added? Thrown out?


It is a process so it will not just happen over night. However if we have the courage to understand that we took years to get this way than real change can often happen in hours, days and weeks. If we keep practicing. The road to mastery is one built on excellence not perfection.


Positive, Positive Thinking, Positive Mind, Positive, Positivity, Positive Imperative

No where to be seen between Positive and Negative thoughts, half truths are the neutral way of thinking that is also negative.

So, how do these three key types of files in our private and confidential internal dictionary show up?

Generally people have them there as positive, negative and half-truths.




–          Stupid – Oh don’t be so stupid!

–          Amazing – It is amazing how you do that so well.




–          You’re just like your …

  • Indicating that we’re what? Very Tall? Short?

Under weight? Over weight? Smart? Stupid?

Incredibly good looking?


–          You’re so lucky

  • Never mind the 79 hours your practiced,

the lessons you took and the mentor you had. You lucky?

Not a chance. Luck favours the prepared. You prepared.



Images burnt into our brain of a very upbeat or very negative time.

Use caution of reviewing our failures and mistakes. Over time we run the risk of programming ourselves for more failures and mistakes.

 Positive Imperative Positive thinking negative thinking

Mini movies and sound tracks


They play over and over and over again if we give them permission. They become burnt into our brain of a very upbeat or very negative time. They can influence our mood, our relationships our happiness and our success.


Replaced the negative ones with new ones. Write a new script! Act it out in the privacy of your bedroom or Living room.


We need to stay vigilant against a society that works on a negative asset basis. We’re consistently feed messages that if we just “wore the right clothes, drove a certain car, lived in a certain area, attended a certain school, we’d be smarter, more successful and more likeable. All not true of course. Yet the cosmetics, fashion industry and many others do quite well with that pitch. Not that a new piece of clothing is not a good thing. Just not a replacement of the homework we all should be doing.


Well with over 80% of what we think and are told framed in the negative it is no wonder we have “issues” around resiliency. Feeling comfortable in our own skin and managing our Self Definition is a very powerful first step. Foundational work some of us would say.


So nothing like the present to start to walk the talk about resiliency.

What area of your Self Definition will you work on today? The time is now to take this on and start to build and rid of what blocks you as you house clean.


Michael Ballard, Michael H. Ballard, Positive, Positivity, Positive Imperative, Michael H Ballard is a SME – Subject Matter Expert on Resiliency. He consults and trains with individuals and groups, organizations and communities on how to develop their resiliency.

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