The 8 Habits of Personal Agility and Resilience for Living in Your Agile Zone of Optimal Functioning

Updated: April 29, 2014, July 17, 2014.  Note:  I’m updating this as I’m working on my book.  I know it’s long, but eventually this will be part of a book.  Thanks for understanding! Once the book is published, the detail will go away, so if you are interested, read it now while you can without having to buy the book.  : )


Personal Agility is about having a sense of EASE with rolling with life’s curve balls – whatever the source.

Agile Zone of Peak Performance and ImprovisationPersonal Agility enables you to live in the Agile Zone of optimal functioning – feeling relatively in charge, secure and confident in your ability to ride the waves that come with living the unpredictable, uncontrollable creative life.

What is the Agile Zone™ of Optimal Functioning and Peak Performance?

The Agile Zone™ is what I call your sweet spot of optimal functioning – the place where you experience life without feeling overwhelmed or powerless – where you feel hopeful, capable, and able to get things done.  It includes your high energy, peak performance and creative flow states, as well as your low energy states where you still can get things done.  Your Agile Zone includes

 the full range of situations and internal cognitive – emotional states where you remain functional without falling into the “Red Zone” of dysfunction.  The Agile Zone includes:

  • Comfort zone

Where you can relax, do nothing, have fun, or just get simple things done. This state also includes mild boredom.

  • Alert Zone

Where you feel intrigued, challenged but still confident, capable, and creative

  • Alarm Zone

The zone of discomfort where you are starting to become fearful, anxious, irritable, tired, hungry etc. you can still perform, but you may be making mistakes, struggling etc and if you don’t take steps now to recover, you are in danger of descending into the RED Zone of dysfunctional behaviors.


The Agile Zone of Optimal Functioning

Expanding your Agile Zone of Functioning

Expanding your Agile Zone involves cultivating an Agile Heart, Mind and Body. Ways to expand your agile zone include:

  • Becoming comfortable with feeling uncomfortable
  • Letting go of expecting yourself to “know” things.

Instead,  focus on figuring out your needs and developing options for what to do next to meet your needs.  It means working through a decision and problem solving process to expedite the design of feasible solutions you can implement now and iterate and improve later if they prove worthy.

  • Life in the Agile Zone includes being out of your Comfort zoneChanging your idea of what normal and acceptable are for you.

That means making peace with the constant disruptions and chaos that come with the creative, evolutionary life – frequent disruption becomes your new definition of NORMAL

  • Paying attention to your body and respecting it by making it your highest priority consideration in all your decision.

That means getting quality sleep, eating food you love AND that nourishes you, designing movement into your lifestyle, making contact with nature often, regularly taking time to R.E.L.A. X

If you are ritually sacrificing your body’s physical and emotional needs for the “illusion” that doing things like losing sleep or going hungry or not going to the bathroom or not taking time out to have fun or just do nothing will make you more productive – you are actually DECREASING your capacity to be in your Agile Zone.

Example of How Personal Agility affects Agile Zone Functioning

Cultivating Personal Agility is not about correcting or fixing your weaknesses.  It’s about strengthening the skills and habits that enable you to spend more time in your Agile Zone of functioning more often — even when you are confronted by challenging and uncomfortable situations. 

For example, suppose you are experiencing a creative block, a lack of clarity, or the confusion that comes with indecision or overwhelm.

Instead of being knocked out by it, you recognize it, pause, check in with your needs, and then take whatever steps are needed to become ready to deal with the circumstances.

Instead of losing hope and falling into depression, and getting stuck there, you take time to acknowledge your emotions.  Instead of fighting your emotions or wishing you weren’t having them, you work through them by having a conversation with yourself, being compassionate, and giving yourself time to work out a recovery strategy.

Instead of numbing, freezing, or engaging in addictive red zone behaviors, you comfort yourself and allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. You assure yourself that the feelings won’t last forever and that even though you don’t know WHEN, you DO trust yourself to eventually recover.You trust yourself to eventually figure out what you CAN do with what you have – and take a first step.

When you take time out to respond to setbacks, you are STILL in your AGILE ZONE and that alone is worthy of recognition. You are NOT wasting time, even if it seems or feels like nothing is getting done.   What you are doing when dealing effectively with setbacks is a lot of internal, invisible work.

You can’t see it immediately, but what you could be doing with a a setback is gaining wisdom, mastering skills and growing confidence in yourself to deal with adversity in a constructive way — those are far more important to your future wellbeing, stress reduction, achievement and productivity than whatever is not getting done on your TO DO list.  

Think of it like a seed planted in a garden.  For weeks, it seems like nothing is happening, but inside the ground, roots are being constructed that make it possible for what later will may seem like super rapid growth and ultimately blooming.  None of that rapid growth and productive bloom is possible without that seemingly inactive period where the seeds are taking root. Each time you experience an obstacle, relapse or setback it’s a potential opportunity to plant seeds and grow deeper strong roots.

If you spend too much of that time agonizing, ignoring, avoiding, or berating yourself, not only do you not get to grow, you actually are WEAKENING and damaging your roots.  That’s the really sad thing.  A missed opportunity is neutral.  NO big deal.  Many more opportunities will come.  But hurting yourself when you could have been gaining so many benefits — that is heartbreaking to me.

Another way to think about obstacles is to realize that obstacles become your new path.Agile goal setting, improvisational Agile planning and course correction are Agile Zone functioning Instead of seeing them as setbacks to be avoided or worried about or to punish yourself for, welcome them as opportunities to grow — to flex your solution design muscles, gain feedback, wisdom and maybe even inspiration.

The Agility / Resiliency Connection

Resilience - the ability to work through and recover from setbacks, relapses and obstacles – is what makes your future goals easier to accomplish. In fact, resilience in response to adversity  - also called “grit” – may be the most essential ingredient to achievement.  Even more important than expertise or social skills.

High Resilience is a capability that some people seem to just be born with. However, the good news is that it is comprised of a set of cognitive and emotional skills and habits that can be taught and then cultivated through experience.  But it requires adversity.


You can’t master resiliency unless you have problems, obstacles, setbacks and relapses to practice and home your skills on.  I personally had an extremely adverse childhood, and had many opportunities to develop resiliency skills including having to recover from multiple addictions, bounce back from near bankruptcy, heal PTSD, anxiety, and depression, and reduce hoarding and chronic disorganization and learn to thrive with ADHD. It often felt like I had to learn everything the hard way, but in the end, those experiences have helped me use my professional skills to take on the challenge of developing a self-leadership, self-advocacy and resiliency program that teaches these advanced skills in a way that enables neurodiverse people to master them.

Many of the world’s greatest innovations began their journey to greatness as adversity — unwanted, unvalued detours, distractions, failures and obstacles.  Post-it notes are a perfect example of this. The stated goal was to develop a strong super glue. The setback was that for years, their formula experiments failed. The genius that finally emerged from that project was realizing that the really WEAK glue they perceived as a failure was actually was even MORE needed and valuable in the marketplace than strong glue! Post-it glue that you can reuse multiple times was born.

 This kind of scenario is playing out on a small scale in your life EVERY DAY!

I wonder….

How many times a day are you throwing away opportunities to turn an obstacle into an advantage because you are trying too hard to control what, when, where, and how you do things?  or berating yourself for what you think is poor performance when in reality, you could be finding ways to make use of your seemingly odd, unwanted, impulsive, or even uncontrollable behavior?  

Please don’t get me wrong.

 It’s perfectly normal and fine to feel annoyed, disappointed or frustrated when you feel out of control — at first.  Those emotions don’t have to derail you, however.  They can become the fuel you use as energy and creativity for your rebound.  That is what I mean by:

 Don't Agonize, Agilize!  

Taking time outs to feel your feelings and work through them compassionately may look like you are not accomplishing anything productive, or may look like you are procrastinating, but emotional recovery itself is one of the greatest accomplishments and productivity tools you can master.

 Master the agility skills of recovery and resilience rather than over-emphasizing avoidance and worldly goals and accomplishments will naturally follow. : )  

Naturally, we want to try to avoid mistakes – especially expensive, devastating, ones.  But reducing risk is a LOT different from trying to eliminate or completely avoid risk.  When we let the fear of getting it wrong, or not doing something well enough, or of doing something we think will be embarrassing or rejected by others, stop us completely, or lead us into chronic procrastination that is a sure sign that we need to hone our resiliency and agility skills.  Resiliency, agility, self-leadership and design thinking mindset combined give us a foundation to respond to adversity by agilizing – responding to the situation at hand by taking a time out to process emotions and then think – use your creative mind to improvise, course correct, redesign, or otherwise make the most of every situation by doing what you can with what you have and take a first small step to recover.

The Agile Way - Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.

The Agile Way

How do you Cultivate and Strengthen Personal Agility?

Cultivating personal agility involves discovering your own rhythms with creative flow and peak performance, respecting them, and using them to navigate your way through life using non-peak time to build your readiness to make the most of peak performance states as well as to recover from adverse situations.  The more agile you become, you naturally begin to experience less adversity and spend more time in the sweet spot of creative flow, but you must accept that

you cannot live in your sweet spot full-time, and you cannot “control” or “schedule” it.

What you can do is:

  • Reserve time for it to happen
  • Trust it
  • Encourage it by creating conditions that enable it
  • Optimize your use of it while you have it.

Instead of wasting energy trying to figure out techniques to make it happen predictably and instead of agonizing over how to “avoid adversity” or  “overcome your blocks”, I recommend making a project out of learning how you do it when you do things well naturally.  How does it work for you? Pay closer to attention to what’s going on when it happens naturally. For example, rather than analyzing why you are late so often, try looking for an eample of when you were on on time and study that.  How did that happen? What you learn will most like be surprising counter-intuitive and maybe even seem ridiculous to you. But all we care about is this.  Does it help? Does it work?  If so, figure out how to turn it into a power tool.

Instead of trying so hard to solve your performance challenges using other people’s strategies, focus on learning how you naturally perform the desired behavior or accomplish the desired result.  (To simplify, let’s just call these instances “flow state”)  When you are researching how your own flow states work, ask questions like:

  • What tends to trigger you to enter your flow state?

Look for clues that seem to not make any sense…creative solutions are generated in ways our logical minds can’t even dream of.


I know that if I want to write, reading a related article or book will trigger it. My logical mind thinks:  Just tell yourself to write and do it.

When I finally realized that my creative mind wants to be warmed up with input, I learned that my personal path to writing is actually reading!  It felt so bizarre at first, but now I celebrate it and find so many ways to make this work for me. 

I learned that the reason I had difficult reading books all the way through was because reading triggered my mind to want to write in response to what I was reading!  So now instead of trying to FINISH reading a book all the way through, I just keep restarting the book and then I end up finishing it.

The truth is often so strange and counter-intuitive
that it’s hard to see with our logical minds.

This is why I developed the practice of AgiliZen Mantra 10: Embrace Opposition.  Becoming able to temporarily suspend what we think is real, true, right or wrong and defy our own logic and reason strengthens our mental / cognitve agility.  The power of opposition is that it enables us to see and feel the full spectrum of what’s possible in any given situation. Sometimes the most absurd strategy is the one that actually works.

I have never seen my “read in order to write” strategy in anyone’s list of tips for getting into creative flow. Agile Zone and Optimal Functioning includes embracing obstacles and mistakesI learned this by paying closer attention to HOW I actually function and instead of getting mad at myself not writing and trying to CHANGE myself. I studied what’s going on when I DO write.  And in the process of not trying to change, I ended up changing everything about the way I approach my creative work.  Almost effortlessly.

In fact, I designed strategies for both my writing and reading challenges even though I was only actually trying to solve my writing issue.  This is an example of how relaxing, accepting things as they are and taking the time to go slow at first, to really learn, to allow the problem to keep happening and keep observing it with compassion can lead to solutions seeming to design themselves.

Going slow really is going fast in the bigger picture.  If I hadn’t slowed down enough to observe in great detail, I would STILL be struggling with writing and reading.

Go slow to go fast

Another example of being open to patterns that would not make sense to anyone else is in how I approach updating my website and blog.

If I want to update my website, I start by NOT thinking about updating it. Instead I think about simply reviewing it. I noticed that every time I would be intending only to read or review my website I would get off track and be triggered to start updating it – even though I had not set aside enough time to also do the updates.

I used this observation to lead myself differently.  If my logical mind wants to update my website, I think about what I want to update and reserve a 4 – 6 hour day where the only goal is to review it.  I take the pressure off and then it tends to happen naturally.

If I put the words “update website” on my To Do List, it doesn’t happen.  If I put “review home page” I eventually start doing the updates.

All I really need is to ask (not tell) myself to spend 5 minutes reading my website. In fact, if I don’t have time to do updates, I avoid reading it!

As a self leader, I reserve a big chunk of time, block out email and phone, and instead of micromanaging myself, I give myself the freedom to bounce as needed, and trust myself to eventually do what really needs doing.

Inevitably, I end up getting the results I want but in ways I could never have predicted. If I happen to struggle for some reason, instead of “trying harder”,  I relax. I check in with myself, and ask:

“what else needs doing that I could do easily in the state I’m in right now?”

Either way, I’ll be doing something that really needs to get done, even if what needs doing is to rest!

Most often what I end up doing is a simple task like cleaning. Then as I’m cleaning, I get an idea to solve whatever I was struggling with and then get back to the updating.

On the surface, it looks like I’m procrastinating or being distracted first from doing my web site and then from doing the cleaning, but in reality, I’m improvising strategically in Slide50response to what my brain needs. Instead of controlling, I’m paying attention to my quirky ways and using them and using them as feedback and inputs.  I study my unwanted behavior and seek to figure out how to either use it to my advantage, or to investigate and define the real underlying needs I may be neglecting.

I have learned to more fully listen to ALL of my behaviors — how my successes really work, and how my unwanted behavior really works — all of it contains valuable clues I need to design better environmental conditions, systems, and strategies to meet my functional needs and accomplish my creative projects in an improvisational, more loosely planned way.

To others, I look distracted, but really I’m playing a game with myself and winning.  My husband actually finds me very entertaining, too.  He enjoys puzzles and has actually spotted a few really odd patterns I have that I couldn’t see.  Instead of criticizing me, he has learned to help me figure out ways to make my quirks (and his I might add) work for us in how we manage our home, cleaning, cooking and even finances.

Personal agility is about being open-minded, flexible, cooperative and adapting to yourself and others.  It’s about working with the way things ARE and then allowing the changes to happen organically rather than forcing them.

Trusting in the natural cycles and processes of how things really work – not how you think they SHOULD work – is a keystone habit that makes it much easier to cultivate your personal agility.

More questions to help you learn about your own peak performance creative flow state rhythms:

  • What time of day does it tend to happen?
  • How long does it tend to last?
  • What are the signs that it is coming?
  • What are the signs it’s starting to fade?
  • What was going on during the 24 – 48 hours prior to flow state?
  • What kinds of interruptions are easy to recover from while you are in flow state?
  • What tends to derail you from getting into flow state?



I learned that my peak creative flow states tend to be most easily triggered about a hour or two after I wake up, and can last for about 4 – 6 hours under certain conditions.  This surprised me because I always thought I was not a morning person and was more productive at night.

Turned out this pattern was not the natural me, it was a reaction to how much I was fighting myself and how much stress I was under. At night, I had lower expectations of myself so I would relax and be relatively more productive, but when I relaxed in the morning, and worked with my true nature, I become far more productive than I ever was at night.

I made my goal to learn what “conditions” and activities tend to trigger it by experimenting and observing instead of expecting myself to follow my own orders. I can follow orders sometimes, but that is NOT how I function best.

I get far better results when I  orchestrate conditions and lead rather than micromanage or control. When I trust myself to eventually get into flow state, interestingly enough, that alone makes it happen more often and even more predictably and consistently.  Worrying about “not” getting into flow state actually keeps flow state from happening.

 Bottom Line

Worrying about, fearing or struggling to micromanage peak performance flow states actually diminishes your capacity for peak performance.


If you are prone to feeling discouraged, disappointed, frustrated, overwhelmed, depressed or anxious, and had to choose just one Personal Agility habit to focus on to dramatically improve your quality of life and creative work, I would suggest choosing the habit of emotional agility.  It is deeply connected to all the other habits and is an essential ingredient of all the other optimal functioning skills.

Why is emotional agility so important?

Literally everything you want to achieve in life requires cultivating emotional agility: the ability to utilize the power and fuel of your emotional energy cycles to lead yourself on the journey and navigate the daily challenges of personal growth and creative work.

Emotional Agility is a keystone foundation for becoming wiser, healthier, happier, for  designing and evolving a meaningful career and lifestyle, and for continuously evolving sustainable productivity systems and practices that support your overall functioning in the Agile Zone.


You can’t be productive if you are frequently overwhelmed, anxious, exhausted, pressured, depressed, and/or are emotionally triggered by your perceived mistakes or shortcomings, right?



The 8 Habits of Personal Agility enable and empower us to master the 8 Dances of Life (see graphic below). Mastering the 8 Habits enables us to:

  • creatively orchestrate and use our time strategically
  • juggle tasks and projects improvisationally to ensure needs are met and optimize long-term overall results
  • connect and collaborate with others in a way that contributes to our overall well-being instead of exhausting and draining us
  • creatively work through obstacles
  • courageously learn and grow from mistakes, resistance, criticism and rejection instead of allowing them to keep us stuck


The 8 Habits of Personal Agility and Resilience

The 8 Habits of Agility and Resilience are keystones – the core foundational habits upon which creative flow, peak performance, and all our behavioral habits are built.

When personal agility in the 8 Habits is weak, life is often experienced as a recurring series of painful struggles full of unresolved inner conflicts.  Stuckness patterns show up in any or all of the following ways:

    • under-achieving
    • financial challenges such as excessive debt, under-earning, difficulty making a living or living within your means peacefully
    • chronic overwhelm, frustration and/or resentment
    • inability to rest without feeling guilty or lazy
    • excess clutter in your home, time, relationships, projects, etc.
    • depression
    • anxiety
    • chronic procrastination
    • harmful addictions

What are the 8 Habits?

The 8 Habits of Personal Agility are:

1. Mental Agility

Mental Agility is the habit of recognizing when our creative thinking is being limited or stuck by

  • either / or thinking
  • good or bad, dualistic thinking
  • judgmental thinking
  • jumping to conclusions about causes
  • feeling overly certain we are “right” and therefore are unwilling or unable to explore other possibilities
  • unable to shift perspective to see the simple in the complex or the complex that lies under the simple

and the habit of transforming stuck thinking into full spectrum thinking.  Full spectrum thinking enables us to

  • think constructively when we feel hopeless or tempted to give upPatience-agility
  • both critically and creatively about a situation
  • see the potential good and bad inherent is all things
  • accept the uncertainty inherent is everything and take action anyway
  • seeing things from multiple perspectives
  • expand options or set limits as the situation requires
  • see the value in what we at first think is “negative”
  • appreciate the tiniest of first steps and trust in the power of momentum and iteration to lead us to the next steps


Mental agility is composed of the keystone habits such as:

  • Pausing to define and clarify needs.
  • Identifying filtering criteria to support us in making wiser decisions before acting.
  • Notice the biases or “default settings” in our thinking that is keeping us stuck and releasing our attachments to them so that we can get unstuck.
  • Becoming willing and ready to relinquish your mind’s default settings so that you can entertain ideas and thoughts that are different and even opposite of your own.
  • Appreciating the value of opposition (Agilizen Mantra 10) and accepting that valuing uncertainty and opposition make it possible to let go of what you think you know so that you can organically learn and grow.
  • Becoming ready to adapt your thinking, choices, ideas, strategies to fit the challenges, limits and available resources of your current context.
  •  Expect problems and obstacles see them as opportunities to exercise your creative mind, design solutions and strengthen your agile decision-making skills.

2. Emotional Agility

The habit of consciously utilizing your emotional energy to navigate life. We cannot fully control our emotional lives, but we can influence, shape and facilitate our emotional well-being to support both our short and long term best interests. Agile emotional attachments, fear, hope, courage, frustration, anger, mistakes, rejection, perspective shifting and resiliency are all essential ingredients of cultivating the art of emotional agility. 

We must stop thinking of emotions as either positive of negative — and start thinking of them as the FUEL of everything we do life. We need to respect, value and honor ALL of our emotions before we can truly use them to design our lives to be more interesting, satisfying, and meaningful.

Agile message_cardAttaching with Agility is the skill of attaching consciously, deeply and yet lightly enough that you are able to detach easily when necessary is a powerful and necessary emotional agility skill for the digital age and the constant, rapid change that comes with it.

The habit of “agilizing” our attachments to things, ideas, information, people, solutions, systems, technology etc is a prerequisite to overall emotional agility and well-being.

3. Task Agility

The habit of Task Agility is the habit of regularly adapting tasks to fit the situation, context and resources at hand.  It includes the art of strategizing your systems, time, energy and attention to facilitate transitioning from one task, project, or function to the next without fear that you won’t get back to it.

Task agility requires trusting that tasks can be achieved in more flexible, non-linear ways if you keep an open mind about them.

Designing task completion strategies to fit the way your unique brain naturally functions is addressed in one of the 10 AgiliZen Mantras:  Design for Your Brain.

4. Attention Agility

The habit of Attention Agility is the habit of mindfully “paying attention to the way we pay attention”. Becoming aware of how our attention cycles work, our natural limits, what diverts it, and what helps us refuel and sustain it so that we can facilitate our own ability to focus and to be creative as needed.

Attention agility involves designing our commitments and environments with this precious and limited resource in mind. Assessing the cognitive load of each task, decision, project etc along with knowing your own limits and cycles helps you plan more realistic timelines and time when you do things.  Managing the load on your attention circuits throughout the day is a critical skill for managing time, stress and overall health and wellbeing – especially if your career and/or lifestyle exposes you to information and attention overload on a regular basis.

5. Belief Agility

The habit of Belief Agility is the habit of noticing the unarticulated, incomplete and inaccurate beliefs and default settings in our mind that are shaping our emotional life, decisions and behaviors. Agilizen-think-you-know

Understanding that our culture, language, and interactions with others shape our nonverbal unconscious and self-limiting beliefs in extremely powerful ways means becoming humble and patient.

We must accept that changing our beliefs  is a process that involves teaching yourself over time by designing opportunities to experience the new beliefs in action.

It is foolish and arrogant to think that because you’ve had an insight, or believe you “know” the cause of a problem, or that because you “want” to change a belief you can “just do it.”  There are layers to learning and knowing and wanting are only the beginning of the process of actually changing beliefs, behavior and habits.


Bloom's_taxonomy_newSIDEBAR: Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning (shown here) is an effort to show how learning from progresses from being able to remember or articulate something to actually being able to apply what you know or believe.  It’s not perfect but it’s a start at grokking the complex layers of “knowing.”  Unfortunately, the English language does not currently have mainstream words for this, which is why so many people spend so much time developing models trying to define the layers of knowing and learning.  


The habit of bringing beliefs into awareness, compassionately challenging them, consciously designing our beliefs, and facilitating our own inner team to integrate the new beliefs that support our growth, development is an Agile Self-Leadership SKILL that you can learn and master, but even then, it still requires time and experience to change our core beliefs – just like it takes at least 6 – 9 months for a baby to become viable, so it is with beliefs.

The way we increase our belief agility is to be careful of how attached we become to new beliefs when we are successful at changing our existing beliefs.  Being willing to let go of what we think we believe is a  requirement for staying open to new learning.

Knowledge is advancing so fast today that today our beliefs need to be more like “working assumptions” that we are ready to let go of as new insights emerge.  Our personal growth and evolution of wisdom DEMAND mastering this skill and cultivating it into a habit.

6. Learning Agility

Learning Agility is the habit of recognizing when we have a need to learn something new, and ALSO when we need to “unlearn” something.  mistakesUnderstanding that learning requires patience and an open mind, we develop the habit of becoming willing to tolerate being a beginner (beginner’s mind) and become good at encouraging ourselves to courageously (NOT fearlessly) make mistakes.

The habit of self-acknowledging, along with appreciating and celebrating our own effort, and expecting progress to be slow when we are learning something now is vital to teaching ourselves new habits and changing old ones.

5709_586342524727962_1219009130_n Learning agility is essential to breaking through procrastination.

Procrastination is often a learned habit. When you really get that procrastination is actually a powerful form of feedback you become empowered to compassionately “listen to your resistance” and use it to learn about yourself, resolve your inner conflicts, and and then design solutions that support you in moving from stuckness into action.

If you aren’t putting what you think you know into action, some ingredient of full learning or mastery is missing. Rather than “blame” or criticize ourselves that learning “should” be easy, the agile learner seeks to figure out what is needed to inspire deeper learning and ultimately taking action.

7. Commitment Agility

Commitment Agility is the habit of designing our decisions and commitments to make them easier to follow-through on, to gracefully juggle, adjust , renegotiate or terminate as needed.  Trusting yourself to dance with commitments without over-commiting and knowing that you have the time, energy and resources to follow-through is the ultimate source of confidence.

Trusting yourself to juggle commitments with basic self-care needs and ensure that your needs will NOT be ritually and consistently sacrificed to meet other people’s needs is the sign that you have strong healthy boundaries and have mastered the habits of commitment agility.  The way you make commitments is a reflection of your decision-making skills.

How you decide whether to say Yes or No is the driver of your ability to focus your energy and attention without constantly feeling overwhelmed or debilitated by the commitments you’ve made.


8. Expectation agility

Expectation agility is the habit of articulating and clarifying the expectations and assumptions which are at the root of inner conflict, frustration, disappointment and dissatisfaction. When expectations are clear, you become able to openly and confidently negotiate and re-negotiating expectations with people.

 The art of agilizing expectations is essential to designing flexibility AND follow-through into our commitments and avoiding the trap of becoming a “prisoner of your promises.”

– Ariane Benefit

Expectations are often used to compare ourselves to others and deeply shape the way we judge ourselves and others. Unclear, unspoken expectations are usually too rigid or too loose and wreak havoc in our lives and with our productivity. They deeply shape our ability to function in life.

The habit of being able to modify and adjust our expectations to fit the realities of our present circumstances is a foundation of our ability to motivate ourselves and cultivate sustainable success and greater life satisfaction.

Free VIDEO:  What is Personal Agility and Agile Thinking?

I recorded this in 2012….hope you find it helpful.


  • Cultivating Agility provides highly effective alternatives to self-improvement and self-control
  • How we develop and unlearn habits, importance of understanding triggered actions and triggered avoidance
  • Implications of being a natural born “tweaker” seeing potential for improvement everywhere
  • Becoming conscious of how you learn so that you can “shape” vs. control what you learn
  • A new way of thinking about core needs and values
  • Designing FUN, FIT, FLOW, FLAIR and FUNCTION into your life


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7 thoughts on “The 8 Habits of Personal Agility and Resilience for Living in Your Agile Zone of Optimal Functioning

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