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Resilience - strengthened by adversity

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

Photo by Ivan Vranić on Unsplash

“They are more senior than me and don’t want to hear my opinion.”

“I can’t do it. There are too many meetings, projects and demands placed on me.”

“You must think I am crazy!”

One of the essential roles of a coach and leader as coach is to normalise the feelings expressed to them, to reassure people that they are not the only ones to have them, or indeed that they are unusual. Whether they feel they may be "found out", not listened to or give a poor presentation, the job of the coach is to normalise this experience. To tell them they are not alone, and many (if not most) successful people have the same fears, particularly those driven by reward and status who have not given much time to develop their resilience. As Maya Angelou, the American poet and civil rights activist said,

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."

So how does one build resilience and develop a resilient mindset? We should first tackle what it means to be resilient, a term that has become ubiquitous in management, and self-help books and articles.

Resilience: the capacity to face, overcome, recover quickly, to be strengthened by adversity.

Ask yourself, how is your approach to the difficulties you face in your daily life working for you? What is good, and what is not so good about it? Are you surviving or thriving?

Fragile resilience versus Flexible resilience

Consider these pillars of resilience as a way to help reframe your approach:

  • Physical/Self-care: looking after yourself, do you protect time to recharge?

  • Self-awareness: focus on your emotions, are you in control or being controlled?

  • Social/Relationships: a robust support network at work and home. Who provides you with the support you need?

  • Meaning/Purpose: is there alignment with what you are doing and who you are?

Stay safe, stay well.


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