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Three Myths About Resilience

2020 has been a masterclass in stress and adversity and resilience has been the trending antidote of choice. Building your resilience is incredibly empowering but there are some unhelpful ideas about resilience out there...

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metal horse sculpture against blue sky
Photograph by Crawford Jolly

IT’S ABOUT ENDURANCE

Resilience and endurance are ‘near enemies’. Near enemies is a Buddhist concept that describes two things that sound very similar but produces opposite results. If you are working on endurance, you’re going to become more and more depleted, negative and ineffective. Eventually, you’ll experience burnout. If you’re resilient, you are energised, engaged and productive. You’ll know when you need to take time out, and why rest is a non-negotiable in your success playbook. 

IT’S ABOUT POSITIVE THINKING

Focus only on the positive, and there’s no boss too toxic, no opportunity beyond reach, no emotion too big to handle.

It may surprise you, but I disagree!

There’s no value in saying things are fine when they are not. When your boss is a bully or you want to be an opera singer but can’t hold a note. Or you are worried about your livelihood, and your loved ones in a global pandemic, the ‘Think Positive!” mantra is toxic.

Resilient people acknowledge positive and negative emotions.

They understand what their negative thoughts are telling them and how they can undermine their performance and impact others. They learn how to manage and balance negative emotions by cultivating realistic optimism and focus on learning and connecting with their purpose in stressful times. 

IT’S ABOUT BOUNCING BACK

Resilience is known as the ability to “bounce back” from adversity. This is an important facet of resilience, but it’s not the focus of my work with clients. 

The more exciting aspect of resilience is as a skill that helps you lean into opportunities; to get visible, to step-up and speak-up. In my opinion, resilience is the secret sauce that empowers you to consistently get out of your comfort zone, and get into the stretch zone, so you can truly succeed. It’s the capacity to “bounce forward”.

At a time when we are all tapping our stores of resilience, it may help to ask: 

  • What does resilience mean to me? 
  • What words come to mind? 
  • How do I know when I am resilient? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these resilience myths, and any others you hear often!


Caroline work with people who are already smashing it, and have more to give. So why are they working with Caroline?

Because they recognised they are: 

  • Experienced experts but don’t know exactly where it leads or how to get there.  
  • Overlooked and unrecognised and it costs them time, money and career satisfaction. 
  • Ready to fulfil their potential and need to invest now or miss the boat.

So, if you’re feeling STUCK and want to take a step towards:    

  • A new role, a promotion or to figure out how to switch to a more meaningful career.  
  • Becoming more visible as a leader, as a speaker or in your network.  
  • Leaving the corporate career behind and starting up your own business. 

Get in touch with Caroline here, over on LinkedIn on IG.

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