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Resilience: Challenges and Pitfalls


As part of our ongoing series on wellbeing and resilience we are revisiting some of our previously published blogs that you may have missed. This post was written by Lise earlier this year.

[blockquote line1=”Maya Angelou”]

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.


When we think about what affects our resilience there are a host of challenges that come to mind. There are the obvious signs: not getting enough sleep, having a poor diet and not getting enough exercise. But for me it is more than that. When I explore the challenges that affect my own resilience, I think of the word ‘flexibility,’ because in order to develop your resilience you need to be flexible and adaptable.

Staying connected

But what else can be a challenge to developing your resilience?

A lack of connection with other people, be that friends, family, mentors, your co-workers or your boss; a lack of awareness of what is happening in your life. We can all get too bogged down with living our daily lives and swept along with today’s social media and technology and that can sometimes be hard to detach from. The ability to separate self from what is happening is important. Our mind-set and world view and how we make meaning and reframe situations is crucial in helping to develop our resilience.

Things that are connected to our ego can stand in the way of developing resilience. This can be fear of asking for help, fear of change, feeling overwhelmed and fear of rejection or being seen as foolish. But as painful as it can be, we need to be open to learning from failure. Mistakes can be fruitful and have lots of learning in them, we just have to be brave enough to see this as an opportunity and grab it when it happens. In order to take risks we have to be open to failure, this will increase our tolerance to failure and in turn increase our resilience. If we value and acknowledge our whole selves as important, then we will value ourselves even if we can’t do something perfect the first time around.

Something that has helped me has been to find the value in being able to create thinking time as well as talking through ideas and concerns with others. This has helped me to become more flexible, adaptable and creative which all helps to develop resilience.

Different kinds of support for different times

Another thing I have learnt along the way is that at different times I have needed different kinds of support – sometimes it has been more interaction with friends, family or colleagues and sometimes it has been mentoring or counselling and sometimes it has been creating more thinking time– it all depends of the circumstances and what is happening in my life.

I like to think of it as not so much developing my resilience but my challenge to maintain and sustain my resilience. We are constantly on the go, having to manage our time and energy, the challenge is to stay connected to what we need to sustain ourselves. Our personal wellbeing is often at the bottom of our agenda.

I think I am much more flexible than I used to be, however I could be mistaken – perhaps I need to stick my neck out and ask those who know me really well if that is how they see me – scary but maybe necessary for my resilience!

To talk more about wellbeing and resilience in your organisation, contact Lise on 01937 541700 or email her.