Tools for Resilience

My process with resilience is ongoing. It ebbs, it flows. I have good moments, I have moments where I can merely cope, but I remember it’s a process. I remember my commitment to positivity. I remember my dedication to hard work and excellence. Every day is an opportunity, every day is a new chance to dare to do something that scares you.

Resilience Case Studies

We all have our own case studies of resilience. I have my shoe story from the Pan American Games. I was knocked down and around during my PhD studies, which I have now successfully defended. I’ve had my heart broken and found the love of my life. While the famous, superhero stories can be encouraging, it is drawing on our own experiences that help to make us better, helps to make us stronger. It is our superpowers that keep us going.

A Note On Perfection

As a recovering perfectionist, we do, in fact, want to be high achievers. Here is where we get let down. When we falter, fail, or fall down we see ourselves as the problem, it elicits shame. Instead of learning, we tell ourselves we are not good enough and we usually quit whatever we are attempting to do. It’s less painful and easier to not have the ‘right gene’ than to admit we need to work hard.

Some ideas on what Resilience is not

We have those days, those moments where all we can do is manage, all we can do is go through the motions. And that is ok, in fact, it is more than ok, and usually part of the process of recovering from something traumatic. Like I found in the research the other day, where dealing with something traumatic in its immediacy may not be effective, I got to also thinking about the strategies we employ that might be harmful to us in the long-term.

Resilience is a Fascinating Engineering Term

How resilient we are depends on the effects, what happens over the course of a period of time, such that we recover to where we first started; except, we’re human, so maybe our recovery profile has us at a higher functionality post-fall. I liken it to this, doing nothing over a period of time is not going to make you stronger, it is not resilience. What you do, who you spend your time with, and how you manage recovery are the various ways that you can recover to the point at which you started or even move further along the graph to become stronger.

What is Resilience?

“Resilience is the ordinary human adaptive response to tragedy, not extraordinary. It is lack of resilience which is abnormal. People also need time to heal, preferably with the help of trusted friends or family. Some may need professional help such as cognitive behavioural therapy, psychotherapy or family therapy. Rapid debriefing after a traumatic event, which some used to advocate, has been shown to make things worse.”

What does Resilience mean to Me

Funny how the world works. The other day I wrote about burnout, today I’m writing about resilience. In a way, the two go hand-in-hand. How you manage your burnout probably says something about how resilient you are. Don’t worry, I don’t believe resilience is an innate ability, I don’t believe it is a destination, I believe it is a skill and a process.
Let me take you through some of my thoughts on what resilience means to me.

So this is Burnout

I ignored all of my own advice about rest. So now, I’m asking you to hold me accountable for taking a break. To be ok with not seeing the numbers in Strava. To be ok with being active for the sake of being active, not for the sake of training. To be ok with just doing nothing sometimes, because some times doing nothing is the best course of action.


Celebrating all that it is to be a girl

Getting to know your inner you

I’m an extrovert-introvert. I am comfortable, and in fact thrive, on a stage in front of an audience, or put me in an intimate setting with my favourite people and again I’m in a joyful, energetic place. Put me in a room with strangers, put me on a schedule and it saps all my energy.