I know not everyone does this every year, but it sure seems like a whole bunch of us sort of tacitly agreed that our word of the year since about this time in 2020 was resilience.
And rightfully so, to be sure. We’ve had nothing if not a million new and rather scary ways to test our resilience in the last year.
Interestingly, resilience wasn’t really on my radar too much before the pandemic hit. Looking back, I think I thought I wasn’t particularly resilient when compared to other folks really going through some real shit, setting incredible examples for growth and empowerment through unbelievably challenging situations and change. As I look at it now, I think it didn’t register so much for me because I naturally moved with a healthy level of resilience as a default. It wasn’t until I was specifically asked about it, though, that I could actually identify how strong my resilience muscles really are.
In case you’re not all that familiar, this article does a great job of explaining what resilience both is and isn’t. Sure, resilience means bouncing back, adapting in the face of adversity. But it’s not about avoiding or ignoring the actual adversity, the trauma, the change. It’s about owning it, processing it, growing profoundly from it. If I think about resilience in that light, I can see it in myself, and just about everyone I know.
The article also points out four things that can help you grow your resilience muscles – connection, wellness, healthy thinking, and meaning. And if I put that into context, it’s no wonder I’m a super resilient person, because I am constantly, actively, intentionally practicing every single one of those things. (These are the big things I help clients with too.)
Not to say that every single time I come up against a barrier, experience adversity, stress, or change, I’m through it stronger in an instant because I have well-developed resilience muscles. Not even close. Sometimes, resilience takes over quickly, but many times, it takes time. Not all life challenges are created equal, as, again, we have seen over and over again this past year. And sometimes, it takes using every single tool in that resilience toolbox just to make it through at all.
I’ve shared a bit about this in the last month or so, but one of the places where I have for sure had to flex all my resilience muscles this year and use every tool – plus borrow a few from others and learn a bunch of new ones – is in business. I mean, I’m still standing, and it’s because of resilience. But it has been tested like whoa in the last four months, that’s for sure.
Listen, surviving in the fitness and wellness industry is no joke, friend!
But recently, I had a really cool opportunity to talk about resilience in entrepreneurship with my friend Andrea on her podcast, Resilience Found. It really helped me put so much of this in perspective, and heck, that helped me flex some resilience muscles too.
Andrea and I were friends in college, and while we’ve stayed loosely connected through social media for the last fifteen years, we weren’t really in touch. I reached out and we caught up over Zoom coffee a few months ago, and it was one of those wonderful things where everything was just as it was when we left off. Talking with her brought back a lot of fun memories, of course, but it was all laced with this really cool feeling of understanding and common ground in, well, adulting.
We talked about the challenges of the last year, professional and personal. Andrea shared with me in a somewhat self-conscious manner that she had started a podcast, something she’d been wanting to do for a while but just now had the time to do since she was laid off. I, of course, was ecstatic for her – I’m 1000000% behind doing the things you’re called to do – and told her so. I offered my enthusiastic support for her project, and she immediately invited me on as a guest.
It was at this point that I was like, well yeah, obviously, yes! But also felt unsure of what kind of example of resilience I could offer, what story I could possibly tell. It was one of those excellent and unexpected opportunities that forced me to reflect on and recognize my strengths (so hard), when and how I get to use them, how I’ve grown them, and then share my experience in ways that can benefit others.
I’ll save most of that conversation for the podcast, but I will share one tidbit that a big part of developing my resilience lies in my actual word of the year for the last two years – hope. And the heart of that lies in my faith, which is rooted in trust and love.
It’s not always about hard skills and leadership tools and whatever else. Sometimes it’s just about belief.
On the podcast, Andrea and I talked about my entrepreneurship journey, but mostly in the context of its challenges and how resilience has helped me work through them. I share some of the specific things that have helped me build my resilience muscles, and even some advice and stuff I wish I had known starting out as a business owner. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, I think you’ll like this podcast and pick up a few tips and tools for cultivating resilience in your life.
Oh, and if you’re a mom or an aspiring mom, I cannot recommend checking out all the previous episodes of this podcast enough. The biggest motivation for Andrea to start the podcast was telling the story of how she found resilience through her very difficult pregnancy and post-partum experience. She invited other women with similar experiences to share their stories too (about things like infertility, IVF, and miscarriage), and the first several episodes of Resilience Found are ones you’re going to want to listen to.
You can listen anywhere you listen to podcasts, of course, or directly via the buttons above. Hope you enjoy, and hope you find your way to some resilience in your world too.
Looking to find ways to cultivate more resilience? Schedule a time to chat about coaching, or email me anytime, and we’ll work on those 4 big areas for improving resilience in life. And sign up here to get weekly tips direct to your inbox!