Resilience revisited

Monday, June 3, 2013 Permalink

I had a session with my life coach, Karen Anderson, last Friday and we talked a little about resilience.

I was in a great mood when we started our skype session and I told her so. But… I was simultaneously conscious that my buoyancy could be fleeting.

It’s something that I’ve long been conscious of – in my sessions with Karen or in other therapy sessions over the years: the mood I’m in at that moment (good, bad or ugly) shapes everything I discuss and how I perceive the world at large. Twice now I’ve spoken to Karen when I’ve been in a really good ‘place’ mentally. Friday was no different as I was chirpy about some opportunities that were MAYBE coming my way.

Even though I’d found out that I won’t qualify for any government support for months, I saw it as the impetus I need to be a bit proactive with my fledging business. I would HAVE to start approaching people and organisations re paid writing / blogging / social media opportunities. So, rather than feeling nervous about paying my bills, I was kinda excited that I would be forced into action.

A part-time job had been advertised which fit me to a T and I was in the running for a four-week job which would help ‘ease’ me back into the workforce after nine months of freedom.

But… even in my moments of positivity I told her, I KNEW – if these other opportunities slipped through my fingers – my world would come crashing down. Again. Albeit temporarily.

I know myself pretty well. I say I’m a pessimist or a cynic. Or both… and I mostly try to be. Otherwise I get hopeful. I start to fantasise about ‘good’ things happening. And then when they don’t, I crash and burn. No matter how prepared for failure (or the lack of success) I think I am.

I need to be more resilient,” I told Karen.

And sure enough… the temporary job fell through later in the day. And another agency I thought would help me look for part-time opportunities proved to be a bit of a dud. Suddenly, the girl who had TOO many choices, had barely any.

And I was deflated. Again I bemoaned my lack of resilience.

However, a day or so later and I’m already feeling better. Almost hopeful. And when I saw this quote on Domonique Bertolucci’s Facebook page I realised that perhaps I was more resilient than I realised.

self confidence

Sure I – fairly briefly – fell in a little hole and started questioning my abilities and my worth. Sure my confidence waned. But… although I’m still not brimming with self-confidence and positivity, I’m back on my even keel. Again I have hope.

And it’s about more than work, business and money.

Last week I struggled with my strength-based training. You may recall I’m trialling an online personal training service offered by Amino Z. The resistance program I was given was / is very doable. But… I just kept putting off the strength work. Day after day. My old dread of the gym came back. Indeed, I almost skipped some training sessions completely because I didn’t want to do the weights component.

Screen shot 2013-06-03 at 2.08.20 PM

But after confessing today, I was reassured by my trainer that what I managed to achieve for the week was okay. Indeed, it was way more than what I was doing just a couple of weeks ago. So, all is not lost and… I have some plans to improve on my efforts of last week that I think will succeed. But more on that later.

How do you deal with disappointment?
Do you see yourself as resilient?

19 Comments
  • Helena
    June 3, 2013

    Thanks for this Deb, very insightful. I realised that I think I’m resilient, but I don’t know…. How I deal with disappointment? Make a conscious decision about what I’m going to do moving forward and (trying) to stick with it….

    • Debbish
      June 3, 2013

      Thanks Helena. I like the forward-looking approach!

  • Liz
    June 3, 2013

    Sadly I could be a lot more resilient. When I crash, I really crash x

    • Debbish
      June 3, 2013

      I think it’s something we could all work on Liz…

  • MIZ
    June 3, 2013

    I am SO RESILIENT—-after about 40 years of learning.
    I watch my child and she seems SO RESILIENT at age seven (!)
    methinks theres some NATURE at play here? I wish I were as resilient as she when I was little.

    • Debbish
      June 4, 2013

      I wonder if (in fact) we were all more resilient as kids. I’m not quite sure but wonder if our reactions to disappointment, frustration etc become more ingrained the older we get?!

  • Lou Lou
    June 4, 2013

    I like being forced into action too. A life coach – gee I think I am going to need one of those when I return to Oz…

    • Debbish
      June 4, 2013

      I do hope it spurs me on Lou Lou. I registered by business 6mths ago and am yet to approach a company or pitch a post / feature article. I’ve been doing some networking but struggle when it comes to the hard sell!

  • Char
    June 4, 2013

    I like that quote. It gives us permission to feel a bit disappointed when it’s warranted but not to wallow in it for too long.

    I like to think I’m resilient but it really does depend on how I’m feeling that day. I had a couple of really crap days to the end of last week but Saturday felt back to normal again. Then Sunday I got my period so I guess my resilience is linked to my cycle.

    • Debbish
      June 4, 2013

      Yes… I guess it’s kinda normal for moods to go up and down. I remember when I did the 12WBT program, Michelle Bridges talked about ‘riding the wave’.

  • Jess
    June 4, 2013

    I’m pretty resilient. My sister is not and I used to watch her failures and see how much worse she made it with her reaction. I vowed never to do that, although sometimes it is hard. My husband struggles with resilience too and it is hard to watch at times. Makes the blow twice as bad.

    • Debbish
      June 4, 2013

      Yes Jess and I think it’s hard to climb out of that slump. I know I can logically remind myself that ‘all will be well’ and ‘it’s not the end of the world’ but believing it (in that moment) can be difficult!

  • Richard
    June 6, 2013

    Hi Deb,
    I think you need to give yourself more credit. From what you have achieved you do seem quite resilient. You certainly haven’t given up!

    I think resilience come from the perspective you choose. In any given circumstance, you have the power to choose if it is a good or a bad thing. Often bad things turn out to be good. I can remember a number of years ago when a business venture I started had basically failed and I had to look for another job, just before Christmas. I was super stressed and pretty disappointed in myself for what I perceived as a failure. I ended up finding another job (not one that I particularly loved) but at the job I actually made some amazing friends. One of these friends actually went on to introduce me to my wife! 🙂 So when I look back now, that failed business venture, at that particular moment in time, turned out to be one of the most important events in my life.

    So I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t be so quick to judge a situation, because you don’t know how life is going to turn out. It may seem bad, but it really turned out to be good…and you just wasted so much mental energy on worrying. And secondly, try to realise that you can change your perspective on anything. Once your mind starts racing in a negative direction, just stop it there and just think of something positive. You’re not trying to delude yourself or anything, but just giving yourself some space and another possibility. If nothing else, this has got you deeply contemplating what resilience means, and why it is important. Surely a very important lesson in life, only learnt through experience.

    But anyway, good luck with your job hunt Deb. I’m sure you are just around the corner from a big break 🙂
    Rich

    • Debbish
      June 6, 2013

      Wow Rich, your comment came at just the right time! Thanks so much for your kind words.

      You reminded me of a conversation I regularly have with a friend here in my new hometown about the fact that the decision we make can have consequences that we really don’t foresee. And quite often they’re positive ones!

      In reality I’ve been really fortunate for much of my life. I say things have just fallen into place, but in reality I’ve probably had to give them a helping hand as well.

      Even now I have an idea for some local business opportunities but am really scared about pursuing them – even though there would be nothing to lose. It’s a little bit about ‘backing’ myself too I suspect.

      Deb

      • Richard
        June 6, 2013

        Oh my pleasure. I’m glad they helped.
        I think if you have some ideas for local business opportunities…then you should GO FOR IT!
        I totally understand that you have fear, and that is totally normal. But it is good to break that fear down and look at what it is, because quite often it can just vanish away. What is the source of the fear? Only you know the real source. But look at it directly and realise that it is not who you are. Never judge yourself. Just put yourself out there and let life work itself out. If you did your best, then what else could you have done? You can only do your best. So don’t judge the result…just enjoy the process and be happy with yourself, because you can do no more.

        Anyway, you will have to let me how you go.
        Take care,
        Rich

  • Paige F. Hurley
    June 10, 2013

    Let me be the first to admit that I am NOT a naturally resilient person. Left to my own devices, I tend to short circuit, or feel like a victim of one of life’s cruel jokes. I’ll overindulge in junk food, or in some expensive habit [COUGH!] makeup [COUGH!], and curl up in a ball to cry.

    • Debbish
      June 10, 2013

      Hi Paige and I’ve traditionally been the same. I think I’m only just starting to change things and am not entirely sure why. Of course, I still have a long way to go!

      Thanks for visiting.

      Deb

  • Neen
    June 16, 2013

    All the other comments here are (as usual) far better than what I have to offer up. But I just wanted to say that although I currently hate the R word because of an annoying new corporate vision, I actually think you seem to be very resilient! You seem to have coped so well with massive life changes over the last little while. Everyone has up and down days but I would never have picked you for a cynic!

    And that second sentence of mine was far too long!

    • Debbish
      June 17, 2013

      It’s nice to know I don’t come across as too negative Neen cos I really feel like I am (and just assume that to be the case!). I try to keep my posts a bit upbeat – if I’m wallowing or being negative I try to look at ‘where to go from here?’ or ‘what can I learn?’

      I haven’t felt particularly resilient over the past few weeks – lots of ups and downs and I’m really struggling with the downs. But, I guess I do get over them which is all I can ask of myself.

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