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10 Ways to build resilience at home and at work.

entrepreneur leadership Feb 27, 2021


Resilience enables us to take setbacks in our stride.

The dictionary definition is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

Psychologists define resilience as adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors.

 How would you score yourself right now?

  • Your Resilience right NOW
  • On a scale of 1 to 10
  • With one being non-existent to 10 being able to bounce back easily, where are you? 

Resilience is a fundamental life skill that you can learn.

  • Resilience will keep you focused when the outside world threatens to unsettle you.
  • It is excellent for your emotional well-being and inner calm and helps you deal with pressure.
  • It enables you to keep a positive perspective and prevents you from taking things out of context.
  • It helps you cope with the ambiguity and uncertainty caused by change and transition and what’s going on in the world.
  • It’s more than just coping and surviving; resilience is a fundamental and learnable life, management and critical leadership skill.


This quote sums up our resilience levels …………


Why is resilience important?

When our resilience is strengthened, it improves our ability to rebound from failure quickly and see that failure as a stepping-stone to success.

We can also do the following more easily…

  • Hold on
    • Hold on to a sense of perspective when things are difficult.
  • Be
    • Be proactive in addressing challenges.
  • Remain
    • Remain optimistic even when things are tough.
  • Be
    • Be creative in finding ways of doing things even when resources are limited.
  • Talk
    • Talk openly about frustrations with trusted colleagues, friends or family.
  • Acknowledge
    • Acknowledge the difficulties of change and accept what has to be let go of.

 What happens when we lose Resilience?

When we lose our resilience, we become rigid in our thoughts, narrow in our emotions and unable to see that we have choices.

 Places to look to recognise where you need to build resilience.

Score yourself how well do you cope in these areas out of 10
1=not coping 10=got it

  • Dealing with the demands of your life
  • Being flexible to adapt to whatever you are presented with
  • Knowing what is important in your life
  • Changing direction when the preferred route is not working
  • Asking for help when you need it
  • Finding what you can take control of when things aren’t certain
  • Controlling your emotions when feeling pressured
  • Facing reality, even when it is difficult
  • Managing your way through difficulty
  • Focusing on actions that move you towards longer terms goals
  • Recognising when others need support
  • Making decisions when others are holding back


Now we know the areas you need to work on – let’s look at what can help. 

What makes you more resilient?


 Awareness is the first step to change.

  • By looking more closely at how you behave in everyday situations that require resilience, you can identify an awareness of when you are at your most or least resilient.
  • This will help you build your 'resilience toolbox.

When we have high resilience, we have:


  • Trusting your abilities, actions, and capacity to deal with whatever comes your way in whatever circumstances increase your choices and possibilities.


  • Adapting to changing circumstances and not staying attached to what is familiar and comforting.


  • Having a sense of purpose and meaning to get through difficult times helps you identify what you’re working towards and why.
  • The meaning may come from goals, values, beliefs or principles.

 Until this pandemic, it wasn’t world events or tragedies such as terrorist attacks, as we would expect. Instead, or even famine, it was our co-workers.

A massive 75% said that the most significant drain on their resilience reserves was “managing difficult people or office politics at work”. That was followed closely by stress brought on by overwork and by having to withstand personal criticism.

 Let’s look at ways to build resilience.

Sometimes life knocks us harder than we expect.

When that happens, it’s helpful to have strategies to help develop resilience while the knock is impacting us.

  1. Mindset

Typical comments, "I am not good enough", "I always get it wrong", and "I can’t do new things".

Question? What are you saying to yourself internally?

Write down what you hear in your head and choose positive alternatives.

Choose positive and constructive vocabulary.


  1. Step out of your comfort zone

Spend every day doing something that takes you outside of your comfort zone – this will give you a higher capacity for adapting to change.

Break down the issues you face when out of your comfort zone and gauge what actions you can address alone.

 Acknowledge what you fear first and act in small steps.

 Create momentum by focusing on an element and rewarding yourself rather than looking at the whole undertaking in one go, which can be overwhelming.

  1. Recognise your strengths

Exercise reflection on your past experiences

Take some time to journal your answers to these questions.

Make a list of your strengths.

Which strengths do you have and consistently draw on, no matter the situation you find yourself in?

What picture is emerging from the combination of strengths you have?

What is the impact of these strengths in tough, challenging and difficult times?

Where do you have the most significant impact?           

  1. Disassociate yourself from your work

Understand that someone challenging your work is challenging your

  • Thinking
  • Ideas
  • or work quality

NOT you as a person

The improvement in your work has a broader purpose, and understanding the value of doing something well, and adding the most significant value possible, is more important.

Action: Find people around you who can interrogate your work so that you build inner strength to be challenged.


  1. Change your language

The language you use provides insight into your mindset – whether you’re thinking in a way conducive to your success and moving forward or not.

We also know that changing language can significantly impact how you feel and see the situation and its results.

When you’re experiencing challenges, try thinking or writing about what you’re trying to achieve using positive language.

6 – Create a larger circle of influence – it will limit your ability to find solutions

  • When our resilience is impacted, we often feel that we can’t influence much, and we only focus on our circle of concern which gets larger and larger.
  • Finding solutions makes us feel better in tough, challenging and difficult situations and expands our choices, empowering us to move forward.
  • Look for the bigger picture in any situation. Instead of focusing on your concerns, switch places with someone and consider their perspective. 

7. Personal values

They are the qualities of a life fully lived from the inside out. When we honour our values, we feel an internal ‘rightness’ – a harmony.

When we do not live our values, there is dissonance, and our lives feel off-kilter.

Values also root and anchor us when things are changing around us.  When we consciously work with them, live them out and use them to guide our decision-making in challenging or pressured times, we feel more focused and purposeful.

Google a list of values,

Choose your top 6 or download my free values workbook here to help you improve your decision making with values:



The following are methods you can use at the moment. Your resilience is being tested. 

  1. Responding not reacting
  • Many scientists believe that the limbic system is the part of the brain where emotions are generated. It tends to get stimulated by events and situations before our rational mind engages.
  • In fact, emotion is triggered subconsciously, kicking in six seconds before the brain's rational side.

In challenging situations, our emotions can become heightened, we may lose our sense of perspective, and we react rather than respond.

In what circumstances are your unhelpful emotions triggered?

A way of maintaining emotional control is to

  • First - accept the experience is (or is not) happening.
  • Accept the experience for what it is, then acknowledge your feelings as unhelpful thoughts.
  • At that moment, if we can accept what’s happening and acknowledge how we feel about it, we can respond to it (act thoughtfully) rather than reacting (taking impulsive action), which has a more positive outcome.
  1. Perspective

Perspective is powerful.

 Sometimes we get absorbed when our resilience is impacted, and we lose sight of the bigger picture.

 Stopping and pausing in those moments is critical to sustaining resilience.

To regain perspective

Ask yourself:

  • Will this thing matter in 2, 5 OR 10 years plus?
  • What would my old wise/future self advise me right now?


10. Relationship/support map

  • Relationships are fundamental to sustaining resilience.
  • Who are you reaching out to in times of need?
  • What is it that they offer you? Advice, perspective, a shoulder to cry on, feedback, space to reflect, encouragement?
  • When we give to others, our self-worth is validated. What could you be giving those people? What do they need?
  • What could you be giving those people? What do they need?
  • Reminder finding ways to give to others validate our self-worth.


Consider how you could give to others which also increases your resilience.

Final stage - your plan – Using the GROW model.

  • OPTIONS - Which strategies for dealing with impacted resilience work for you? What support do you need? Make a note of one or more and how you can use them.
  • REALITY –From your score sheet – look at the lowest scores and think about the reality right now – what needs to be worked on - now that you have some ideas
  • IDENTIFY YOUR GOAL - What are the main resilience suckers in your day-to-day life that we may not have mentioned
  • WAY FORWARD -Looking at your resilience higher scores? Where are your strengths? Think about how you can use these, what are you going to do & by when to become even more resilient

Final thought
Do ask for help from professionals if you feel you need it.

I offer an entire two-hour interactive webinar on this theme. If you would like it for your staff – do get in touch. £297 for up to 15 staff

Get my free workbook here, including illustrated examples


Visit Website Kaidi-Coaching