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Resilience is not linear

Another week, another blog after listening to a High Performance Podcast.

I speak about it a lot, to basically everyone I know, but honestly the value of listening to other people’s views and experiences will just never be lost on me.

I am listening to every episode so I am really far behind, but I am sticking to my rule of listening to every episode in order, and not just those I am already somewhat aware of, who would mostly be the sports personalities that are on there. This order of listening has brought me to an episode with Charlie Pierce. Charlie is a music artist manager who moved from an impressive career in finance, to start her own venture managing musicians/artists. Her podcast was such a breath of fresh air in just being so open and honest, I didn’t feel any part of the interview was contrived from her perspective at all.

There was a lot about her podcast that I loved but I am going to focus on my favourite point that she made. It is something I often think about, especially as a small business owner, and especially as someone who speaks about mindset and wellbeing as part of their work, and that is the fact that you cannot be resilient 100% all of the time. You also do not have to be.

By knowing that our resilience is not a linear process, I think we can truly appreciate what being resilient is. All too often I think resilience is projected out as this constant state of mind we should all be seeking, but resilience is not a form of mindset or a trait, it’s an ability.

Resilience is about an ability or capacity to adapt when faced with change and adversity, some refer to this as the idea of ‘bouncing back’. Whilst some definitions generally suggest doing this ‘quickly’, my own understanding and belief is focused more on the ability and capacity itself.

For me, I take the various definitions of resilience to be about knowing that when change or adversity strikes, you can take a moment to absorb and understand what has happened and how you feel about it; from here you can then apply skills that allow you to overcome it and move forward. This pause to reflect allows you to learn and grow the most. If we focused on the time element, I believe there would be a considerable disrespect to people faced with adversity which is hinged on experiences of trauma. For example, I don’t think you could imply someone who takes 3 years to ‘recover’ from cancer isn’t resilient, yet they have not ‘come back quickly’ as per some definitions.

This idea of not always feeling resilient is absolutely okay. It doesn’t actually mean we aren’t resilient or that we have lost a skill, but in that moment we may feel depleted of the energy or resource to face what we need to – our capacity may be impacted. There may also be external sources that prevent your ability to be resilient at the time or that restrict your access to your usual resources. It may also be because the situation you are facing is new and outside of what you are familiar with, so maybe a new skill or approach is needed. In this space I think the most important thing is identifying the lack of capacity that is felt and to either take it as an opportunity to rest and re-energise back to what we know we have within us, or as an opportunity to recognise that perhaps we need to reach out for external support to learn the new skill that helps us overcome this particular challenge.

We should normalise the idea that we don’t always have to have our own solutions. Sometimes thinking out loud with someone, whether close to you or impartial and separate from your life, can help you just locate your own views and solutions. Sometimes, that person you are with can just bring forward a new view or perspective that can help you challenge and improve your previous thinking.

No matter what avenue you take, resilience development should be an empowering process for you.

If resilience is something you want to explore further then feel free to pop me an email at

Take Care


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