Resilience: your biggest secret weapon

We don’t often speak about resilience in our day to day lives. Or perhaps consider it something for extreme situations; a prerequisite for serving in the SAS maybe, or drawn upon when we face personal tragedy. But 2020 brought many learnings, and exposed many new ways of looking at life, and resilience – as well as the ability to grow and foster it – is well and truly on the agenda.

Women in Research’s (WIRe) global theme that feeds into the content and tonality of all our worldwide events is resilience, and it was this framing that led to the first ever UK wide virtual event featuring Yanar Alkayat, Health & Fitness Testing Manager, Hearst Institute, and Vanessa Moran, Co-Founder, Welfy, to talk all about Resilience: Channelling Challenge into Grit.

I wouldn’t want to spoil the event, and would strongly encourage you to watch the recording packed full of great stories and learnings here, but I did want to share a few thoughts that resonated particularly strongly with me.

1. Resilience is something you earn

Just like most skills, resilience is built upon, day after day. It’s the little habitual activities we undertake on a regular basis that fill up our resilience well. Whatever it is, doing two sun salutations (a yoga move, for those unfamiliar, like me!) each morning, or learning how to deadlift 100kg, taking small steps makes good habits stick and build up your resilience.  

2. The challenges of the mind are the biggest challenges of all

This comment from Yanar really resonated with me, and made me think of that Henry Ford quote, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right”. It’s often the insecurities and fears we set up for ourselves in our minds; feeling not good enough, feeling that goal is too far out of your reach, or feeling overwhelmed by the steps taken to get there, that stop us achieving what we want to achieve. But all of these things are in our mind. They’re mental barriers, not real ones, and can be overcome. All is requires is us to make the choice to do so, find the tools to help us, and tackle what we want, head on!

3. Replace fears and anxieties with processes and plans

Especially over 2020, when rules and regulations changed so often, and the direction of life plans were temporarily halted, or altered course, we realised how much uncertainty can impact how we approach life. It’s easy to fall prey to fears and anxieties, and skew your worldview through that lens. But what if you worked at it? What if you took steps to create a plan, however small, and broke down the process you needed to get there?

I think there’s so much to be learnt from learning more about ourselves. And in applying what we learn about ourselves to how we approach our lives, our work, and our passions and goals.

Do you want to find out more about how to build your resilience? Check out the fantastic WIRe event recording here!