Build your Personal Resilience Toolkit - The key to reduce stress and confidently manage what challenges life throws your way

" You can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf" John Rabat Zinn

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What is resilience? Resilience is the ability to bounce back, recover and go again in a more resourceful state. I believe it is an essential life skill and can make an enormous difference to peoples lives. Understanding that it's not the challenges or setbacks we experience that cause us stress but how we react to them.

I chose to specialise in coaching resilience as a result of personally experiencing a series of difficult and life changing events and the resulting positive benefits from building my own personal resilience toolkit that helped me to bounce back, recover and go again in a more resourceful state. I am happy to share my story and passionate about helping and supporting clients to do the same.

Several years ago I experienced events that were both challenging and very stressful. Being seriously injured as a result of a mugging and being made redundant from a job and career I loved, all in the space of six months, left me feeling crushed, angry and with a sense of loss. Having worked in the fast paced, highly competitive world of fashion for many years I was aware of the importance of being resilient and had read much about it. I had successfully dealt with stressful situations before but this was altogether more momentous and life changing. It affected my whole life, my family and my future.

Knowing that resilience is an essential life skill for mental wellbeing I wanted to learn how I could learn to build my resilience. I had to ask for help and this took me out of my comfort zone. Asking for help wasn't easy, but being able to talk confidentially with a coach meant I could think calmly and safely through my situation and about my feelings. I learnt how to be flexible in my thoughts, behaviours and emotions. It was important to change my attitude and accept I couldn't change what had happened but I could change the way I thought and that would change the way I felt about my situation. It sounds clear enough now but it wasn't easy to do, but changing my attitude meant a major step forward in my recovery both physically and mentally.

Accepting that change is inevitable and by learning to embrace the opportunities change can bring is important. By focusing on my strengths I was able to to start looking at what possibilities and potential there was. Often when we are under stress we forget our talents and achievements and it is important to recognise how integral they are in building our resilience.

Life can be challenging at times but by acknowledging and trusting in my abilities to cope with these challenges I began to move forward and make decisions.  

Recognising my values and spending time and energy on what was important to me helped me rediscover interests that I had long given up whilst working long hours and commuting four hours a day. I began reading for pleasure, drawing and writing again and reconnecting with friends. 

Living in the present was fundamental in building my resilience. Knowing I couldn't change the past or predict the future, living in the moment focused my energies on what was important and also what I could control which greatly reduced any stress. I took up yoga again as soon as soon as I had recovered physically. Being mindful calms the mind and increases brain function and capability and I felt more energised. 

Forgiveness was crucial too, instead of blaming people for what had happened or feeling angry and frustrated I decided to let these feelings be and free myself from negative thinking. After all these negative feelings would only keep me stuck and unable to move forward. Even though I had been hurt and saddened by these events by building my resilience my self-esteem returned. I did not feel diminished or undervalued and I was ready for new possibilities.

By building my resilience means I now have my own personal residence toolkit so whenever I feel challenged or faced with a difficulty I can use the skills I have learnt.  Much of these skills have become automatic and I am aware of what works for me. I am stronger, more resourceful and able to control more effectively how I perceive stressful or challenging situations and my responses to them. 

The good news is resilience can be learnt at any age and by anyone. It takes time but it is an essential life skill that will give you long lasting benefits and help you thrive and flourish in this fast paced, ever changing world we live in. 

Resilience is like a muscle, the more you develop it, the strong it gets.

If reading this has resonated with you and if you think building your own personal resilience toolkit would be helpful I am happy to arrange to chat with you without any obligation. Please contact me by email at 

Kate Darbyshire Evans

Helping women entrepreneurs and designers in the fashion industry who struggle with overwhelm and anxiety to thrive, Finer Thinking

I help women entrepreneurs and designers who struggle with overwhelm and anxiety to rethink their response to stress and learn how to accept, embrace and utilise it to become more resilient, happier and more successful. Stress is inevitable but by changing your attitude to stress you can transform your challenges and difficulties into opportunities and possibilities. Utilising stress can be liberating and empowering by choosing to see stress as your friend, rather than seeing it as your enemy. By building your resilience you will be able to remain flexible in your responses to your thoughts, behaviours and emotions when under stress. Learning how to transform stress and make it work for you is exciting and liberating. As a result you will feel more empowered, confident and resilient and be able to: • rethink and change your attitude to stress • know what it means to be good at stress • embrace challenges with confidence and positivity • persist in the face of setbacks • use anxiety to help you rise to your challenges • see effort as the way to mastery and achievement • turn nerves into excitement • how to turn a threat into a challenge • turn adversity into a resource • turn self focus into bigger than self goals As an experienced coach, with over 20 years in the fashion industry at director level, I love helping and supporting women to explore and understand the real underlying causes of their stress that undermines their resilience. My aim is to bring clarity, motivation and purpose by helping them challenge their attitude to stress and move from a fixed mindset towards a growth mindset. To learn the skills to respond to their thoughts, feelings and behaviours in a positive, powerful and sustainable way. This enables them to strengthen their resilience and increase their self-esteem so they can more confidently deal with the challenges that life throws their way. Running a business, whether or not you employ people or not is often isolating and very challenging at times. You can easily become overwhelmed by the workload, constant change and the responsibility it involves. Stress and burnout can creep up on you. I understand what burnout is like that having personally experienced severe stress in my twenties. I have also experienced some major challenges and changes in my life, including redundancy, severe injury and divorce so I appreciate and value the importance and benefits of developing resilience and self-care. Women want to manage their lives better, both practically and emotionally and achieve their goals and aspirations. As an owner and manager of people it is important that you create an environment where you, your people and the business can flourish and thrive. This requires focusing on becoming resilient by developing a growth mindset and accepting and embracing stress rather than trying to avoid or reduce it. In addition to I speak on how to rethink and transform attitudes to stress to empower women and build their resilience. I also write articles on the subject.