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 Katherine@finerthinking.com 



Go to the profile of Katherine Darbyshire Evans

Katherine Darbyshire Evans

Resilience and Wellbeing Coach for Small Businesess, Finer Thinking

I am on a mission to empower women entrepreneurs of small businesses and their teams to build their personal resilience and wellbeing to enable them to flourish and thrive both personally and professionally. Running a small business, whether or not you employ people, can be isolating and challenging. You can easily become overwhelmed by the workload, constant change and the responsibility it involves. Stress and burnout can creep up on you and I understand that as because many years ago it happened to me. Having personally experienced stress around some major challenges and changes in my life, including redundancy, severe injury and divorce 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 reduce the impact stress has on them, whilst achieving 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 thrive and that requires focusing on creating a culture of resilience and wellbeing. As an experienced coach, with over 20 years in the fashion industry at director level, I help and support women to explore and understand the real underlying causes of their stress that undermines their resilience and help them learn how to manage their thoughts, feelings and behaviours in a 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. In addition to I speak on resilience and wellbeing to personal development groups and also write articles on the subject. I am also passionate about building resilience in children and young people to give them the skills needed for their mental health and wellbeing in an ever challenging world.

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