Harness your inner resilience, even when you don’t feel strong

By Gemma Brown CoachingThe last few months have taken their toll. Many clients and colleagues continue to ‘endure’ and keep on keeping on, quickly using up any reserves of energy, creativity and ability to bounce back.  The continued speed of change, uncertainty and the need to adapt means our strength is rapidly waning.


Our ability to shift and adapt is being tested. In normal circumstances, a good amount of pressure can strengthen us, help us remain focused and stay motivated. Over prolonged periods, however, when that pressure shifts to unhealthy levels of stress, it starts to take its toll. How can we harness our inner resilience even in times we don’t feel strong?

Ask yourself: “What one thing can I do today that will make me stronger tomorrow?”

How to harness your inner resilience:

Name your feelings

Self awareness is a key part of staying strong. Be curious with how you’re feeling and try not to ignore some of the harder emotions. Put a name to what you’re thinking and feeling. Are you disappointed, angry or hurt? If you’re hurt, what is it that hurts? If it’s disappointment, what or who is disappointing you? If you’re frustrated, learn what is frustrating you so you can take action. Awareness of this will help you identify what you need to build your strength.

Attend your own needs first

It may feel counterintuitive to put yourself first, but in doing so you ensure you are able to perform at your best, be creative and problem solve. Recognise what is draining your energy and take action to rebuild your strength. Prioritising your self-care (in whatever form that looks like to you) will help stay stronger for longer. Even if that means closing the laptop at 5pm, setting aside time for a lunch break, or saying no to an unnecessary meeting.

Maintain perspective

Rationalise a sense of what is going on for you. Avoid ‘what ifs’, and ‘maybes’. Set yourself realistic goals, and plan these into your day/week. Be realistic with your time. We often overestimate what we can get done in one day - when writing your daily to-do list, consider how much time each item will take - are there enough hours in the day?

Focus on what you can control

Increased uncertainty means we want to exert more control over things in our day to day lives - even areas we have no control over. Stay buoyant by focusing on what is within your power - your routine, your behaviours, your actions, your attitude.

Learn from each experience

All challenges present an opportunity to learn something. What can you learn from a recent situation or experience that didn’t go as you had hoped? New things about yourself, your strengths, your values, what is important for you? Take time to reflect to feel better prepared next time around.

Celebrate your successes

We often focus on the negative and list everything that could have gone better. This negativity can spiral and drain our resilience. For this reason, it is vital to look at what went well and celebrate. What was your role in making it a success and how could you best utilise that skill again soon? Be proud of yourself and give yourself recognition.

Be kind to yourself

Negative talk, berating yourself and cycles of self-doubt are not helpful and will be exhausting. When you find yourself talking this way, try to turn the words into words of kindness. Be gracious, be gentle. Recognise the things you are thankful for. Journalling or meditating can be a great way to give yourself a bit of space to make sense of your thoughts.

Even the strongest will have their resolve and inner strength tested at times. If practised consistently, these are a few ways you can maintain your strength, build resilience and come out stronger on the other side.