Why Developing Resilience is Crucial for Your Wellbeing and Success
In this episode, we’ll cover practical strategies to become more flexible and adaptable, bounce back from setbacks and failures, and cultivate a positive outlook by focusing on our strengths and successes.
It’s okay to feel negative emotions when things don’t go as planned. We learn how to boundary this in a healthy way and how to interrupt negative patterns and get back into a positive outlook without getting pulled in to a downward spiral.
Learn how to reframe failure so that your brain recognises it is a part of success. By perceiving setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow, we can build resilience, develop a more positive outlook on life, and step courageously forward toward your goals.
Join me for an insightful dive into building resilience within ourselves and learn practical tips and strategies to thrive in any situation.
Free Guided Meditation Set
Unwind stress and build resilience with my free guided meditation set here: https://resources.meegancare.co.nz/meditation-mp3
Full Episode Transcript
Resilience is such an important concept, but also muscle and way of being for our personal growth and our success, however we define our success, resilience is that capacity to bounce back from challenges, to overcome, setbacks, to keep going, even when we’ve experienced a failure.
And the good news is resilience can be learned. I did see a piece when I was researching this podcast around [00:01:00] five pillars of resilience, and I thought it was quite interesting and really helpful. So the first one was self-awareness. Second, mindfulness, third self-care. Number four was positive relationships, and number five was purpose.
And when we think about purpose, often I do hear from women that they aren’t sure about what their purpose is, so they kind of feel like. Mm-hmm. They can’t make a whole lot of progress until they really figure out what, what their purpose is. Well, even if you can’t put your purpose into words, you don’t have something that could be a book title or something that you could tell people, this is my purpose in this life.
You are already living your purpose. You know, the fact that we’re here in human form, having relationships with other people. Building our business, working in [00:02:00] our professional life, raising children, building healthy relationships, that’s all intertwined with our purpose, and I know it’s very attractive to want to be able to name our purpose in a very direct way, but being really clear that even if I can’t do that, Hey, you’re still living your purpose.
So those are the five pillars of resilience. Let’s get into how we can build more resilience within ourselves. So resilience includes being able to be flexible. So if I have a goal or an intention and I don’t meet that goal or something trips me up, even just on a daily basis in terms of my schedule and appointments change.
In the past, that would’ve really thrown me, and it used to show up quite significantly, like in my personal relationships if somebody changed plans, my [00:03:00] partner would change plans for us or for him. I would get really angry about it or upset about it and, and not be able to adapt really easily.
And so that was a, a mental adaption that I wasn’t able to make as easily as I can now. And so, because a lot of my safety or my sense of emotional safety was resting in knowing what was happening next. Knowing that I had some control because I knew what was happening next. Right? So that’s just a normal thing that our brain does.
And so then when my partner would change plans on me or change plans quickly without warning, it really threw me. And I used to get into quite a bad mood about it without realizing why and what was underneath that, that I had some [00:04:00] rigidity around timing and around planning that when that was thrown out, I felt unsettled.
I went into a bit of fight and flight fight actually. Ha ha. And even so this is the awareness piece. Even just recognizing that has been really helpful for me to see when plans change and I’m not the instigator of those changes that I can go into fight and flight. But it’s like it’s a nervous system response.
It’s a stress response. So if I can understand it from that, this is outside of boundaries and right relating and people pleasing and all of that, putting that aside, if I can understand when those changes happen and I have this nervous system response to it, a fight and flight response. Then I can see that it’s caused me to become dysregulated.
So I didn’t have to do a massive amount of work on that because the awareness was enough to like [00:05:00] kick me into facing into it in a different way. So that was a thread of resilience that I’ve been able to grow in pretty recent times and has been helpful for me in my personal relationship, but also in my work life.
So that’s a simple, mundane, every day example of resilience. But I think our, you know, our success is made up of many, many mundane moments, days, steps in our life. So we want the big goal, we want the incredible life intention that we, you know, we envision for ourselves. Well, how we get there is making those small steps.
On a daily basis, and resilience helps us to do that. So we’re gonna talk about some more around understanding resilience. We’re gonna talk about how we can build some more resilience so that we can bounce back better from setbacks. We are going to talk [00:06:00] about maintaining a positive outlook, and I will preface that by saying we don’t always have to have a positive outlook a hundred percent of the time.
To be on an upward trajectory with our life and with our view of the world, right? We can have those dips, but still have that curve on a graph of a positive outlook. So resilience is really, really important because it helps us bounce back from setbacks. It helps us to recover when we meet failures, and it also helps us to actually put our failures into context so that they don’t become all encompassing so that we don’t fall into a downward spiral when we meet setbacks.
When we have failures, when things don’t go the way that we’ve planned, and so [00:07:00] learning the tools to move yourself out of that downward spiral or that downward curve is part of resilience and in terms of self-awareness the more aware we all are of our internal experience, the more quickly we can catch when we’re in a downward spiral of thought, of self-criticism, of procrastination, of inner name calling, which can all come about when we have setbacks, when things don’t go the way that we’ve planned.
So the more aware you are of your feelings and of your thoughts, the more you can catch that downward curve into a really negative mindset and emotional state. So we might have examples in our life where we’ve had really big setbacks. So [00:08:00] a big example in my life was my health journey with chronic disease, and Crohn’s disease, and that was a 10 year study really in the art of resilience, where I had that downward curve.
My health got really, really bad and I slowly, slowly recovered my health. But along the way, there were many, many moments where I would have a win. And then I’d have a setback. I’d have a win, and I’d have a setback. And the the naturopath that was helping me at that time, he would always say, and he used to draft me nuts.
Two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward, one step back because I hoped, wished, held on to the hope that one day I would just wake up and I would be well. And this nightmare would be behind me. It didn’t work like that. It really didn’t. He was right. Damnit. It didn’t [00:09:00] work like that. I really had small wins.
Small losses, small wins, small losses, but the small wins outweighed the small losses. And that’s very much the case for many of our goals that we are moving towards. And so, Being able to be resilient through that process is such a key element to success. So if we. Say, take for example, an online business and so I have some clients that have a small business, they’re online and they might put an offer out and it’s not in their mind a success and by the numbers, it’s not a success either cuz it didn’t meet the goal that they had for it.
If they don’t have the level of resilience that’s going to serve them, then in that moment, They might, you might take that as a sign that your business is a failure. You’re never gonna [00:10:00] succeed, have you ever had these thoughts come up in your mind when things have gone. Astray when they haven’t worked out how you wanted them to.
You have that inner narration, I’m just a failure. This is never gonna work. I may as well give up. That’s actually a really, really normal thing that shows up in our mind. And so again, we come back to awareness. Okay, so these are thoughts that are going on in my mind. And they a response to this disappointment that’s happened to this failure that’s happened.
But I get to choose in this moment if I’m going to believe them. And I could also choose to see them as thoughts that are coming from emotions, feelings. Feelings of disappointment of that I’ve failed, I’ve got this wrong. The thoughts are coming from those feelings, and we know that our emotions are temporary, and so it’s [00:11:00] really good.
To have that awareness and to give that space to our thoughts and know that our thoughts are temporary as well, that they are not a sign from the universe that you should necessarily be giving up on your goal. Resilience means having the capacity to meet all the little failures along the way to your success and knowing.
And learning that this is part of walking our path to our goal. Unfortunately, I think because of how we are marketed to online, we, we are marketed to with really big success stories and overnight success stories, but the reality for 95% of us is that we might have that big goal and. Our path to that big goal is going to be a series of [00:12:00] small steps over a longer period of time that will involve some wins and some losses.
And as soon as we can shift our perspective around that, around taking steps to our goal, then we are building resilience. And this is, I, I really think this is what separates. People who meet their goals, who, who live, the intentions that they set themselves, and people that give up and turn to the next thing.
Try the next thing, try the next thing, try the next thing. I’m all for changing direction at the right time and under the right circumstances, but I also think that it’s really important to look within ourselves and to become aware of – do I need to grow a little more resilience within myself or in my case, a lot of resilience?
I think I was [00:13:00] subject to all of that marketing hype that has shown to us online over the years in my field of expertise in, in the wellness space where you could have this overnight success. And so if I wasn’t getting that, then was I doing something wrong? Was there something wrong with me? Was it just not meant for me?
Am I just not good enough at what I do? Would be some of the thoughts my brain would throw me? And I think for a lot of us out there, there’s so many of you practitioners, wellness owners, small business owners, you are all really, really good at what you do. You’re really good at what you do. That’s not the reason why you haven’t got
to where you wanna be yet. And so this flows back because when we have that expectation that we’re gonna be that overnight success or we are gonna be discovered, there’s a lot wrapped up in that, [00:14:00] around being saved, being discovered a lot that is unhelpful for us. And as women, it is the, the fantasies, the fairy stories and movies and stories that we read.
It’s all around us. We have to unwind that unconscious belief around being saved. And I think that that overnight success story that is marketed to us and that sometimes we probably fantasize about is part of that in the mythmaking of what it is to be a woman in our culture. And we get to 40, we get to 50, and we start to realize that that’s not life.
That’s movies, that’s not life. So resilience is about being able to tolerate the discomfort of not winning, not succeeding, of failing, of making mistakes, of not being where we wanna be at a certain time according to our [00:15:00] goals, our intentions. Our vision board. So in terms of maintaining a positive outlook, so this is part of resilience, right?
But I like to think about it as it’s neither on or off. You know, it’s not black or white. We don’t have this straight line where we always have this positive outlook that’s not realistic about being human because we are wired for a negativity bias that’s like a safety mechanism in our brain. So our brain is, is Velcro for negativity.
So it’s looking out for it. It sticks to us any small negative comment that someone makes, it sticks in our brain and it’s more like Teflon for positivity. So you get an amazing testimonial from a client. You get some great feedback from someone in the workplace. You get a compliment from [00:16:00] someone and it just slides on. off you might get a few moments of a little thrill, a little bit of positive feedback inside your brain. Body system, but it’ll slide right off and you will not remember it next week, most likely. And that’s why I encourage, like new practitioners, small business owners, if you’re in the professional workspace and you get that good feedback, keep yourself a swipe file of it.
It’s really, really helpful. Keep them all in that file. You might need them one day to really. Do a reality check on how you’re thinking and feeling about yourself and your progress, because our brain is wired for a negativity bias, and that’s okay because that’s a safety mechanism. That’s something that’s kept us alive as a human species for all of these years.
However, it’s not that helpful on the day-to-day when we are [00:17:00] moving ahead and making those singular small steps and actions towards our goals. The way I see a positive outlook is that generally we can talk to ourselves kindly. Generally, we can have a kind and supportive inner narration.
If we don’t have that, we probably have to do a little bit of deeper work around that to unwind that really negative inner critic. Yeah, you can do it pretty quickly, but it is a really important piece. Some people use affirmations to try and stay on that positive outlook. I think they’re helpful, but we really need to acknowledge the negative first only in terms of our awareness, so
by acknowledging something I might acknowledge a negative feeling, [00:18:00] I’m not necessarily. Believing it as a fact about myself, so I might have a feeling of I failed. I might have a thought that says I’m a failure. I failed. Therefore, I’m a failure. A thought like that repeated over and over and over again becomes a belief, and then it becomes self-perpetuating.
It gets fed back in every time we meet a setback or a failure. So in terms of, and if you are really caught in a loop like that and you can recognize it, that’s where it is really helpful to get someone like me to help you to break free from that, to reset how your brain perceives the world around you and your actions within the world.
But in any case, if you’re not like really caught in a really tight loop with that, I’m a failure, I’m not good enough belief, it’s actually okay that we have a negative feeling. A negative thought, a [00:19:00] negative outlook from time to time because I think it’s really important that we don’t try and override negative feelings in response to a setback or a failure or a disappointment.
Something’s not gone the way we’ve planned it to go. It’s actually more healthy to feel the feelings that are connected to that. Give yourself some time to feel the disappointment, the sadness. The grief, the anger, the frustration, whatever it is, let yourself feel it. Journal about it. If you want to journal about it.
That can be a really helpful way to get them out on paper so that you can see them with your logical, rational mind. Give yourself some time and space to do that, , and then after a period of time, Give yourself an interrupt, give yourself a pattern interrupt that is gonna get you back into that positive outlook and that pattern interrupt could be talking over with a friend who has a neutral to [00:20:00] positive outlook on life.
Yeah. We don’t want to be maybe talking over with a friend who’s really negative and gonna. Bring you down some more. You can talk it over with a friend. You can do some gratitude practices. We are really grateful for the simple things in your life that are here right now.
We are breathing this ear, we’re looking at this sunshine. We have this beautiful pet next to us. Whatever that is for you, you might go back and look at that swipe file that I suggested before around that positive feedback from clients, from team, from the world around you that is gonna remind you of the goodness in you and the positivity in you so that you can start to change gears.
So it, to summarize that, I don’t think having a positive outlook means always being positive and always looking on the bright side. I think it means when you have a [00:21:00] setback, when you have a disappointment, feel those feelings. Give yourself some time with it, but don’t make it mean. Something about you or something about your life or notice that those sorts are coming up.
And when that time is done, you’ve let yourself grieve. You’ve let yourself have those feelings. Then you do a patent interrupt. Could be moving your body. There’s many ways to do this. It could be leaning back into your values. Why do you do this thing that you do? Your business, your practice? Why are you in this field in your career?
There was a deeper meaning in you that drove you towards this. Lean back into that. Now broaden out. Another great tip for shifting into a positive outlook if you need it, is to look five years down the track. Oh, that contract didn’t work out. [00:22:00] I didn’t make that sale. Our numbers weren’t that great that last month.
Will this matter in five years time, will this one thing matter in five years time? Most likely it won’t. What will matter in five years time is that you are able to feel your feelings, give yourself time for that, and then you were able to do a pattern interrupt and you were able to keep taking action towards your goals.
And what will matter in five years time is your relationships with other people, your values, your acts of service, not this one thing that has been a setback. Of course, I really value mindfulness and meditation for building resilience within us, and I’ve meditated for three decades now. It’s been such an important part of my life and.
It’s been really helpful to help me see where I’m tripping myself [00:23:00] up in terms of resilience. Is it in my day-to-day? Is it in a deeply held core belief that I actually have about myself where I’m seeing every little setback through that core belief of not feeling like I’m good enough? And if that’s the case, then we have that deeper psychological work to do.
Or am I just like looking at these setbacks and failures and labeling them as big giant failures as meaning from life itself, from the universe of, oh, well it’s not meant to be this. Maybe this just isn’t for me. Well, the thing is, anything that you want to achieve, whether it’s in your business or your career, or generally in your life, it’s gonna take some work.
It’s gonna take those small wins and those small fails, and the sooner we can shift our mindset around that to accepting that that is part of [00:24:00] success, that failure is part of success, and we can make that mind shift in the way we perceive it, then. We are growing our resilience, then our like resilience bucket is filling.
And so then when our resilience bucket is more full, when we have those setbacks, when we have those failures, they don’t feel nice, right? Because that’s showing us that, oh, oh no, hang on, change direction. That’s not where I wanna be. That’s not the action I’ll take again, I need to look at something deeper.
But we have that resilience that is more full, so we can lean into it and be nourished by that resilience. Okay, so this didn’t work out. I didn’t feel good about that, but guess what? I’m gonna keep going. I have faith in myself. Even when I have those negative feelings about my experience, I know that I’m gonna [00:25:00] keep going in my book.
This is resilience, mindfulness and meditation is really helpful in that because we, we have more awareness of our experience so we can see when we’re on that downward trajectory or on the upward trajectory, we can calm and settle ourselves. Cuz very often setbacks will trigger our nervous system into fight and flight and to not good enough and to those negative beliefs that we have about ourselves.
So, In those cases, if we have a regular meditation practice, we are building that stability within our nervous system to function more within that middle ground range. So to sum up, Resilience is such an important piece for us in our lives, is definitely a key word that’s out there at the moment.
A lot of people are using it. Hopefully I’ve bought some more insight to actually what is resilience and what does it look like in our lives. It’s not this thing we buy off the supermarket shelf and [00:26:00] have in our back pocket, but it is a skill that we can grow within ourselves so we can have more access to it in our everyday life.
It includes flexibility within our nervous system. It does include being able to bounce back from setbacks and not have them mean that we have, because we’ve, one piece has failed, that the whole project, the whole goal has failed and so we just need to drop it. Resilience does mean that we learn how to talk to ourselves in a kinder way, that we learn how to reframe negative self-talk and that understanding of that piece that not only do thoughts, fuel emotions, but emotions also fuel thoughts.
So if I’m having a really negative thought about something, I’ll definitely be feeling it as well. The key thing with this is [00:27:00] to give some space to it. Not believe everything that your mind tells you. This is a circumstance that’s happening right now where you’re feeling a feeling. In five years time, you are not going to be feeling that feeling anymore because feelings and thoughts are impermanent.
So learning how to feel your feelings, but then boundary that. With a pattern interrupt and your pattern interrupt might include reframing negative self-talk as an example. It could be, oh, I’m such a failure. I’ve just completely freaking blown it. I’m a failure. I’m not good enough. You might reframe that too.
I failed at this one piece, and I also know that every failure is leading me closer to success as long as I don’t abandon myself as long as I learn from this experience, this failure right [00:28:00] here is leading me closer to success. I am good enough and I am worthy. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of that on a moment by moment basis, especially when we are facing adversity, especially when we are in that current moment of something has gone wrong, we are facing that setback. You might need to remind yourself. Even while you’re having those disappointed feelings, the negative feelings that actually those feelings are a part of this experience, but in your totality as a human being, you are infinitely worthy. You are absolutely good enough.
You are learning in your life. Just like when a toddler falls over when they’re learning to walk, you are not telling them that they’ve failed. Of course they haven’t failed. They’re learning to walk. You are learning to succeed. I’m learning to succeed, [00:29:00] and we’re growing our resilience by having these fundamentals in place.
Hey, my friends, I hope that’s been helpful around growing your own garden of resilience. I do think it’s something that we continue to grow throughout our whole life because you might grow your resilience to a certain level, and then what happens? You expand out in your life. You reach for more, you take on more goals, you take on more things in your life.
You expand your life, and so then you will be met with more setbacks, more challenges, and more failures along the way as you are growing. And so I think growing our resilience is really a lifelong process, but that that’s joyful, right? That’s not a burden that is really joyful because the more resilience you have, the easier it is to grow resilience through all of life’s situations.
And one key piece, the last, last [00:30:00] key piece that I want to add is that resilience grows when we are in connection with others. When we’re in connection with support of others or just others that are able to hold space for with us, for us to hear our story, to be neutral listening and are able to connect with us through those struggles because, hey, community is so important.
Community and connection, build resilience and we really, really need that piece. So no matter what level of adversity you are facing right now, whether it’s, you know, you’re on your way to a business goal or like my experience when I was in my twenties, you are facing a really difficult health challenge.
Take what works for you out of what I’ve said. Implement just one thing. Is it the positive self-talk, [00:31:00] the kind and compassionate self-talk. Turning around that the voice of the inner critic, is it building your awareness? Is it letting yourself feel your feelings when there’s a setback? And then knowing when it’s time for the pattern interrupt.
Choose one thing from this episode. Implement it in your life. Practice it over and over for the next week. That’s what I tell my mindfulness students to do. We learn these informal practices within mindfulness are tools and techniques that you use in mindfulness, and their only job throughout the week, aside from meditating, is to take one of those tools, not all of them, but one of those tools and implement them in their life because when you implement it over and over again, So it could be the reframe around the negative self-talk.
Then it becomes a part of you and it becomes just a natural part of your everyday functioning, the way your mind works. Okay. My friends have an amazing work. [00:32:00] Build that resilience. We are human. We are growing our resilience all the time. So much love to you. I’ll speak to you soon. Hey, thanks for joining me on the podcast.