Women and Work

Can we ‘wear’ resilience like a pair of killer heels?

Learn how to wear confidence and resilience like a pair of killer heels! FlexCoach and positive psychology expert Kate Wilkie on how to harness a positive outlook, bounce back from life's challenges and exude confidence.

As we head into the end of year festivities, I’ll probably be rummaging in my wardrobe a lot – looking for the dress or the heels that will suit the event and make me feel great. I know it’s not all about clothes, but a great pair of heels sometimes just give me an extra sparkle of fun and confidence and I love being a bit taller!

However gorgeous the pair of heels are however, they can’t help with all of life’s challenges. When day to day ups and downs are feeling hard to cope with, we need resilience – we need to believe that we have what it takes to bounce back and perform well despite the stress.

We need to be able to show up and face the challenges as our best resilient self!

Who are you at times when you show resilience?

A resilient person is able to work through challenges, drawing upon their inner resources, our strengths, our sense of optimism and our self-belief that we can cope (hard as it sometimes seems!) However, we each have a different set of challenges, and individual strengths and capacities that we can use.

So, what kind of person do you want to be when your resilience is tested?

4 Steps to envision your best resilient self

Just like travelling to a new location, to make a successful change, you need to know what you are aiming for so that you can work out a plan to get there. It’s also fascinating how strong the power of imagery can be.

Once you’re able to see a clear picture in your head, you’ll automatically start to move towards it because you’ll be primed to notice when you have an opportunity to do something relevant or make a good choice. What we focus on growing!

We suggest you consider these questions to build a vision of your best resilient self.

Step 1: What are you doing? How do you want to behave when faced with a challenge? Are you:

– Taking a deep breath before responding?

– Calmly making a to-do list?

– Willing to ask for help?

Step 2: What are you thinking? What’s the story you’re telling yourself? Are you:

– Noticing negative thoughts and trying to replace them with more positive ones?

– Reminding yourself of what you’re capable of, and have managed in the past?

Step 3: What are feeling? It’s normal to have an initial negative emotional response but what happens next? Are you?

– Noticing the negative emotions but trying not to be swept away by them?

– Trying to reframe your emotions – for example, could you become excited about a new opportunity rather than dwelling on how it makes you nervous?

– Accepting that you are human and strong emotions are normal?

Step 4: Where can you find support? In tough times support from others and our environment is critical. Are you:

– Recognising how others value you and believe in you?

– Looking after yourself physically?

– Letting people help you in practical ways?

Just as we can choose to make a statement with a pair of shoes, we can also choose to show up as our Best Resilient Self.

We encourage you to give these ideas some thought. We’d love to see you finish 2017 confident you know how to dial up your best resilient self and use this knowledge to support your life and career goals in 2018! If you’d like some help brainstorming, please sign up for a free coaching chat right now, or put it in your diary to get in touch early in the New Year.

About Kate

Kate Wilkie - FlexCareers

Kate Wilkie has a Masters in Applied Science (Coaching Psychology) from the University of Sydney, and her particular coaching interest is in working with women to increase well-being, boost resilience and guide positive action.

Evidence from the science of Positive Psychology shows that boosting overall well-being can help women to increase their resilience to stress and help to avoid depression and anxiety. This can be particularly important in the early years of motherhood and as their children become more independent.

Using knowledge from her extensive HR work experience and the latest research in Coaching Psychology and Positive Psychology, Kate’s coaching supports women to identify what they’re really looking for in their career, to develop personally meaningful goals in line with these values and to put in place effective action plans to reach their goals. Women have found Kate’s coaching particularly valuable when they are planning to return to the workforce after a break or seeking a new role to progress their career or achieve more balance between work and family.

Over the past twenty years, Kate has worked and consulted across a range of industries and different sized businesses in the public, private and not for profit sectors. This varied experience has given Kate a strong understanding of, and clear perspective on, the challenges and opportunities that each individual and organisation faces.

FlexCareers offers a free 30-minute introductory meeting with our FlexCoaches, to help you establish if coaching is right for you.  You can contact Kate through FlexCareers here, and you can find out more about their practice, Flourishing Mothers, here.


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