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Is resilience a shield to protect you from setbacks or a bag of resources?

When I think about resilience an image pops into my head. It’s a person in armour, with a shield out in front of them, protecting themselves from everything that is coming towards them. One foot is in front of the other with the determination to walk forward – they are moving, but slowly.


As change makers, we may have experienced that moment where everything seems to be going against us – perhaps the funding you were banking on didn’t come through, or someone in power is blocking your plans. And this is when we summon our inner strength, dig deep and use our resilience to learn from the situation and keep going. That’s resilience.


Resilience appears in the list of 12 habits of effective change makers from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation – and I can see why.


Creating change very rarely happens overnight, it takes time – sometimes decades – to create sustainable change. And there will be times where we are that person with the shield in front of us, battling through.


When I think of resilience in this way, I understand how it is helpful to us and how it gives us strength to keep going but it also makes me feel drained of energy as it feels like such hard work. And I wonder if you feel it too?


If so, could we see it differently? Dan Hopewell suggests that we could switch the word resilience for resourcefulness. If we do this, how does it change the picture? Now I see a person with a big bag. When there is a hurdle ahead, they look in their bag to see what they have to help them climb it, go under it or go round it. This, for me, feels less tiring which means there’s more energy to focus on creating the change.


Through coaching, I can help you maintain and develop your own resilience, whether that’s through using a shield or a bag of resources. If you’d like to be the first to know about new blogs, drop me an email




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