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Change – An Opportunity for Building Resilience

Silicon Valley is never complacent and holds secret reminders of how change occurs frequently. In this article, I will cover ways to build resilience and some very practical ways you can observe ‘change and disruption’.

The picture you see here is a classic example of an opportunity for building resilience because behind the seen there is more to the thumbs up than meets the eye. On an ecosystem building mission with Startup Catalyst, all community leaders I am sitting in front of the Facebook sign-in silicon valley, sorry to bring up the bleeding obvious, but keep reading and you will understand a little better.

What you don’t see…

What you don’t see is the story behind the scene is a daily reminder to Facebook employees that if we don’t make every minute matter we could be gone! Because every time each employee of Facebook comes to work; on another side of that sign is the previous company name that use to be just a successful as Facebook and it is still visible to the staff. This is a purposeful reminder that “that could be us” so do your best and make everyday matter and do you best. A harsh reminder that no business is immune no matter how it looks from the outside. (Thumbs up!)

Change is constant

Life is always giving us opportunities to build resilience, to prove ‘we can’, it just depends on if we are open to seeing what we can learn from it. Change is constant and without change, we stagnate and stop learning.

So take each opportunity to build your resilience muscles. and this is one of those opportunities.

But what does resilience really mean?

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setback and failures.  Which in turn results in building confidence right. With COVID -19 disrupting our lives as we know it, now is a great opportunity for building resilience, building relationships, changing habits and taking time to seize each opportunity as it presents.

Through this time, take the opportunity to notice the little things you do in business and life. Look at behavioural changes and look at for all the micro shifts that occur.

The purpose for my sharing this and writing it in a blog is to build hope and perhaps perspective on putting your own experience to use toward your own personal growth and a reminder that we are very resilient creatures and have endured a lot over time.  

See related article: The art of Intention in business and Life – How it affects your daily life

To give you practical ways to deal with the emotional roller coaster. It is my intention to help you to see how your own story of resilience is useful now more than ever to help us through tuff times. Specifically for those of you have lost your job or your job is under threat because everything is changing and we have to find new ways to reinvent yourself or your career.

The good thing is that will emerge from this experience of COVID-19 just as we have every other event as a stronger more resilient person. Why? Because you have more information than you did before you have experienced something new and you had to be agile and find ways to make things work. We will appreciate the luxuries of travel more and we will find ways of utilizing transport in different ways. Innovation comes from these kinds of disruptions.

Where there is change there is opportunity waiting

Where there is a change in behaviours, there is an opportunity if you choose to observe. Strangely this event is bringing us closer together by being far apart and appreciating the things we took for granted.

Social distancing is not something we have ever had to endure. It’s a strange concept that is unknown to most of us. It’s a strange new concept. But through it all in our own little way will gather confidence through hardship and new perspectives.

Having to social distance ourselves and self-isolate has caused us to bond more. With COVID19 threating our existence and testing our daily ways, all we can see is our ordinary lives are totally interrupted. You might even notice friends doing things they love like art and crafts, finding inventive ways to do things.

It’s up to us to find new ways to do our routine and rituals find the opportunity to build resilience. To take advantage of disruption. Rather than waiting for things to go back to normal, be proactive and create opportunity and that’s what I am seeing more and more. Each day I am seeing people do amazing things to take advantage of this opportunity.

Home delivery’s, reuse of clothing (some rather undesirable) and I love how we are finding the opportunity to laugh about it.

Look for the opportunity in disruption

Many industries are thriving while the long term effects on many industries are still unsure.  We strive forward to becoming more connected socially than before.

Social connection and building community seem to be a priority for people and businesses at the moment.

Industries are under enormous pressure to grow exponentially while others are closing doors. With this global disruption, consequently, some things will change forever. But, I think that our stories throughout this time in our lives will all have incredible lessons to draw from.

The best time for innovation is through times of disruption

History has shown us that opportunity for innovation is through disruption and that time is here now. It is the perfect time to reflect and to challenge ourselves to grow and develop better ways to do business and life.

Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, and it is present all around us. We see it in nature, in people and animals in life as a force.

When we are forced or made to comply to face challenges, it allows us to discover something about ourself and others. It might even create rebellion. It is all new information, helping us to think laterally when perhaps you got into a habit of just looking at things in a linear fashion because that’s what you were most comfortable.

Find Resilience Through Experience

What you have achieved in the past is the proof point that you can draw upon to know that whatever you put your mind to you can do it.

Sometimes looking to what you achieved in the past can make you feel confident to do what you need to get through what you need to now.

You may have heard this story before, but it is my story of building confidence through change, and it’s one of the things I have done in life that I am really proud of achieving because it was my dreams to sit in the pilot seat and be the pilot.

I want to remind you that you have a story of adversity inside you too, so I encourage you to tell that story.  

Everyone has a story to tell

So write that story. I dare you!

Here is a little story of mine I would like to share with you.

One thing I am proud of in my life is learning to fly and being that captain of my own aircraft, after leaving my job as a flight attendant career of 20 years. (Kendel airlines, Qantas and private flying)

As a kid I struggled at school, so I left school bearly scraping through, so I joined the military.

I always dreamed of flying (being a pilot) it was something I thought only smart people could do! So, I became a flight attendant (and married a pilot).

In my mind flying a plane, solo meant I had to trust myself enough to be in command. It was just a dream. That story of “I am not smart enough went on for a long time” until I studied Neuro-Linguistic Programing to change my mind about what I wanted to achieve in my life. So,  I thought I would put my training as a master practitioner of NLP to the test. I learnt to change the story and be in the pilot seat of my life.

My first solo was at 43 years of age!

To take off, manage inflight procedures, navigate, communicate and land a plane on my own that was the challenge, and I thought ???? “if I could do that I could do anything in my life”. That was my proof point.

Now I have 100 hours flying time in my logbook.

My point is that we all have challenging times.

We all have limiting beliefs.

We all have a story in our heads or excuses why we can’t – it’s just a story!

We all have strengths and weaknesses, and that’s ok.

We all have it in us to achieve whatever we can imagine being right about ourself. And if you dare to face and challenge your fears, your beliefs change.

What is your belief?

The belief that I could never be a pilot was something that I believed for a very long time until I proved myself wrong. What is the limiting belief story you are telling yourself?

This old story was something I lived with most of my life until I changed the pattern. It was no one else’s story but one I created through the information I had from the past.

My parents were always supportive and always have been. They gave everything they had in them to give me a good education, the best, but I hated school. The story I came away with was it was a limiting story. But I didn’t let my education or lack thereof, I just kept moving forward the best I knew how.

The limiting beliefs started unconsciously, and something I decided a long time ago. Maybe something someone said to me or a sum of things that added up to how you behave today. My belief was that being a pilot was for smart people. The story in my head was just that, a story, until I decided to challenge it.

These stories we tell ourself which become limitations that we create for ourself are old stories. They are often not even relevant today. However, knowingly I chose to believe my story as “the truth” for a very long time.

By telling you my story of a limiting belief that I once had, is to encourage you to challenge your own limiting beliefs.  

Take control over this time we have to self isolate while COVID-19 to think about your own story.  

Rewrite the story if you have always wanted to do something, that you never really thought you could, for whatever reason you decided.

 Take the time to challenge your limiting beliefs that you placed into your current story.

Me signing of the aircraft I am about to fly into my yoga retreat for the weekend

So what’s holding you back?

Well, it will be the big 5! These fierce little emotions will hold you back and they are not only scary but ugly too. These big five emotions that will hold you back from creating your future. Anger, sadness, fear, hurt, and guilt.

This is a time to allow yourself to move through these emotions and acknowledge the emotion and process it. If you ignore it and shove it under the carpet you will eventually trip over the bastard so make sure you process it.

It’s very simple.

  1. First, acknowledge the emotion.  
  2. Second, process it. Write it down, but do it without hurting yourself and others. Write a letter and put it in a bottle whatever works for you.
  3. Replace it with something more empowering.

How to challenge your limiting beliefs and build resilience

Challenging your limiting decisions and beliefs is taking responsibility for where you are today and taking every opportunity to seize the moment.

Do you choose to be the victim or the victor?

Listen to the internal language you use with yourself. Who is  “that nagging voice in your head” you will probably notice it’s an old record from long ago and not even relevant today. It’s up to you to change the recording if it is not serving you or helping you move toward what you want.

Are you always seeing and talking about what you hate or dislike? Criticising others. Or perhaps you find excuses all the time of why you can’t or won’t do something.

“I could never do something like that..”

I challenge you…

I challenge you to listen to the negative nelly in your head and catch it out! Spin the negative into a positive.

I challenge you to think about all the awesome things you have achieved today that people said you would never be able to do and how you proved you could. Not for anyone else but yourself.

I challenge you to write down the things you acknowledge and want to change.

I challenge you to think about a time in the past that you challenged a belief and proved yourself wrong. Use that as the fuel to do it again for something else you want to do.

Ways to build confidence through disruption and change


  1. Connect & Build Relationships

Build relationships through helping others and connect with people you want to learn from.  Hang out with people you think you can learn from and even if you think they are better, smarter wiser, they will always learn from you. So it’s a win-win! We are simple social creatures, and we love connection, be it with nature with animals with the earth with others. Connect with your breath, your life force energy. Connect with it all! You can only benefit from it. Create a group build relationships find ways to connect and you might find you are even solving problems for others.

  • Acceptance of Change

Accept that change is normal it’s necessary and vital the growth in everything around us. Be accepting of yourself and others. Focus on circumstances that you can change and empower. Like your negative thoughts into positive and toward something you want or care for or focusing on help others solve a problem.

  • Be Flexible and Adaptable

Adapt your thoughts towards a positive outcome. Be flexible in your routines to allow for shifts and changes. Practice finding ways of dealing with stressful situations.

  • Look for Opportunity to help others

When life throws a curly one then look for the opportunities inside even if you think it’s bad something good will come from it. Look for opportunities to help others, build community and create a space for people to be open and get support.

  • Navigate

Navigation needs focus because sometimes you have to take an alternative route due to unforeseen circumstances.

Develop some goals with help with your navigation, it’s like plotting the course before you head out. Even if they are micro-goals and find ways to avoid saying “I am trying” because that’s just another way of saying “I won’t”.

As Yoda says “do or do not there is no try!

Start with the little things like asking yourself; 

“What’s the one thing I can do today to mover toward what I want?”

  • Take action

Taking action is just like plotting a destination on a map and discovering what actions you need to take to get there and what you need on the way and do it. When you are navigating your way to; sometimes you have to adjust your course to stay on track, due to other factors. Just keep moving.

  • Breathe

Go back to basics. Take the time to breathe. Learn to breathe again, learn to meditate. Take a deep breathe and let out a Hahhhhhhh!

You maybe surprised to learn that most of us have to learn to breath again, most of us are not giving our bodies, brain and bloodstream the best amount of oxygen hence we get sick and we cultivate a lovely ecosystem for disease “Dis- ease” simply due to our basic survival needs. Breath, Water, Rest, Food.

Breath is one of our most basic survival skill, without breath we can only survive up three minutes before damage occurs,  so spend the time to give yourself the gift that was given to you at birth!

  •  Imagination

Use your imagination. Set some goals. Visualise your goals way you want things to be. Be optimistic and have a spirit of adventure in every moment. As kids, we had great inventive imaginations filled with possibilities, we played with the possibility of maybe we could fly, and then we decided later all the reason why we can’t. We were curious and bold! Use it or watch kids; they will show you how. Use your imagination to imagine what it would be like to have it now.

  • Be Kind

Pay attention, to your own needs and be kind to yourself and others. Look to solve a problem rather than complain about it. Notice your feelings give yourself some time to adjust. Respond rather than react, take in all the information. Give yourself time to “just be”. Remember we are human beings, not human doings!

Yes, resilience is ordinary; building resilience is something we do daily and long as we take the learnings and run with them. We are all extraordinary as individuals. We all have different perspectives and experiences which we can choose to learn from or complain about and a lot of reason why you can or you can’t, you decide. It’s your choice.

To sum it all up

Building resilience is ongoing, flexing of the resilience muscles and opportunity is everywhere! t’s up to you to discover it. It’s always helpful to keep your mind and body primed for building resilience and turn your experiences into tools to build confidence.

Show yourself you can. Not for anyone else but yourself. Just do it for you.

I love proving “I can”

Because “you can and you will.”

My hope that this short story encourages you to challenge any limitations you have given yourself use it to build resilience and notice the opportunities around you to create a better future.

I believe in you!

Please join me on online training for those of you who have lost your jobs and want to start a side hustle and discover how t build your first business.

#youcan #youwill #goforit

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