Building Resilience, Building Confidence

Building Resilience, Building Confidence 

Today we turn our attention to the thorny issue of resilience. It’s a common word, bantered around a lot in workplaces. No surprise really when we see the stress in our lives and the (almost) multi-dimensional demands on our time. Yet when we do turn up the volume on our resilience, a wonderful and naturally occurring phenomena happens – we also find that we naturally build confidence.  

Our lives are often littered with trials and tribulations, hardships and changing course. I know from my own journey in life so far, it has, at times, been tough and wearisome. Somehow, from somewhere I seem to find that inner strength to pick myself up, dust myself down and embrace a different way of being.   

I fundamentally believe that life teaches us lessons throughout our time on this planet. Hardships come our way to help us grow. What’s so frustrating is we often can’t see it when we are going through the pain, it’s usually when we are through the other side when we go “Oh, that’s why…..”. But I can assure you when you are stuck in that oscillation between “yeah I’m through” and “this is bloody hard” you don’t feel as though you will ever get through.  Once you find the will within to let go, that’s when you realise you are through the other side with a whole new perspective on life. 

Our confidence can often be low, because we can hold onto stuck patterns of behaviour, false beliefs and ways of being that have served us in the past. You know that old expression: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is a sign of madness! Usually the old ways did serve us for the situations we were in. But our growth demands that we let go of the old. What’s hard is the how! 

The answer is that it’s our minds that we have to work on. It’s changing those filters that have short cut our natural system and knock our resilience levels.. 

Let’s take a look at three common filters. 

False Assumptions. 

As an executive coach, I hear these false assumptions frequently. How many of these apply to you? 

  • Black and white thinking – words such as never, always, nothing, everyone. “I’ll never be able to speak on stage”. 
  • Jumping to negativity and cynical conclusions – “I bet you got nothing agreed in that meeting” 
  • Sweeping personal judgements – “His actions never align with his words” 
  • Getting stuck in the past – “This has never worked for me” 
  • Mind reading – “I know he hates me” 

There are loads of these thinking patterns. And they are often so in bred we don’t realise how they hold us back. One clue is when your partner rolls his or her eyes at you!  

False Priorities 

This is when we put a false need ahead of a pathway to success. So rather than doing the right thing or the right course of action we would rather: 

  • Be liked 
  • Be perfect 
  • Get attention 
  • Get credit 
  • Be interesting 

And on and on. We would rather be liked than have that difficult conversation for example. Or not delegating work because we would rather be perfect and do it ourselves. These strategies create overload and worry. They knock us off course. They slowly and surely cause our confidence to ebb away. 

Limiting Perceptions 

This is a biggie and it happens when we lose perspective on the situation we are in. We allow old scripts to run the show (the stories we tell ourselves). It typically comes from the conditioning we receive when we are young. For example, someone else’s believe that  I held onto for many years was that women should stay at home and look after the family. This script felt a constant battle as I knew in my heart I was not destined to be a stay at home Mum.  The words “Who am I to want x?” would play over and over in my mind. It took many years for me to stop that feeling of guilt.  

Other limiting perceptions are: 

  • I’m not good enough 
  • I’m not smart enough 
  • I need to be liked 
  • I can’t show vulnerability 
  • I’m too tired 

Can you see that having these beliefs affect how we respond to life’s challenges? Our resilience and our confidence are knocked because we believe and then behave in the patterns we are used to playing out. 

The key is to work on our inner dialogue, on shifting our perspective and providing a different lens by which to understand. We must start by handling the noise, the inner voice, the script and stories we are telling ourselves. We all have them. Everyone single one of us. And often we have many more than one! 

So here’s a suggestion for handling your noise and building your resilience. 

Handling the Noise 

First of all, it’s important to notice where you are resisting. Have you got an icky energy about a particular project, person or situation? Are you feeling a sense of fear or frustration? If so, then it’s very likely you are playing out a limiting belief. Step one is to notice. 

Next, you need to identify what it is so you can change. One of the best strategies I use with clients is to reframe their belief. 

Here are a couple of examples: 

Everything must be perfect – “By testing and taking small steps along the way, we eventually achieve perfection” 

I am not smart enough – “If I show up and focus on outcomes, the rewards will follow.” 

This approach demands that we think of an alternative, more realistic way of thinking. And that we start to repeat this in our minds over and over. We have to build new channels and let go of the old.  


Resilience is a big topic. In the WLA we run a full day workshop on this very theme and we invite Expert Lectures to bring their latest thinking and research.  

Please don’t let you old ways of thinking sabotage your future success. It might feel tough, but I can assure you through my own experience you can change your perspective. You can keep building your resilience. And one of the fastest and most impactful ways to do that is through changing the way you think.  


If you are curious about finding out more about the WLA and how we may support you, why not book in for a complimentary strategy call.


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