I’m sitting here wondering if I have the energy, space, time to write this blog on resilience. Oh, the irony!

I’m going to be honest, I have a bit of an issue with the term resilience and what it has come to represent within the workplace particularly.

So I’ve done a bit of exploration.


The dictionary definition of resilience:


Resilience: (n) the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Toughness: (n) the state of being strong enough to withstand adverse conditions or rough handling.

And… one of the antonyms for resilience is vulnerability; one of the antonyms for toughness is flexibility.



We have lived through a lot of adverse conditions over the last couple of years. I know I’m not alone in having had to weather some pretty awful conditions and situations in the years before that. Does resilience mean we tough it out, withstand it, push through, keep going?


What is it we are expecting of ourselves when we wish for greater resilience? Who is it for?


Do I want to be resilient so I can keep on giving and giving and giving? Giving to my employer throughout all the adverse conditions and rough handling. Giving no matter what. Showing up no matter what. Keeping going no matter what.

Who does that serve? It certainly isn’t me.


So what is resilience about for me?


  • Resilience is about knowing I am valuable and worthy, no matter what
  • Resilience is about loving myself, no matter what
  • Resilience is about being able to feel it all and know that I will be ok if I allow myself to feel it without getting stuck in it
  • Resilience is about stopping
  • Resilience is about resting and replenishing
  • Resilience is about not being driven by ‘shoulds’ and other people’s needs always and forever before my own
  • Resilience is about taking responsibility for making sure my needs are met
  • Resilience is about setting boundaries and saying no
  • Resilience is about self-worth, self-love and self-care
  • It is vulnerability
  • It is flexibility
  • It is about building a life in which I thrive on my terms, not merely survive through the rough handling life throws at me


What is driving your desire for resilience right now? What does that tell you? Where do your desires feature in that picture? What do you need?

Written by Careering into Motherhood partner coach, Caroline Doran