Resilience: What if I’m the Exception?

Cathy Presland
5 min readJun 30, 2021

And what to do about it…

What If…

What is innately and universally true about resilience? And what if we strengthened that, worked with the natural systems — something akin to the idea in Taleb’s ‘antifragile’ as a friend pointed out when we had this discussion on LinkedIn.

If it’s true that there is a natural ‘regeneration’ of the human spirit then how is it possible to be the exception to resilience?

And if that’s true, then what would it mean for how we regard, and take care of ourselves, and how we support others in our circles at home and at work?

When ‘Bouncing Back’ Feels Too Much Like Hard Work…

On a recent call, we all classified themselves as pretty high on the resilience score, and when I asked, our almost universal response to ‘what does resilience mean to you?’ was the ability to ‘ bounce back ‘.

That phrase is common right? You’ve heard it before, perhaps even used it, and perhaps so much so that it becomes a platitude?

And a platitude is when we say the words but we don’t embody the meaning. I know this because, when we dug deeper in the group, questions started to come up. Questions like these:

What if I’m different to other people, and I need more care and support?

What if circumstances overwhelm me?

What if I don’t realise I’m going deeper and deeper into the lake and next thing I’m drowning?

What if it takes me longer to bounce back this time, that means I must be less resilient?

How can I train myself for resilience?

I get it-we ask a question because that’s the way it looks. But the questions don’t signal that we’re not resilient, they signal that we haven’t yet seen beyond the abstraction of resilience as a concept.

Which is great news when we’re part of a conversation about resilience, because it means there’s plenty to talk about!

If This, Then That…

If resilience is something we have to learn before we can apply, then sure, there’s going to be a learning curve, and you might be…

Cathy Presland

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