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Definition of Resilience: the act of rebounding or springing back; the power of resuming the original shape after compression, bending etc. Many women are familiar with keeping a lot of balls in the air at once and keeping going, and sometimes we over-extend ourselves. Sometimes we ‘spring back’ spectacularly; at others, holding so much leads to overwhelm and we need to take recovery time. And sometimes, we do not recover.

Here are some ideas for remedying that, maintaining equilibrium and developing resilience:


resilienceBe mindful of what you need to do to keep yourself feeling good and balanced and in alignment. Of course, make sure you get enough exercise, rest and nourishing food. And what else do you need in order to flourish? Culture? Walks in Nature? Time with animals? Stimulating conversation? Getting sufficient of the things which make you feel good is a vital ingredient to enable you to make your contribution and to be of service to the planet. And not burn out. You know what these things are for you. Say ‘yes’ to yourself. Sometimes this involves saying ‘no’ to another’s request. If you find this difficult or challenging, widen your perspective and know that the planet needs people – women – who look after themselves.


These are the aspects of living which help to lift your spirits and enhance you. Make a list of your main values and notice which needs ‘topping up’. Taking the example of Beauty – one of my main values which I need plenty of in my life to support my well-being. Ways to bring beauty into my life include having flowers in the house, walking in nature and by the sea; watching a well-constructed play or ballet; reading a well-written book; talking with animals. All these contain Beauty for me.
Manifesting the values which are important to you helps you to maintain equilibrium and live as your best self. And this fosters resilience. What are your values?


Being assertive starts with thinking well of yourself, honouring, accepting and respecting who you really are. It’s about developing confidence to tell yourself the truth about your ideas, opinions and needs; and speaking up and voicing them as appropriate, aiming for a win-win situation, where each person gains something and feels good. There is nothing like stepping into your own power in this way – it helps you to feel good and expand into your true self; for sure, taking into account the needs of any others involved.
When you are assertive, you are honouring yourself and putting energy into positive choices, and less into things which drain you. This builds resilience!


It’s a great feeling when you feel fear and take action anyway in support of something you believe in. As you widen your comfort zone, more is possible, and, indeed, becomes ‘the norm’. I imagine everyone feels fear at some time. The difference between those who take action in support of their goals and those who don’t is often not that the former feel no fear; rather, that the first group takes action anyway, despite the fear. Rather than wasting energy trying to defeat it, better to spend that energy acknowledging and accepting fear as your companion, focussing on the action you want to take and taking it. Remember, courage comes from the heart. This is a great resilience-builder.


Never waste time and energy beating yourself up, telling yourself off or putting yourself down. Review your actions, thoughts, views and opinions, certainly, perhaps making changes which serve your higher goals. Always think well of yourself and apply the maxim ‘I did my best’. To do otherwise is to eat away at your self-esteem and self-worth. Love, honour, accept and respect yourself exactly as you are today. Any changes can be applied after you have done that. Change occurs when you accept what is first. Then you can move forward.

Shân Rees


shian rees resilienceShân Rees: I have successfully assisted women to lead fulfilling lives and to sound their note in the world for over 30 years – through Counselling, Personal and Professional Development courses, Female Fulfilment Coaching, Facilitation and Consulting work. My signature courses are Developing Self-Esteem and Deep Confidence and Assertion Skills.

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6 Responses

  1. Patricia Hensey

    Enjoyed this writing very much Shan. Great wisdom variety. Thank you. Patricia ??

  2. Resa Ferreira

    Great reminders, Shan. And that art of reminding is gratefully received.

  3. Shan

    Bless you, Ellen. that is SO important to me, and I always have them. They lift my spirits and the colourful vibe works well too. xx

  4. Ellen currie

    Yes taking care of one self is paramount shan.. but I love that you included even simple acts like flowers in your home…


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