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Dialling up Your Resilience

Advertising Agency
London, UK
INFLUENCER: R/GA EMEA's Liz Nottingham shares key insights from the Creative Equals 'Be Awesome Night School’ workshop

“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived” - Robert Jordan

Resilience seems to be everywhere at the moment and in these challenging times of change and uncertainty, both for our own industry and beyond, who would turn down the opportunity to develop it? But what is it, how do we know if we have it and how might we get more of it?

At the Creative Equals Be Awesome Night School workshop I recently ran, we looked at ways to explore our resilience and how we might bend more like the willow.

I find that images are a great way to work with a group, as our response to a picture comes from somewhere other than our cognitive brain cells. The participants in this session selected an image and talked about their relationship with resilience and what it means to them. It is also a good practice to recall a time when we have been resilient; what was the situation, what did we do, how did it make us feel and how might we change things next time around? Showing ourselves compassion is key as we are all juggling multiple agendas, interfacing with technology and making sure that we manage ourselves as best we can through our demanding days. It is when we stop and reflect that we realise just how great our capacity is and can recognise how much resilience we have as a resource that has helped us to travel this far on our life’s journey. Notice what happens when you ask yourself 'what am I good at?'. For some of you the inner critic may make a loud and unwelcome appearance and start criticising you without an invitation! Notice the impact this voice has on you.

The next thing you can pay attention to is to identify what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. Remembering your strengths and building on these is important as they are your reserves you can turn to when the going gets tough.

Make social connections and increase your support network. Check in with yourself and plot out a map with you in the middle of the circle and add in your relationships. Notice who you have placed both near and far in relation to you and explore any changes you may need to make. Who are your supporters and advocates? Make sure you keep them close.

Take the time to take care of yourself. You know the drill. Keep your phone out of your bedroom, find time for whatever you need to do for you; cycle. Kick box, bake a cake, draw, listen to music, walking etc. We panic when our phones have 30% battery life yet happily run around trying to perform on our own flat batteries! Put yourself on your own agenda. As the Dalai Lama says, do not let the behaviour of others disturb your sense of inner peace.

And as you try out a few things to develop your resilience, please remember that our emotions are normal. This is isn’t about covering up or denying our emotions but acknowledging them and working with them, listening to them and choosing how long we wish to dwell in them. Emotions are designed to help us. Recognising and managing them is paramount for an optimum level of function and resiliency in life.

I leave you with the wise words of David Whyte in his book Consolations; “Robustness is not an option in most human lives, to choose its opposite is to disappear,” and the recommendation of Resilience by Rick Hanson

Liz Nottingham is executive HR director for R/GA EMEA

Work from R/GA UK
Teen Girls
Preservation Play
Project Zero