Reframing resilience – it’s what you do, not who you are

Read the latest blog from current LGcomms Future Leader Ellie Caddick, Communication & Engagement Manager at Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Being a ‘resilient person’ has always felt like a badge of honour.

To me resilience is what kicks in when the chips are down – being able to tough it out when times are hard.

That was until I attended a resilience session with Dr Hayley Lewis. The session, as part of the Future Leaders course, has stripped away a lot of what I thought resilience was.

I had learnt within five minutes of the session starting that resilient isn’t something you are or you aren’t. It’s something you practise.

Being resilient should ultimately be a positive experience, even if you’re being resilient in response to difficult times. It’s not simply about getting yourself through it but learning from it.

People often say in the workplace you’re only a number, as if that’s a reason to look after yourself because no one else will.

I’m lucky to be part of a really nice team with a great workplace culture with supportive management but not everyone has that experience where they work.

Resilience shouldn’t be the first aid kit you have to reach for to respond to bad management or having your wellbeing at work ignored.

Being treated like a human at work, who has stresses and strains inside and outside of work is hugely beneficial to you and your work.

A lot of Dr Lewis’ session was about the positive things you should be focussing on for yourself and the benefits of this. A decent night’s kip, blocking out downtime in your work day and stepping away from the news can all help your resilience. I turned off BBC Breaking News alerts last year and I’ve never looked back.

Dr Lewis has really turned my attention to reframing what I think about resilience and treating it as a process, turning stresses or bad patches into learning and development.

I’ll no longer talk about resilience as something I have to do when there’s a lot on my plate, I’ll treat it as something I choose to practise.


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