The Gift Of Resilience





I’m a proud supporter of Dress For Success – an international organization that helps at risk women get back into the workforce. One of the new programs that they’ve started up here in Sydney is a weekly resilience program because one of the most challenging things for clients is to cope with knock-backs. I’m sure a lot of us can relate to how it feels to not get a job or the overwhelm of applications, but imagine how daunting all this would be if amidst trying to get a job, the whole of your life was hanging in the balance. Many of these women come from very intense backgrounds and the smallest set-backs, that for some of us might just be written off as a bad day, can be reasons to quit trying for a new life full stop.

So where does resilience come from and why do we need it now?

In many ways we’ve been sold a very childish picture about what life is. We’ve been told that if we tick this box and that box, that we will live happily ever after. Unless we have excellent role models – and I must admit, I have very strong women in my family who have survived and thrived after devastating losses – no one teaches us that change, and often in the form of challenge, will happen. We’re not taught how to move through and experience life’s inevitable blows and we’re certainly not taught how to become stronger because of them.

This is all self-learned stuff.

Fortunately, there are some incredible high profile women in the world right now who show us what resillience is all about and in this week’s episode I reference a couple of my personal favorites. One is Joan Rivers (her death was announced a few hours before I recorded the show) and Courtney Love. Both Joan and Courtney are entertainers whose careers and lives have astounded me – not only for their creativity and hard working ways, but because of the adversity and challenge that they moved through and seemed to become even better because of..

Here’s one of the last interviews that I listened to of Joan’s. She was on the Howard Stern show earlier this year and I always loved listening to them together.



I also include a grab from Courtney Love as she reflects on an opportunity she missed in Paris because of her past drug use.



The thing about learning to become resilient is that it’s not only a gift that we can give ourselves, it’s something that can literally change the world. In the podcast I mention my daughter Matilda Paget who is a musician carving her craft. Before we went to see Courtney Love’s latest show here in Sydney, we watched a documentary about her. We were glued to the screen because she’s thrown everything at the world and it’s thrown everything straight back at her. To watch her on stage, at 50, at the top of her game, despite and because of everything, was one of those proof moments – that with the gift of resilience, you can survive what life serves up and that your personal drop zones can fuel rather than destroy it.


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Podcast – TCG 2.0

The Change Guru 2.0 is a new weekly podcast on iTunes dedicated to all things over 40. These are candid, unscripted chats, often solo, sometimes with guests, where I share what’s on my mind. Every episode is loaded with tips and inspiration to make your life rock.

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So – back to this week’s podcast – How resilient are you? How to do you nurture and protect the part of you that needs to be strong when the going gets tough? Share how you do it here.

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