In my upcoming book The Female Edge, one of the things I talk about is the important of resilience for women to be successful.
Resilience is the one thing that has shaped my career, perhaps above all others. I grew up in a dysfunctional family in a poor inner-city neighborhood with a neurotic mother, an alcoholic father and a sister with autism. There was no safety net, no nurturing, no support and no expectations of me and what I could achieve.
That left me two choices: I could either give up and allow everyone else to determine what I could or could not do, or I could find my own path. I decided from an early age to not let other peoples ‘can’t’ get in the way of my ‘can’. What I mean by that is because of the very low expectations of me, because of my background and circumstances, I was always being told you can't do this or you can't aim for that. People like me just didn't succeed. At least that was the dominant thinking of my teachers, career advisers and early bosses. People from good families succeeded. People who were educated succeeded. Men succeeded. But a woman of low birth with no connections could not. So I had a choice. I could either make their can'ts define me, or I could find my own cans. What can I do if I put my mind to it? What can I achieve if I set my intentions on it?
Perhaps the most important lesson for me was to be resilient to the knocks along the way. No one succeeds first time they aim for something that is new or unusual. They have to be prepared to learn, reflect and find a way that works for them.
Here are my top tips on how you can build your resilience:
Be really clear about why you want to achieve your goals - what is your driving force?
What are the core values that drive your actions. It can take a bit of digging to understand what are our core values, but these are the things that fuel us through the hard times.
Accept that failure is par for the course - but is not the destination. As any successful person will tell you, they reached their summit by failing, and failing again. Each time picking themselves up, reflecting on what they learned and moving on.
Not everyone has to agree with what you are doing and how you are doing it and that is just fine. Your path and your voice are unique to you. You don't have to please others or get their approval. Listen to what they other people have to say certainly, but keep your own counsel and your own sense of purpose. Pleasing others is never the way to your success.
Build your group of allies. These are the people that will always cheer you on, be there to listen to your struggles and be a sympathetic ear on your bad days.
My new book The Female Edge will be coming out in September. In it I discuss the many ways that women can find authentic success including how to build resilience. For more details click HERE