Last week I attended a fabulous lunch hosted by the fabulous boutique financial planning team at Capital Focused.
The guest speaker was a mother of two who had overcome a series of extreme health challenges including melanoma, open heart surgery, breast cancer and raising a child with a rare blood disorder.
As she had spent most of her career as a financial planner one of her key messages was about being prepared for unexpected life events, like those she had experienced, by having appropriate life insurance and income protection. Her other key message was to create a bucket list and start ticking things off. Don’t wait for retirement or an empty nest to really live your life.
While I agree whole-heartedly with these sentiments, my key takeaway from hearing this working mum speak was something else.
When I compared my life to the incredible health challenges and triumphs of this mother, I felt grateful for my happy and healthy family. Then I felt strangely ordinary for not having faced and overcome such extreme challenges in my life.
When I mentioned this to my husband he instantly raised his eyebrows at me. Not because he thought I was crazy for saying that, but because he knows that I have overcome many challenges along the way. I had made the mistake of comparing my challenges with someone else’s and in doing so had diminished my own resilience.
Without going into great detail about each and every challenge I have faced in my lifetime, the most personally challenging ones have been the loss of a parent, the rollercoaster of fertility treatment, recovering from birth related injuries, caring for a child with reactive airways and job uncertainty while pregnant (twice!).
All of these challenges have tested my resilience and allowed me to build my emotional, mental and physical strength. The fact that I don’t let these challenges define me and I don’t dwell on them is further proof of my resilience.
Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. I personally would omit the word quickly from this definition. The time it takes to recover from a difficult experience really depends on the situation and should not be rushed.
I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on your own resilience in the context of the difficulties you have overcome in your own life. Not to dwell on the difficult times, but to appreciate your emotional, mental and perhaps physical strength in overcoming these challenges.
Remind yourself that should you face any difficulties in life down the track, that you have the emotional, mental and physical strength within you and capacity to build more to overcome them.
Your resilience is a contributing factor to your success in life. Success is an inside job after all.
Here are my favourite quotes about resilience to encourage and inspire you:
“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become” ~ Carl Jung
“Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up” ~ Mary Holloway
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us” ~ Helen Keller
If you’re a new mum or working mum wanting set yourself up for success and increase your resilience, I’d love to help. Check out my services here.