Years ago, my cousin’s wife wanted to know what our parents did to create resilience in my siblings and me. She felt we all demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity. As a parent, she was looking for a formula to grow resilient kids. I didn’t have a clear answer. The question has stuck with me through the years. I often ponder it as a parent and as a coach.
For starters, Mindset matters. How we construe a potentially traumatic event will dictate how we handle it. Even if we respond negatively at first, we can infuse it with meaning and ultimately suffer less (Bonanno).
Read about How People Learn To Become Resilient in this excellent New Yorker article (tip to Robin Aitken for sharing). I’d normally digest it more for you. Instead, I want to share a living, breathing example of resilience in action: my sister Jill.
In July 2013, my brother-in-law Donald died after a very short illness with cancer. Jill was left with their three young children. It changed the face of our family forever. Every day since, Jill has put one foot in front of the other to take care of herself and her kids. Most days she’s done much more than that.
Last year, she started writing songs again as part of her healing process. I am in awe of her talent. I admire her resilience and grit in the face of such loss. And I have deep respect for her strength in raising three resilient (lively!) kids. She’s also been surrounded by resilient people—friends and family from far and wide. I believe she’d say that’s been key too.
Today Jill takes a big leap forward in her music career. One of her original songs was entered in CBC Searchlight. It’s already been viewed more than 10,000 times.
[Voting is now closed] Regional voting is from March 30th – April 20th! If you want to be prompted to vote for Jill, join her team . Let’s vote her all the way to the CBCMusic.ca Festival in Toronto in May!
And if you want to grow your own life/ leadership resilience, let’s talk about how I can help you ‘write your own song’ (metaphorically, of course). If you want to learn to write a real song, call Jill.
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