Some Days They Win…
…so Personal Resilience, Sustainability and Motivation are Really Important

Who are they, these people who win? For me, they are the people who don’t treat us as we would like to be treated, as we treat other people. The people who don’t seem to value kindness, consideration and respect. They might just be having a bad day and there might be other reasons for their apparent lack of care but the outcome is the same. We feel badly treated ☹ I felt like that this week and while I tried to focus on the fab time I had with my learners on an assertiveness course, it was the bad behaviour of two colleagues that was rumbling around my head that evening :-/ I had all the theory:

  • “does their behaviour say more about them than me…?” – yes, most definitely
  • “could there be other things going on that influenced their behaviour?” – possibly
  • “were they put in a situation they didn’t expect that day?” – yes, but the adjustments we all made were not significant
  • “did I get back what I gave out?” – no

However much I looked for reasons as to why they behaved like they did the outcome was the same. In the scheme of things, it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever experienced but it still left me with a negative feeling about the whole day which isn’t fair to me or my fab learners! When we see and experience behaviour from other people that goes against our own values, we can find it very hard to reconcile ourselves with it. As human beings we all think, “everyone thinks the same way as I do, don’t they?” but that’s not the case unfortunately. And while it would probably make the world a much nicer place it that were true, I believe there is great value in diversity but sometimes it can bite us on the ***. So some days, they do win ☹


What Behaviour Do You Value?

My top three values are being respectful, being friendly and being helpful and most days I manage to live and breathe those behaviours. But when I don’t get that in return, I start to feel quite discombobulated (confused and disconcerted). My poor little brain gets stuck in a loop asking “but why would someone behave that way?” and it takes me a few days to process and de-sensitise from what happened. I am highly sensitive though and so not everyone will process things in a heightened way like I do but I believe we’re all impacted by negative events to some extent, whether we acknowledge that at the time or not.

So what can we do about it? These events will happen, however much we live our lives in line with great values and all we can do is control our responses to them. Thinking about your own values, how you like to be treated and whether you treat other people in line with those values is a great first step to understanding why you might feel upset, angry or discombobulated when you aren’t treated as you would like to be. It doesn’t justify bad behaviour but it does help to rationalise why you’re feeling as you do.


Bounce Back-ability is Key

Our personal resilience is key to being able to recover from difficult situations and to deciding how we will behave in similar situations in future. I know I will see the two colleagues who irritated me next week so I have a decision to make as to how I will handle that. Another colleague said she would be over-friendly next time, almost to call them out on their behaviour. I’m not that nice unfortunately so I’ll be professional and appropriate but that’ll be the full extent of it. If they are more pleasant next time, all to the good but I’m not going to use up energy on people who don’t seem to think it’s important to be helpful to a colleague. And that’s why I’m irritated, because my value is to be helpful but that’s not what I received from them this week. I’ll get over it obvs but a cartoon mental image of tying them up and placing them on a train track might make that easier!! ?

Here are some points that I think are important for building and sustaining our personal resilience:

  • Let yourself make mistakes and learn from them (learning from our mistakes is growth – we let children do it!)
  • Listen to your inner voice and be guided by your personal values
  • Help others, support their development and let them help you
  • Ask for help, it’s a sign of strength
  • Access support, formal and informal
  • What is a good energy day for you?
    At work?
    At home?
    With family and friends?
    On your own?
    Make sure you factor those elements into your week

If we can factor elements of personal resilience into our daily lives, the impact of difficult people and experiences will be reduced. You’ll still take a hit, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t but the impact will be reduced and you’ll have plenty of coping strategies to allow you to move forward again more quickly.


Supporting Our Sustainability

In order to sustain our resilience some of the following points might be useful and a mental image of your favourite super hero successfully deflecting negativity, ignorance or rudeness might help as well! Super Ted and Banana Man are among my favourites and they’re zapping away the negativity of yesterday beautifully which is making me smile ?

  • Forgive yourself – as long as we learn from things then there’s no reason to keep giving ourselves a hard time about situations that didn’t work out so well
  • Be proud and celebrate your achievements
  • Know when to let go and move on
  • Focus on what you want to achieve, don’t ‘chase your tail’ – there will always a million little details that can get in the way. Sometimes you’ve just got to do it anyway!
  • Make a commitment, write down your goals but don’t disable yourself with them
  • Be confident that you are in control
  • Believe in the mantra “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”


What’s In It For Me?

By thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’ we can decide why and if we’re invested enough in what we’re doing to allow us to see sufficient returns, despite a bad day. If both the extrinsic (salary, benefits and status for example) and intrinsic (a feeling that you’re helping people and doing the right thing) motivators are there, we’ll be more resilient when difficult events occur. “I know why I’m here and I know the value I bring to this, so even though I’m having a bad day, I’m going to keep going.” Thinking about your values, personal resilience and motivators is good for your confidence and self-esteem, which is good for your personal resilience so by focusing on this stuff you can build a great positive cycle of thinking and behaviour, which is a win-win for everyone. Which makes you proud of what you do and how you do it and that supports great confidence and self-esteem – hoorah! Great job everyone! ?

I’m off to lunch with Super Ted and Banana Man, it seems the least I can do after they’ve zapped away the negativity of my difficult day. And I will be pleasant to my colleagues when I see them next week, however they behave. But I shall enjoy looking for the train track marks from this week’s mental image! Some days, that’s how we can win ?


Take good care please and have a great day.


Best wishes, Karen