Resilience and Self Esteem

There is a little bit of a misconception in the corporate world that those who appear more confident can handle just about anything. Let me share something with you. I have had my fair share of knocks, challenges, let downs, failures and – at times it is hard to get back up. But I always take something away from these experiences, learn from them, change perspective and sometimes just let it go.

I know it is my resilience that has served me well and it is a focus of mine to achieve my dreams, goals and purpose.

For many years it was believed that a healthy self-esteem, often through praise and encouragement, gave people everything they need to take on just about anything that created a hurdle, and would therefore make great leaders. Whilst in possession of seemingly healthy self-esteem, it soon became evident that there had been a gross oversight. In fact, the loud, brash and seemingly decisive extroverts were often lacking in resilience and, sadly, that the self-esteem was more of a front than anything else.
High self-esteem does not necessarily lead to resilience. The opposite, however, is true; resilience builds your self-esteem.

Resilience is something that needs to be developed, and it has the best opportunity to do this when we are faced with hurdles, failures or situations that cause discomfort. How we choose to handle these situations is what provides us with the experience that builds resilience. It’s as simple as a feedback loop; we’re confronted by an issue that may cause a project to fall over, or will cause anger amongst stakeholders. There are, of course, any number of ways this can be handled. You could admit defeat and let it run its course to a slow death, or step up and work out strategies to save it or take it down a different path. If you succeed in your efforts, you’ve not only learnt some skills for your future arsenal, you’ve proved to yourself that you’re more capable than you thought. This is the strengthening of resilience.

It is also the perfect sort of feedback to boost your self-esteem. Far better than words of praise and encouragement without cause, you have proven you’re capable.
Ultimately, it’s a two for one deal; you build your resilience whilst boosting your self-esteem. That has to be a win-win for everyone.

If you would love to know more about confidence, self-esteem and building resilience as a leader – check out our EmpowHER and Apsire Programs! They rock! Or even contact us for more information and articles on this subject – we love to share!

Don’t forget #yourock and have an awesome Tuesday!

About Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonaldSonia McDonald, CEO and Founder of LeadershipHQ, is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Leadership Coach and Author of Leadership Attitude (now on BOOKTOPIA!). She was recently named in the Top 250 Influential Women Leaders across the Globe. Sonia is one of Australia’s Leading Executive Coaches. She has over 25 years’ human resource management, leadership and organisational development experience. She has held senior leadership roles in organisational development, learning and development, human resources and talent management fields across the globe. She is also an inspirational and dynamic leadership and neuroscience keynote speaker.


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