Category Archives: Thrive

5 ways to build Resilience

Do you crumble in the face of adversity or thrive under pressure?
We look at some ways you can build your resilience and manage stress.

The term resilience describes a person’s capacity to bounce back from stressful situations.  Being able to cope under difficult circumstances can reduce the incidence of mental health or behavioural problems such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and antisocial behaviour.

There is also emerging evidence* that young people who display resilience are more likely to achieve school success.

Here are five ways you can build your resilience.

1.      Look after yourself

In a fast-paced world, we all need to take time out for ourselves occasionally. Engage in activities you enjoy, exercise regularly and ensure you get enough sleep. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with tough situations.

2.      Think positive

Resilient people are optimists. Maintain a positive outlook and find ways to build your self-confidence. Keeping a sense of perspective in stressful times can help you to solve problems and avoid blowing the event out of proportion.

3.      Accept change

We live in a world of constant change, so being adaptable when responding to uncertainty is a key life skill. Rather than expecting to have full control over everything in your life, instead expect the unexpected. Be open to different points of view and rather than resisting change, try to engage with it.

4.      Make connections

In a TED talk which has achieved over 11 million views, Stanford University health psychologist Kelly McGonigal discusses how the stress hormone, oxytocin, motivates us to seek support from people who care about us.

Building close relationships, whether that is with colleagues, family or friends, can help you to recover more quickly from stressful situations.

5.      Learn from your mistakes

Failure is one of life’s common traumas, yet our responses to it can vary widely. Seeing failure as a learning opportunity is one of the traits of resilient people. Appreciating your mistakes for what they are can help you to overcome fears, take responsibility and live a life without regrets.

2015 Women in Focus Conference

I was incredibly excited and honoured recently to be invited to the sixth annual CBA Women in Focus conference held in the beautiful Sheraton Resort in Hastings Street, Noosa.  To whomever was unable to make the event, and prompt the lovely Katie Mihell to include me in the guest list – I am eternally grateful to!

Due to prior commitments, I was unable to make the opening dinner, and so I hit the road at 4.30 am on the Thursday, arriving in time to quickly check-in and kick off with the first sessions at 8.15 am – and we didn’t stop for two full days.  I’d also lost my voice by this stage, thanks to the kindness of my daughter sharing her winter lurgies with me and this isn’t a good place to be with 180 amazing women cranking the decibel level at every opportunity.

The opening session kicked us off with Dr Fiona Kerr followed by Doc Jordy Nguyen and my brain was fried from inception.  Hearing about artificial intelligence, mind controlled wheelchairs and the hope of robotics for the future for those with disabilities hit close to home for me with an intellectually impaired and autistic nephew.  Cracking into his little brain and being able to communicate with this non-verbal little man now sounds like something that may just be possible in this lifetime rather than a pipe dream.

The breaks were a brilliant opportunity to meet up with some old friends, one of whom I hadn’t seen since our trip to Uganda with The Hunger Project in May and connect with some new and amazing ladies.

Panel discussions allowed various agricultural businesses to showcase their stories and their wares and I’m now a passionate convert to the Myrtleford Butter Factory.  I’ve devoured books by Cathy Burke, CEO of the Hunger Project and the fabulous Anita Heiss, a prolific indigenous author and all round great gal.

It was a blessing to watch new friendships and business relationships being forged and hear from inspirational women such as the passionate Rosie Batty, Australian of The Year and tired (not tireless) campaigner against Domestic Violence.  The story of the Allanah and Madeline Foundation was told and bra-burning passionate women such as Wendy McCarthy who has been paving the way for women everywhere since the 70’s were featured.

It was hard not to be overwhelmed with every presenter as brilliant and passionate as the last and all with a fabulous story to tell.  It didn’t just feel like I was among greatness, I actually was!

Andy Lark shared his fantastic adventures with Xero, another shared her ups and downs in building a billion dollar business Christina Re dazzled us with her spectacularly beautiful home-ware lines.  Mandy Gunsberger of Babyology told us all about her journey and her future adventures as she heads off to join the next Business Chicks Leadership and Immersion Program in Mexico.  I managed to score Beauty From the Inside Out by Doctor Libby Weaver and didn’t cease absorbing my entire two days.

An evening of country glamour had us up dancing at Yandina Station, and we boogied the night away to finish the conference in a fabulous marquee in the Noosa National Park.

The hashtag #disruption15 trended Australia wide as we cheered on our speakers and supported each other in the virtual and physical world.

It was an honour and privilege to be a part of this event.  I hope I take a long time to come down from Cloud 9 after this and will enjoy reviewing my notes for some time to come.

Learning to Thrive! with Arianna Huffington

Learning to Thrive, Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post, Business Chicks Event, Melbourne

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Well what a gorgeous lady, and what a privilege to see Arianna Huffington on her whirlwind trip to Oz.

The Peninsula room in Docklands was decorated beautifully, with incredibly low and flattering lighting, and the thousand (mostly) women in attendance were ready. The Business Chicks vibe was out and proud.  And with 6 events in 36 hours it was awesome to be there for this one.

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 Nicky Buckley was our gorgeous MC and did a fabulous job introducing Arianna, possibly echoing all our thoughts by the end, that we ‘just wanted her to be our best friend.’

And, from the moment she opened her mouth on stage and we heard that gorgeous Greek accent, I think we were all in love.

But even more important, than her charm, wit and elegance, was her message, in learning to digital detox, reduce stress and starting to thrive.

I devoured her book Thrive some time ago, and it was great to hear those important messages once again.

BC1In a culture that ‘men have broken’ we’re expected to view sleep deprivation as a badge of honour, and stress and burnout as a natural progression in our working lives.  Its the illness of our civilisation and it’s up to us to change that. It’s interesting to note how many of our poorest decisions are based on lack of sleep and being too tired to best evaluate what we should do.

Arianna’s brush with burnout is set to serve as a wake up call to all to get our eight hours sleep each night, remove devices from bedside, and take a day to digital detox each week (if God could rest after 6 days of hard work, so should we!)  We need to start adding a third metric when defining success in our lives, beyond money and power, by learning the magic of ‘Wellbeing, Wonder, Wisdom, and Giving.’

Business Chicks have a culture of women who want to give back, and not just turn up to take, which fits perfectly with an ethic of giving and creating a happier life.  As Arianna’s wonderfully wise mother put it, ‘a giving attitude can transform our lives from struggle to grace.’

There were so many key takeouts from her story.

One tip she shared with Oprah was that we are more magnificent than our jobs.

Another is that ‘No’ is a complete sentence. Who knew?

Learn to make eye contact again and connect with our children and friends when they speak with us.

Start looking up!

For inspiration on how others have taken up the challenge, check out the #HowIThrive hashtag and join the Thrive revolution!

AC & Zoe