Over and over again I’m reminded of the power of resiliency. When I was studying relationship and systems coaching a few years back, one of the big takeaways from my instructor was this: the difference between competence (skill level) and mastery–that je ne sais quoi that tells the tale–is recovery time. You may have a particular skill set, but how quickly can you bounce back from a setback and utilize it? The more rapidly you can gain your footing and be present to what is, the more successful you’ll be at whatever you’re doing. So many people (and I’m speaking particularly to women business owners) get side-lined by challenges, and many give up and fade away.
In the Modern Love column of the Sunday Times Style Section (4/1/12), there’s a wonderful article called Getting to That Safe Place by Elisabeth Fairfield Stokes. In reflecting on a past less-than-healthy relationship she writes:
The punitive “What was I thinking?” became the much more compassionate “What was I learning?” And the answer was: everything.
I just loved this sentiment. Rather than beating yourself up for past (or recent) mistakes, take the opportunity to reframe the lesson and be present to its wisdom.
After giving a talk in Mexico last December that was 99% fabulously well-received, I got a negative response from one audience member with whom I’d interacted. My stomach turned to jelly, and my mood went from elation to deflation in .02 seconds. My positive self-talk carried me through, but it was later in discussing it with my coach, that I got the important point that I had missed. I hadn’t set up the context of the session for this gentleman who entered my class late. Not two weeks later I had a similar circumstance and applied the new wisdom with happier results. I could see my own recovery and then appreciated the hard-won learning.