This week I was one of the speakers at a business event with the theme of resilience.
I was the last speaker of the day, which is always a challenging gig.
It usually means the organiser rates you and hopes you’ll be able to lift everyone’s energy, after a long day, and end the event on a high.
Inevitably, by that time, people are getting numb backsides, their feet are shuffling under the table, they’re thinking about picking their kids up, getting dinner and subtly reaching for their coats.
There had been some tremendous speakers during the day, including my wife, Asha Clearwater, talking about her MS diagnosis (via a letter! Can you believe that?) and how changing her mindset and diet allowed her to walk again.
We heard from an elite athlete with cerebral palsy, a photographer with cystic fibrosis, a man who overcame bullying and became a brilliant inventor, and woman who survived the Manchester bombing, and a trans guy who’s doing his best to educate on equality, diversity and acceptance. There were other speakers too – IGNITE Business 4 was a really powerful day.
By the time we approached 4pm, I still wasn’t entirely sure how to focus my resilience talk. We’d heard so many amazing speakers on the topic throughout the day – inspirational talks to move and motivate us. What on earth could I pull out of the bag to switch things up a gear?
And then, it came to me.
Sometimes, we can be *too* resilient.
We can put up with far too much in the name of resilience and not even realise we’ve become a doormat.
How do I know this? It’s happened to me!
I wanted to remind people of the line between resilience and tolerance, as well as the difference between tolerance and being a pushover.
Sometimes, we can be so ‘resilient’ that we inadvertently end up putting up with far too much.
We can allow people to trample over us and trash our boundary lines, in the misguided belief that we are tolerant and really, really resilient.
It’s all too easy to develop ‘resilience complacency’ and not actually realise that people are mistreating and manipulating us until it’s been happening for far too long.
Out of balance resilience can leave us putting up with abusive relationships, bad jobs and toxic ‘friendships’.
If we’re not careful, we can end up being sucked dry by those who are not remotely deserving of our tolerance.
The talk went down really well. People are still sharing a short video clip from it on social media.
So, if you’re reading this, I want you to check in with yourself.
Next time you *think* you’re being resilient, make sure you’re not actually being a doormat.
You are absolutely deserving of the human right to be treated with respect, dignity, compassion and kindness, from everyone you allow into your life, regardless of the relationship.
You are awesome.
You are beautiful.
You are strong.
You are power-full.
You are enough.
And then some.
Until next time,