Are You Being Resilient or Resistent?

Young Indian female jogging outdoors by the sea

When I was working for a large corporation, performance reviews were fairly routine. My last one, however, opened my eyes to a valuable lesson I think back upon whenever I feel stuck in a rut.  

“Gwen, it’s been a tough year, but you’re certainly resilient,” my boss at the time said. 

At the time it struck me as a compliment and rather than ask for an explanation, I nodded, and the conversation moved on.

But the word stuck with me. Resiliency.  

And then it turned sour.  

Was that really the way I wanted to be defined entering my fifth (no typo) decade of my career? Admittedly, navigating jobs involving both healthcare and law had taken many twists and turns, but had I also stop being creative and seeing things with fresh eyes? Had I stopped being innovative and forward thinking?   

Upon reflection, it came to me I was letting circumstances beyond my control define how I approached my job. Instead of being revered for being a gutsy career woman taking on issues that most found too daunting to face, I was simply surviving whatever was thrown at me. In less than a year, I knew I was resisting a change and resigned to start my own consulting and coaching business.

No one can overestimate the resiliency and dogged determination that’s needed in the workplace, but along the way you need to step back and recognize when being resilient is simply being resistant. I had been teetering between the two for some time and it showed in my work.  

If you find yourself butting up against nothing but hurdles and disappointments, regardless of the circumstances, take a minute to ask yourself what’s really keeping you in a rut. 

To learn more about how to recognize when you’re resistant to change, schedule time for a coaching session with me to Chart a New Course.

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Posted weekly, I hope this collection of personal notes brings you a fresh perspective on your life journey, regardless of the waters in which you sail. 

For more information on the writer’s group I organize in Annapolis, MD go to 
Words on Water

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