Acknowledge and Accept — What is it about the current situation that you need to firstly acknowledge and secondly accept. When something unexpected happens, this can be the stage we numb, it can take time to get to this stage, as it can feel overwhelming and full of fear/doubt, so we avoid it. This is normal, and I encourage my clients to take their time to process, to get to this moment, in a way that feels safe to them.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bep Dhaliwal from Thrive365.
Bep Dhaliwal, founder of Thrive365, https://thrive365.co.uk/ is a Resilience coach. She is passionate about people becoming more self-aware and proactive in their approach to creating resilient lives, and works with individuals and teams to unlock their potential in a meaningful way, facilitating conversations that matter, creating safety and insight.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
Being raised in a hard-working Indian Sikh family, I had always had instilled in me a strong work ethic, integrity & respect. My parents were both immigrants to the UK from Kenya and India and I had seen firsthand the sacrifices they made for myself and my siblings with regards to the hours they worked and the jobs they took on to provide us with good schooling and to instill strong family dynamics on how we looked after each other.
I tried really hard to always do the right thing, to make them proud, seeking validation, acceptance and to lead by example — however things don’t always work out the way you want.
Getting divorced, getting remarried and then supporting my husband through a cancer experience 18 months into our marriage, and going on to receive my own cancer diagnosis a year later, — none of this was within the plan that I had written for my life, or as a family.
Each one of these experiences taught me about the fragility of life, of the power of finding that validation and acceptance from within and how to get to know myself in such a way that I could create a life in which I thrive on my terms everyday — and that is when Thrive365 was born.
All these experiences gave me the courage to step away from my 20 year corporate career and create a business grounded in Curiosity, Courage and Compassion and to hold a safe space for people to create a proactive life they cherish today, grounded in Resilience, rather than waiting for something epic to occur in their lives and forcing them then to question themselves and the lives that they had been living.
As a family we adapted our definition of success, of what it meant to thrive; every experience taught us what was really important to us as a family and as an individual within this family, navigating their own path to creating a life they cherish.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
When I was working in the corporate world, I realised very quickly that we aren’t adept at supporting each other through life events. Both my divorce and my Cancer experience showed me how I had to get to know the version of me that was being challenged, that was growing, that was finding an inner resilience that I didn’t know was possible — but the work environment didn’t meet me there and see the inner growth that they could have benefitted from.
Not everyone, but a lot of people didn’t know how to meet me where I was at, whilst I was craving normality and the safety of my workplace (the one area of my life that could hold me in a space that I was familiar with and needed to stay constant), people stepped away. This life event — Cancer was scary, and it made me realise we aren’t equipped with how to hold space for each other when we see each other facing something that there isn’t an easy fix for, or that makes us feel uncomfortable.
I learnt that we need to make space for life, for each other — we don’t have to provide a fix, but seeing someone navigating a challenging chapter in their lives and supporting them in a way that’s right for them, by truly seeing them and asking them what they need, that’s what’s required and that’s what I’m passionate about creating — supporting people to have conversations that matter.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Thrive365 stands for Curiosity, Courage, & Compassion as we learn how to own our stories, as we hear ourselves articulate our truth. There aren’t many safe spaces for these kinds of conversations to unfold and that’s what we pride ourselves on providing. We focus on levelling the playing field by providing space to reflect on who we are, the blueprint through which we navigate life and if that serves us or if we need to identify an alternative way to proactively create a resilient life, an inner peace, an aligned way to move forward.
The Rise 2 Thrive Sanctuary has been created to provide this safe non-judgmental space for women to come together every fortnight and learn more about themselves through monthly themes and elements of Resilience that can help them progress. Women have shared how the space has allowed them to unpick beliefs and elements of their lives that have held them back, as one member shared “I’ve noticed that I’m becoming more comfortable with who I am, I’m comfortable with the person I’m wanting to become and in a long time I’m not worried about what others think of me because the important thing is what I think of myself”.
I also create bespoke workshops and training packages for corporates, charities and govt organisations — understanding what’s really at the core of an individual or team’s challenge. By being curious and providing a safe space for them to be curious, we can have courageous conversations, we can connect in a more profound way and we can identify how to keep having ‘Conversations that matter’.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
The person I’m most grateful to for who I am today, is my dad. He has always shown us how to work hard, be kind and have some fun along the way. He was always so grateful for his lot in life, even when he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer, he took the time to help me navigate and make peace with what was on the horizon. He shared that he had lived a great life and had achieved what he wanted to in life.
Being grateful for the simple things in life, his family being together and enjoying each other’s company when we had ‘Happy hour’ and doing kind things for others, was such a fundamental part of who he was. We keep his memory alive by talking about him all the time, especially with my young nephews who loved him so much, and knowing that his way of being made an impression on a 3 & 6 year old, that they can recall his essence today, 3 years after he died, is the greatest blessing.
So, for me, I challenge myself every day, am I living the essence of who I am, what I want to be remembered for? Am I creating a life in which I thrive on my terms, and I can honestly say on the most part I am, gratitude and reflection, taking the time to know myself fully are key parts of my every day practices, recognising and honoring my needs is fundamental for me, and my precious Dad taught me how to do these things.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
Resilience for me is how I make sense of my life, the circumstances that are presented to me, and how I navigate these with courage, curiosity and compassion.
Resilient people are those that have regular self-nurture practices in place, aware that life changes, new situations occur, but they have self-awareness, they know what their capacity is to deal with whatever occurs and when to seek support.
They know their strengths, their values and what it takes to feel at peace and in alignment with themselves. And when a challenging situation occurs, they are compassionate with themselves, being curious and courageous on how they step forward, knowing they will evolve as a result of this experience.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
Courage is such an important element of Resilience, linked to Curiosity it invites awareness on what the next step should be, it pushes action, no matter how uncomfortable it might feel.
So, in my world it is similar to Resilience as both are about movement forward, however it’s different in a way that Resilience is made up of so many other components too. Resilience allows for us to make sense of what’s happening, what meaning we give the event in our lives and what meaning we also give ourselves as a result of this event.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
A person that embodies Resilience for me is someone like Oprah, who despite what has happened in her childhood, in her early career, she never let it define her and she kept pushing forwards. She has taken the time to know herself, she has been curious, courageous and compassionate with herself and all those she mentors; she has a faith that is bigger than her and she trusts the path that she is on.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
Connection, Creating strong, long lasting relationships is something that I’ve learnt is a key driver for me. In my early sales days, I came across numerous difficult customers, ones that others had tried to connect with but failed, and told me to leave alone too. However, I persevered I learnt the power of listening, the power of connecting from their view of the world, giving them time to be seen and heard, being empathic which led to me building strong relationships, based on mutual respect and trust, and finding a middle ground that worked for all parties.
It goes back to trusting my gut, what I sensed and what I trusted myself to be able to provide in a way that was right for all parties. And it demonstrated the power of what happens when a person feels truly seen and respected.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
Receiving my breast cancer diagnosis, just as I had supported my husband through his lymphoma diagnosis was a huge wake up call for me. Up until that point I had seen myself as invincible, I was the one that cared for others, I never gave myself time to check in with my own needs as I was so busy prioritising everyone else.
When I received a Cancer diagnosis, I was floored, I was scared, I was completely overcome with fear, being pushed to face your mortality was not a moment I had prepared for. Seeing the look of pain on the faces of all those around me also broke my heart, the guilt of knowing I had caused that heartache in all those I cared for, was a heavy feeling.
Dealing with treatment, losing my hair through chemo, losing faith in my body, all of these were devastating. However, because I knew I had to make sense of it all, in order to move on, I requested counselling support and with the help of my counsellor I was able to explore all the feelings that had arisen, the meaning that I could choose to give to the experience so I was able to move on, but most importantly it taught me that I mattered.
Now I hold myself with Compassion at the forefront of all that I do, I’m curious, I check in with myself regularly throughout the day and I know when I need courage to deal with something, and I lean on those close to me, a hand-picked inner circle to help me make sense of all that is occurring.
I have changed my whole life in terms of what I do for a living, how I choose to spend my time and I am at peace with myself, it took Cancer to wake me up to me and to create a life I now cherish.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
Every major setback, & life event has made me stop in my tracks and question A LOT. By seeking support through coaches and counsellors at every one of these events, I’ve been able to understand myself better and to make meaning of these events in a way that has empowered me to move forward, to build my resilience.
As a result, I now feel that when I face a challenge, I pause, I reflect, I seek guidance, I build my inner circle and when I feel ready and able to, then I move forward, ALWAYS at my pace and in a way that feels right to me.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
I have developed my 5 to Thrive top tips on building Resilience :
1. Acknowledge and Accept
What is it about the current situation that you need to firstly acknowledge and secondly accept. When something unexpected happens, this can be the stage we numb, it can take time to get to this stage, as it can feel overwhelming and full of fear/doubt, so we avoid it. This is normal, and I encourage my clients to take their time to process, to get to this moment, in a way that feels safe to them.
Acknowledge all the emotions that surface, and reflect on what you need to accept about all of these uncomfortable emotions.
2. What’s in my control?
When overwhelm and fear are key drivers in a situation, we can go into overdrive with control.
The area’s you can control are your mindset, your attitude, your wellbeing approach, what you watch/listen to, your diet/nutrition, how you rest/recharge & the permission you give yourself to do what you need in this moment.
Allowing yourself to ask for help or support, nurturing yourself, checking in with yourself, hearing yourself on what your needs are.
3. Who’s in your squad?
Who we have around us and the role they play can be critical components in how we deal with the situation and how we make sense of it.
Choose your inner circle carefully, be clear on what you need and also be clear on what isn’t helpful. Choose people who will listen, who will hold space for you non-judgementally and who can provide you with the strength and solace you need, as well as bringing you the Sunshine/fun moments.
Each one of these roles can be played by different people and sometimes you need to call in help from professionals, counsellors, coaches — someone that will be impartial and allow you to work through and make sense of what is happening.
I’ve found that often people are at a loss on how to help someone going through something big, so guide them, be clear on what would be really helpful right now and don’t be surprised if those you thought you could rely on can’t deal with the situation, as it impacts them also and other people step up. I’ve been surprised at times who shows up to help me through some of my toughest experiences, knowing I need sunshine and grace, not pity or fear.
4. What’s the learning?
This might not be so apparent….be patient, don’t try and force making sense of the situation.
We may need to take time to just be with it….to accept what’s happened, to heal, to nurture ourselves.
An important component of Resilience is the meaning we attach to ourselves as a result of what we have experienced.
Are we critical of ourselves or can we use compassion to show ourselves kindness and see ourselves in a new, more empowering light?
Often the experiences that challenge us the most are also the one’s that redirect our lives in a way that we can’t ever have predicted. Sometimes an awareness of what truly matters to us comes forth and we can make choices that are more true to ourselves.
Be patient with yourself, be patient with the learning, but above all, allow compassion to guide you.
5. What now?
Things are different as a result of this experience. Elements of YOU are different.
These differences can empower you in beautiful ways, they can lead to humility and compassion, a sense of letting go of all that doesn’t serve you.
These changes can drive you to create a different life for yourself, how you show up in your life, for yourself and those you care about.
These differences can lead to a complete change of career or a new way in which you prioritise where you want to support others.
These changes can often help you identify what really matters in your life to YOU, and often they help you RISE, Rise up to creating a life in which you thrive, one that makes you feel proud of YOU.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
A daily practice of checking in with ourselves, noticing how we feel, what triggers us, what excites us, making time for ourselves, as a priority is what I’m most excited to encourage, so we learn to love ourselves compassionately and care for ourselves so differently, only then can we create a life in which we thrive everyday — Thrive365
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Oprah is someone who I would love to have time with, to reflect on how we can bring more self-love and compassion into the world — how we lead in this way and how we thrive in this way.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Website : www. thrive365.co.uk
Instagram/Twitter/Facebook : thrivebep
Linkedin — Bep Dhaliwal
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!