Music and meditation are wonderful ways to feed your spirit. Churches incorporate music in their worship services. The music ministers to the spirit while the person connects with their faith. Meditation is something that I started practicing a few years back. The kind I practice is called quiet meditation. How it works is I sit in my rocking chair, make my phone silent, and set a timer. Then I attempt to clear my mind by focusing on the ticking of the clock, my breathing, and intentionally relaxing. I started with just one minute and have progressed to three. Some days I’m more successful than others, and you’d be amazed by how long one minute can feel when you’re trying to be silent.

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 Danielle Bernock.

Danielle Bernock is an author, coach, speaker, and podcaster. She helps men, women, and organizations EMERGE with a clear vision of their value, TAKE ownership of their choices, and CHART a path to their purpose, to become Victorious Souls. Her mantra is “love yourself from survive to thrive,” and you can find her at:


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?

I would be delighted, although that wasn’t always the case. I’m a childhood trauma survivor that didn’t recognize the truth for years, and once it became clear I struggled with calling it trauma.

This was revealed to me through the writing of my first book Emerging With Wings. When I was fifty-four I began writing it to share how I had overcome so much. I wanted to help others. However, while writing and going to counseling, much more was uncovered. I hadn’t expected that. One of the great things I learned writing that book is, trauma is personal. Those three words gave me the ability to own the truth. But validating your trauma to yourself, and sharing it in public, are two different things. When the book was published I felt so naked. It was the overwhelming response to the book that has brought me to this day. Now I love helping others validate the truth, and heal so they can thrive in life.

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?

The first story that comes to mind is when I was visiting a non-profit organization soon after the release of that first book. I was there for a tour by invitation of the CEO. During the tour, I learned the pastor was using my book in his sermons. Random people would come up to me and ask if I was “that lady from the book.”

After the tour, the pastor’s wife invited me to “speak to her ladies.” Fear of exposure kicked in due to how fresh my inner healing was. I backed away from her and shuttered no. Now I can laugh at that knee-jerk response! But at the time, I felt embarrassed and ashamed for having said no to such a great opportunity. Feelings of self-condemnation were intense.

But then I learned why I responded in that way. The truth was I was not ready to share publicly — yet. This taught me that every opportunity doesn’t require a yes. Sometimes it’s not the right time or the right thing to do. Inner healing and the building of resiliency require time to take root. I did the inner work, and I’m happy to say I’ve been back to that non-profit organization to speak multiple times.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Legally my company is 4F Media, founded by myself alone to publish that first book. But as I grew personally, the vision of my company has grown to help others become “Victorious Souls.” We do this by practicing our core values and sharing stories.

Our core values are:

  • Love and honor centric
  • Warrior mindset
  • Take ownership
  • Self-care

People love stories and I love sharing them. My book Because You Matter shares the stories of ten brave men and women who overcame trauma in their own lives. One is Sylvia. A single mom who lost everything in a house fire. She and her children escaped with only their lives. This woman took ownership of her situation, her warrior mindset and built a new life for her and her family. Another is of a young man named Andre. When he was in high school and on the verge of an NBA career, the bones in his lower legs shattered during a basketball game. He took ownership of an entirely new future. All their stories are amazing. I launched the Victorious Souls Podcast on March 1, 2021, to share more stories, and help more people.

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?

I have had a lot of help along the way. There are too many for me to share them all so I will share just three.

The first is my husband who was supernaturally brought into my life, and how I learned unconditional love.

The second is Jeff Goins and the Tribe Writers who were my first business family.

The third is Kary Oberbrunner, founder of Igniting Souls, who changed how I viewed marketing. This happened while watching him do a webinar. As I sat there at my computer, a specific point he shared reached through the screen and grabbed my heart. Many authors shy away from marketing because they don’t want to be in people’s faces with “buy my book.” I felt that way. Kary’s message altered my perception entirely like being thrown into an alternate universe. His message was how powerful books are and how they transform people’s lives. And that, if I, as an author, fail to market my book, I am stealing transformation from people. Stealing transformation. Those two words rang through me as I saw the truth in them. But what Kary does goes much further than encouraging myself and other authors to market their books, he teaches us how to serve our readers.

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 is an inner strength that gives a person the ability to recover quickly from something that is potentially crushing. It wasn’t always a psychological term. Resilience began as a mechanical term which gives us an excellent illustration. Something that is mechanically resilient is capable of withstanding shock without sustaining permanent damage, deformity, or rupturing.

Resilient people feel a crisis, lean into it, and bounce back. They display emotional intelligence, critical thinking, a sense of humor, and the ability to ask for help.

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?

This one took a bit of thought as I hadn’t considered them to be similar. Courage is similar to resilience in that it doesn’t run from a crisis. It takes courage to do what you’re afraid of. Also, the amount of courage and resilience a person has is revealed in a crisis.

Courage is different than resilience in more ways. A person can simply choose to be courageous. It can be activated by a choice and may only be needed for a short time. Courage only needs to endure a little, while resilience needs to endure a lot. Resilience also has to be built little by little over time. A person cannot simply choose to be strong on the inside, but they can choose to build resiliency. Some of us are born inherently more resilient than others, but everyone can become stronger by intentionally building. How quickly a person can build resiliency will vary from person to person.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

The first person I think of is my friend Tom Shea. I think of him because I know of so many instances where he could have been defeated in life.

Tom was born with Cerebral Palsy and undiagnosed Asperger’s. The doctors told his mother that he would never walk. But he was fortunate to have a strong mother who didn’t listen to them. Tom is in his 60’s now. He not only walks, but he also drives. He has had many jobs, including working for the Phoenix Suns. Tom has mentored others, done public speaking, and so much more. I interviewed him for my book Because You Matter to share his remarkable story.

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?

The story that comes to mind is my road trip out to California when I was eighteen. It wasn’t so much that people told me it was impossible, but rather they doubted I actually would.

Something I didn’t understand compelled me to go to California. This was many years ago, before cell phones. Going all by myself didn’t seem like the smartest thing to do but I ran into trouble finding a companion to go with me. The first candidate backed out on me before we could get organized. Another was taken away by ambulance for mental health issues during our meeting at a restaurant. The difficulties only strengthened my resolve. I was ready to go on the trip alone.

But then seemingly out of nowhere, a young lady appeared in my life. She was planning a trip to California herself. We connected and became road trip buddies. The six-week-long trip was filled with so many twists and turns changing my life forever. Thankfully I took a journal with me to record our antics and the full story is in my first book Emerging With Wings.

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?

One of my greatest setbacks occurred early in my marriage. My husband was offered a new job in another state. We had only been married for eight months and I was seven months pregnant. When the job was offered to my husband they required a response that same day. It felt like the chance of a lifetime and we conferred with our parents and pastor for advice. We made the regrettable decision to take the job. It was a colossal mistake. We returned home after only two weeks, jobless, and demoralized.

It took a long time to get back on our feet so maybe “bounce” isn’t completely accurate. But our marriage became stronger. And we learned a strong lesson. Never make a life-altering decision without sleeping on it.

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?

I have been building resiliency in my life as an adult. The experiences I had growing up did not contribute to building resiliency, but rather revealing my need for it. As I said, I suffered much trauma as a child.

The first thing I did to build resiliency in myself was to address the trauma and heal. Inner healing is like repairing the foundation. After that comes building.

I have cultivated resiliency in myself by learning about it, reading, surrounding myself with resilient people, and doing the work necessary to build. A person can read and study for years about what resiliency is, but without doing the work they’re only kidding themselves.

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.

ONE: Grow Your Sense Of Humor

Laughter releases chemicals that improve your health. Increasing your sense of humor can be as simple as watching anything that makes you laugh such as comedies, or cat videos.

Growing your sense of humor includes being able to laugh at yourself. I was unable to laugh at myself for the longest time. Instead, I would berate myself for any mistake. That was not productive. I admired people who could laugh at themselves. So I developed this ability.

My favorite story about laughing at myself happened when I was overseeing the care for my mother-in-law who suffered from Alzheimer’s and I was taking her to one of her appointments. She had trouble getting around and used a walker. After parking the car I helped her get out and walk into the office building. Standing in the foyer we looked for where the doctor’s office was located but we couldn’t find it. Why? Because we were in the wrong building! When I realized this I burst out laughing at myself. Then we simply returned to the car and went to the correct location. Being able to laugh at yourself is powerful.

TWO: Practice Courage

Courage is not the absence of fear. It is deciding to face the fear, and take the necessary action. It is leaning into it even though you feel afraid. Being intentional about doing something outside your comfort zone is a simple way to practice this. The more courage you need, the stronger resiliency you’ll build.

Practicing courage doesn’t mean putting yourself in harm’s way. Calculate the risk involved before you take action. This is what I did when I gave my first public book reading. Fear was huge with all kinds of negative questioning. What if no one comes? What if I stumble? What if…

To practice courage, I listened to the fearful questions and gave realistic answers considering the worst case possible. This wasn’t catastrophizing, it was facing the truth before I did the reading. The fear was conquered by courage before I even left for the reading.

THREE: Build Healthy Relationships

There is a reason the words “you are not alone” resonate with people. People need people. The giving and receiving in a relationship create inner support.

Relationships come in various depths and all healthy ones are good. Deep relationships can carry us through devasting things. Simply doing something for someone strengthens us on the inside. Receiving help from someone else strengthens us on the inside in a different way. Some people find it hard to receive. Both sides are important because a healthy relationship is a two-way street.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with cancer during the pandemic. Because we had been building our relationship she allowed me the privilege of coming alongside her in her journey. She has done remarkably. We still talk and pray together every week, supporting each other through all the challenges of life.

FOUR: Take Ownership of Your Life

Psychology calls this developing an internal locus of control. There are many things in life that we cannot control. This can make us feel lost. But there are things we can control. Taking ownership is about exercising what you do have control over.

Taking ownership is also about recognizing that we can choose how to respond to everything in our life. This is something we can always do. I call this our superpower. Victor Frankl calls it man’s last freedom. Learning how to be this intentional is powerful

You and I get just one life. How it plays out is really up to us individually. Bad things happen but how we respond steers what happens next. For example, when the pandemic went global and the mandated stay-at-home orders began, I made a decision. I decided to document every day with a live video on Facebook and created a graphic counting the days. By this, I took ownership of how those days passed. I had no idea I was committing to seventy consecutive days. It was a great decision and I was able to help myself and many others through that time.

FIVE: Feed Your Spirit Life

Practicing spirituality plays an important role in overcoming tragedy. Feeding your spirit life builds hope and hope is crucial to resiliency. Your spirit is where resiliency resides.

Prayer, gratitude, reading Bible verses and other inspirational words are good ways to feed your spirit life. These things provide a feeling of connectedness and grounding. Being part of a group that shares your beliefs makes this even more powerful.

Music and meditation are wonderful ways to feed your spirit. Churches incorporate music in their worship services. The music ministers to the spirit while the person connects with their faith. Meditation is something that I started practicing a few years back. The kind I practice is called quiet meditation. How it works is I sit in my rocking chair, make my phone silent, and set a timer. Then I attempt to clear my mind by focusing on the ticking of the clock, my breathing, and intentionally relaxing. I started with just one minute and have progressed to three. Some days I’m more successful than others, and you’d be amazed by how long one minute can feel when you’re trying to be silent.

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. 🙂

I have to go with the title of my latest book — Because You Matter. People need to know they matter. Studies show that eighty-five percent of adults struggle with their value. That is a huge number of people that fail to see and own their inherent value. Trauma plays a large role in this issue because it steals a person’s sense of value.

We take care of things we consider valuable. When people know they matter, they take better care of themselves. A person who recognizes and owns their value will love themselves. I’m talking about loving themselves in a healthy way, not an ego-centered narcissistic way. Healthy self-love will breed loving others.

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 🙂

I would love to share a meal and laughter with Bob Goff. There are many reasons why. I love his stories and am fascinated by his creativity in how he shows love to others. Everybody Always, and Love Does, are two of my favorite books. But another reason is I’d love to know if he knows the joke about Frank, how Frank knows everybody. It certainly seems to me that Bob is Frank and I’d love to talk with him about it.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

They can follow my work on my website ( and my podcast (Victorious Souls). I would love to connect on social media — find me on your favorite one.

I have many articles published online. Just google my name and you can find me.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.