Take it easy — Don’t force building resilience. Rather create an environment that allows you to become more resilient. Stay curious, be open to new possibilities in life and try new things and ways. This alone will help you build your resilience. It’s a process.
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 Franziska Pannicke.
Franziska is the expert when it comes to helping High Achieving Individuals take their power back so they can make bold life changes and create the life they love.
“It doesn’t matter how picture-perfect your life looks on the outside if, on the inside, you’re overwhelmed, reliving old traumas and continue telling yourself disempowering stories from the past”.
As a life coach, she helps her clients remember their dreams and eliminates all internal roadblocks that stop them from creating what they really want.
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?
Thank you for having me.
I was born and raised in Germany, Munich.
Early on in life, I decided I was going to pursue a career in the corporate world.
So after High School, I moved to London where I graduated with a BA in International Business. I started working for a couple of blue-chip companies before I did my MBA in France.
To cut the story short, I soon realised the corporate world was not for me so I took the big leap and started pursuing my passion, which was coaching.
Today I live in Spain with my husband and two children, running a thriving life coaching business.
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?
For me, it was very interesting to see how I was so convinced and driven to pursue a career in the corporate world, that I never stopped and questioned my dreams.
I think sometimes it is helpful to question your dreams.
Why do you want something? Do you want it or do you think you want it?
In my case I realised it was never my real dream, it was just my second best option that I felt confident enough to pursue.
What I really wanted, my own coaching business, was attached with fears, uncertainty and limiting beliefs. It took me a while to allow the thought of coaching being more than just my passion.
So the lessons I have learnt were
- Question your dreams. What would you like to do if you were not afraid?
- It’s never too late to take a different path in your life
- Follow what is on your heart not what you think is expected from you or is accepted by other people’s standards.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
My coaching business is based on invitation and word of mouth.
I am not a coach for everyone and not every potential client is for me.
Therefore before we consider the option of working together we have at least one powerful coaching session together to find out if we are a good fit for each other.
Coaching requires 100% commitment and as we usually spend at least six months together, I like to slow things down in the beginning before we dive in deep.
My coaching sessions are safe, empowering, non-judgmental space but also a place of truth.
Most of my clients are surrounded by people who tell them what they want to hear or are afraid to tell them the truth. Remaining unchallenged in life leads to repetitive behaviour.
If you ask my clients what makes me stand out they will probably say it’s my honest- I will tell it how it is- approach and the fact that I listen deeply and ask the right questions.
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?
You see my journey has been challenging at times. Not only the challenges you come across when running a business but also the internal critic you have to face. The one that makes you doubt, worry or feel guilty.
For example, being a mum, I sometimes felt guilty for working when I could be playing with the kids or I felt guilty for playing with the kids when I should be working.
But my husband has always been supportive. He is here to cheer me on, celebrate my success with me, and listen to my ideas, challenges and worries.
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?
To me, resilience means choosing to keep going despite facing adversity.
I think the traits of resilient people are,
1. They remain flexible and can adapt to changes.
2. They take care of their mental and emotional health. Being resilient can be very demanding.
People who don’t take time to replenish their resources and solely focus on being resilient will burn out sooner or later.
3. They look for solutions rather than problems. Resilient people don’t obsess about why something went wrong or didn’t go as planned. They will focus on how to get back on track.
4. They don’t wait to make perfect steps, they rather take action even if it’s imperfect steps.
Courage is often linked to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
I believe resilience, as well as courage, are muscles you need to build. Everyone can build it but for both, you need to take action.
You don’t need resilience to be courageous. But you need courage over and over again to grow resilience.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
I have recently supported a friend through a very tough time in her life.
She went through a divorce battle while dealing with a bullying boss, dealing with mental health issues from stress and trauma and a cancer health scare on top of all the other things that happen in life anyway.
I chose this person because she is a great example of resilience. She decided over and over again to keep going despite of all the roadblocks, throwbacks and battles.
And step by step she overcame and created herself a new life.
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?
Usually when someone tells you something is impossible it’s their own limiting beliefs they project on you. In their world it is impossible but it doesn’t mean it is actually impossible.
So I have been in many situations where people believed my plans were impossible
After High School, I moved from Germany to London without savings, a job, or accommodation. Most people expected me to come back surrendering after a few weeks, but I pushed through and stayed for 5 years.
Or another example:
A few years ago, my husband and I decided to move countries.
Our youngest child was only 10 weeks when we moved.
We moved to Valencia, where we had never been before.
We had no idea what to expect, how to make a living or where to live. But our dream was bigger than our fears.
We pushed through and built a new life in Spain.
That’s also where I said goodbye to the corporate world and finally started my coaching business, my true passion.
Doing the impossible is possible, not always easy, but possible.
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?
After I had my first child, I had a lot of time to think and reflect.
It was a challenging period for me in which I realised the life I was living didn’t fulfil me at all.
I didn’t like the city we lived in, I didn’t want to return to my old job, my environment wasn’t mentally stimulating me and felt really frustrated overall.
I realised my life needed a makeover. I was just surviving and not living anymore.
My husband had this great idea of taking us to Playa del Carmen for a couple of weeks. Just to change the environment.
It turned out to be the best decision ever. Being in a different environment and taking a break from daily routines helped me to release all the pressure and relax.
We used this time abroad to reflect on our life back home and to make new plans.
I came back home strong and determined to start implementing all our plans and dreams.
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 definitely cultivated resilience throughout my life. One thing about me is I like leaving my comfort zone and that comes with challenges. It’s a great way to build resilience.
My first really impactful experience growing up was my move from Germany to London after High School.
The reason for that was to find out if I could survive on my own and I wanted to learn English properly.
A friend and I booked a bed and breakfast for a week, we had some savings (which we lost in our first week) and a big bag of optimism (or naivety, I don’t know)
The first year was terrible, I experienced being broke, hopeless and nearly homeless.
It really hit me when I realised I had to build my life from scratch.
Of course, I could have gone back home or asked my family for support but I wanted to succeed on my own. So I kept pushing, praying, hoping, crying and gradually building my life.
But I also built resilience, a lot of it. From that point on I knew nothing was impossible. I just have to keep going.
What started as the hardest time of my life turned into one of the most valuable and exciting adventures in my life.
London will always have a special place in my heart.
I met wonderful people, created strong friendships and learnt so much about life.
I stayed a couple more years and finished my Bachelor degree before I moved on to my next adventure.
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.
If you want to become more resilient then this will definitely not happen in your comfort zone.
As you said resilience is like building a muscle and depending on how strong you want the muscle to be you have to work it out accordingly.
The steps you can take to become more resilient are
1. Leave your comfort zone
Do more things that make you uncomfortable.
For example, if you would love to be more authentic, then dare to share your real thoughts and feelings about somebody or a situation, dare to set more boundaries, especially if you don’t want to do something just to please someone.
2. Dare to follow your dreams
Following your dreams always sound so romantic. But the truth is when following your dreams you have to be prepared to deal with setbacks, struggles, challenges. A great way to increase resilience.
3. Have the courage to face adversity
Many people prefer to take the easy way out or avoid challenges altogether. This is not how you will build resilience. Yes, adversity is not comfortable but it builds resilience and pushes you to the next level.
4. Manage your Mindset
Resilience begins in the mind.
Your mind is a battlefield and you decide what thoughts you accept as truths and act upon.
Have you noticed that as soon as you’re trying to make bold moves your inner critic will meet you by saying: “You can’t do it”, “you’re too old”, “you’re not good enough”.
If you don’t train your mind to be resilient, you’ll have trouble pushing through adversity.
The good news is you can work on your mindset. The stronger your mind, the bolder you can be.
5. Take it easy
Don’t force building resilience. Rather create an environment that allows you to become more resilient. Stay curious, be open to new possibilities in life and try new things and ways. This alone will help you build your resilience. It’s a process.
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 would love to see a movement where more people take responsibility for their lives.
Stop the excuses, stop telling yourself disempowering stories, heal past trauma and take your power back.
I see so many people living in a vicious circle, a mental prison, in victimhood and feeling like life is just happening to them and they have no say in it.
This is not true. You have a choice in life. Just often, giving in is easier than fighting back.
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 🙂
To be honest I can’t think of any prominent person in particular that I would love to have a private breakfast with right now.
But in general, I love meeting new and interesting people.
Especially those with who I can have meaningful and inspiring conversations.
But they can be from all walks of life.
I had super interesting conversations with well known and wealthy people but also with homeless, with adventurous, with provocative or scandalous people.
Due to my occupation as a life coach I meet super interesting people all the time.
But it is also a passion of mine to sit with people and have deep conversations.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
You can connect with me on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook under my name Franziska Pannicke.
Make sure to drop by and say Hi!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!