If you are going through hell, keep going …

This is one of Winston Churchill’s greatest witticisms and to some extent it may well be true. It is important however to bear in mind that it isn’t just about getting through challenging times, it is about the journey you choose to take through some of those experiences. Resilience is, after all, a great deal to do with your ability to recover well, not at any cost.

Too often, especially in the work environment, I observe people “toughing it out” sometimes to the detriment of their own physical and mental health. Reaching out for unhealthy coping mechanisms may well provide a quick fix in the short term, however for long-term well-being it is essential to establish a toolkit of healthy and sustainable coping mechanisms.

Whilst I researched my first book on resilience I had the privilege of interviewing people from all over the world, from lots of different backgrounds who were generous enough to share their personal stories with me. This taught me a great deal about resilience in addition to the wealth of scientific research around this fascinating subject.

Over the past year I have been examining the relevance of human resilience and how it applies to us all in the 21st century, against the backdrop of the fourth industrial revolution. As a result I have evolved a three-pillar model, which emphasises the importance of these three core behaviours:

1. Accountability

When you take responsibility for your own actions, you demonstrate accountability.

By being accountable you will feel more empowered, confident and in control when dealing with setbacks and adversity. It can be very liberating to acknowledge and understand that you can ultimately create options and choose your response to every situation.

2. Agility

Agility is a key skill in the modern world where speed and responsiveness are fundamental to both personal and business survival. This is about your ability to adjust and flex your behaviour by employing different facets of emotional intelligence. It requires you to adopt a growth mindset and to be receptive to change and open to new learning and possibilities.

3. Attitude

In the words of Shakespeare, “Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so.” With a positive attitude it is not about burying your head in the sand. You will still be able to recognise the negative aspects of a situation, however it then allows you to make a conscious decision to focus instead on the hope and opportunity that is also available.

Survive and thrive

Building a resilience toolkit, especially in the fast-paced and often overwhelming world that you live in, will help you to safeguard your life. It will also help you to feel more empowered and cultivate self-efficacy and inner strength so that you can survive and ultimately thrive!

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way 

Viktor E. Frankl

If you would like to contact liggy – email [email protected]


  • Liggy Webb

    Presenter and author

    Liggy Webb is an award winning and bestselling author, presenter and international consultant specialising in life skills. She is also the founding director of The Learning Architect, an international consortium of life skills specialists. She is recognised as a thought leader on personal resilience and wellbeing and works with a wide range of businesses helping people to be more resilient, agile and healthy in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. Some of the organisations that Liggy works with include the BBC, the NHS, Macmillan Cancer Support, the World Trade Organisation,
the United Nations, Sainsbury’s, The Walt Disney Company, Ralph Lauren and various universities
 and public sector organisations. Liggy believes that the diversity of the clients she works with provides her with a tremendous insight
 into the challenges that people currently face across all sectors. Her current book, Resilience: How To Cope When Everything Around You Keeps Changing, is a practical and accessible guide for coping with change and offers advice on how to recover and flourish through challenging times. The guiding principles in the book have just been televised for a series with the BBC world service due out in 2019.