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Resilience Keynote Speaker

If you're going to invest in bringing in a keynote a speaker to your company, they need to inspire a genuine change to 'the way things are done around here'.

The clip above, from my Keynote to 500 people at HR TechX, helps people operationalise resilience, so they can anticipate when core areas of their life are under stress, and intervene before things fall apart.  

My Approach to Resilience

Having gone from leading the Political Strategy for a global movement, to been diagnosed with a debilitating life time chronic illness, I’ve had to learn the hard way how to be resilient.

 

At the beginning of my journey, I would so easily go into catastrophising, victim hood and cynicism. These are all natural responses to life disasters. However, over time, these learnt behaviours exhausted themselves. There’s only so many times you can intentionally drive yourself into a cul-de-sac. At that edge of despair, we can discover a far side. We come to realise that much of our suffering is a projection of a present situation into an unknowable future. The pain we experience serves as an invitation back to what’s arising right now, which opens up a more experimental and problem solving mindset - one where most situations, however dire, can at least be improved. 

We can also come to see this terrible life situation as a unique gift. Victor Frankel, author of the spiritual classic ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’, found in the depth of his struggles in the Nazi Concentration Camps, that even when everything is taken away from us, we have the agency to choose the meaning we make of a situation. By constructing the meaning of a particular event, we can find our own empowerment. Personally I’m drawn to the idea that in Latin American indigenous culture the Shamans (medicine men and women) are known to be the ones that have experienced the deepest suffering.

They have experienced the prolonged dark night of the soul and are therefore much more capable of supporting others when darkness shows up in their lives. This is now my mission. 

 

Therefore, If you are bringing in a resilience keynote speaker, it is crucial that they are speaking from direct experience. I usually begin by providing academic analysis on how our psychology and cultural conspire to put all of us on a burnout trajectory, but then I quickly show them how that plays out in practice by sharing my own story.

Losing a brother in a car accident at the age of four, coping with the grief of my family environment by becoming a success, my drives leading me to senior leadership positions but also to continually going beyond my boundaries and limits. I stand in front of audiences as someone that has to live the rest of their lives with a chronic pain condition, delivering a cautionary tale. It’s through the stories of others that we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. 

It’s crucial when bringing in a resilience keynote speaker, that the sessions are as practical and applied as possible. After telling my story, I share the best science based tools, which allow anyone to thrive, despite their burdens. This is a six step process that helps people reclaim their boundaries, resist distraction, soothe their stress, manage their thoughts and emotions, recover their energy and develop a rock solid mindset. 

Resilience as a word in the corporate training sphere has a performance enhancing feel, but real resilience is about confronting the adversity in our lives, and befriending the parts of us that are shaky on our feet.

 

This is the foundation of true strength, that when tested, can withstand the pressure.