A Simple Way to Increase Your Resilience

I am writing this from a pediatric hospital in Manhattan. Thankfully, I do not have traumatic relationships with hospitals at this point. Pretty much the two times that I was there over the last two decades were for joyful reasons of having my two children. This time it is also not too bad. My daughter had to get a minor surgery to get something removed from her eye. She will be okay. We are blessed to have access to top quality healthcare.

So far the 2020 has been testing me. It barely has begun and already I have been sick (classically coming down with a sore throat as I was preparing to lead a group talk for professional women), I damaged my laptop so badly that it is easier to buy a new one, my daughter has been having eye problems, which lead to the surgery, now my son has come down with the flu and there were some worrying news from both my and my husband’s parents.

I am writing this not for you to feel sorry for me, because the funny thing is that I am dealing with all this much better than before. I suddenly noticed that my resilience levels are quite good. I had to make an effort to put the list all my “misfortunes” here because I no longer recite them in my mind constantly as I could have done a year ago. It is life and I deal with it. Calmly. And I see the difference in my family too. Everyone seem to be much more calm and adept to deal with.. well stuff. 

What has changed?

A mentor of mine told me a story about skiing or rather gliding, meaning skiing off the groomed path and between the trees. When people do it for the first time they often focus on the trees to avoid running into them. But apparently the trick is to have your attention locked in on the space between the trees, because this is where you want to go.

It dawned on me that this is what I was doing - focusing on where I want to go and on the things that will help me get there. Therefore the things that would distract me from my goal (the “trees”) get only as much attention as it is required to resolve them. They do not get any extra mental energy from me dwelling and getting pissed off about them.

What helped with the change? I think getting clear on where I want to go, in terms of specific tasks/actions and also in terms of how do I want to feel when I get there, which connected me to my goal emotionally. Now I know why I am doing this.

Remember the exercise on the new year’s resolutions from the first newsletter this year? Oh, I used to hate all the nonsense about new year resolutions and goal-setting. But now... Apparently, a simple thing like this helps me significantly increase my resilience levels.

If you have not done it, I highly recommend doing it. So much so that I repeat it here and also provide you with a super-simple worksheet to do it.

If you want to stay focused not the space between the trees in 2020, grab your worksheet here and fill it out following the easy visioning exercise below. It will make a difference for you, I promise!

And it you want to do this in company, I will be holding an in person visioning workshop in New York, drop me a line and I will send you the info.

***Goal-setting Visioning Exercise***

Envision it is January 1, 2021. You are sitting with your spouse, friends, or the dog… the fire is gently gleaming in the fireplace. You have your cup of tea or hot cocoa (picture the surroundings you like). And you are reflecting on the past year, the year of 2020.

It was an awesome year, maybe the best you’ve had so far. Everything went exactly the way you wanted in your career and personal life (your health is great too!). There were some surprises and unexpected turns along the way, and they brought you exactly where you want to be. Imagine it, sit with it, savor it...

Capture your feelings as you live that future experience. What do you feel? Is it calm, energized, driven, peace, love? What feelings characterized the 2020 as you look back at it in your mind’s eye?

Capture as much detail as possible, your emotions, your feelings, your senses, how your future reality tastes, smells, feels... Get clear on this. Write this down in the first part of the worksheet.

After you get clear on your feelings, write your tactical and practical goals for the year in the second part of the worksheet.

As you do this, keep checking whether they would help you feel the way you want to feel. And don’t forget to include what you want to stop doing!


Send me an email and let me know your thoughts or book a free consultation using this link.



Sveta Parilova is a career and leadership coach who partners up with mid-career professionals to help them get rekindled and renewed about their work/career, so that they feel less stressed and more joyful at work and at home. She is passionate about supporting people in their search for purpose and meaning in their work and life, and is humbled and honored to be part of their journey to a more joyful self. Click here to schedule a Complimentary Discovery Session and learn more!


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Svetlana Parilova
Thrive Network International, LLC