Ep 104. Bend, don’t break (how to be more resilient)

May 20, 2020 | Anxiety, Blog, Podcast

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Are we all snowflakes? Or is life just more complex and pressurised? In this episode I’m giving advice for feeling calmer and in control, handling challenges and feeling more resourceful. How to bend, don’t break and be more reslient.

Check out my online course for resilience at www.calmer-you.com/benddontbreak

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Hello, and welcome to the Calmer You podcast. This is your host, Chloe Brotheridge. I’m a coach, a hypnotherapist, and I’m the author of The Anxiety Solution, and Brave New Girl.

This podcast is all about helping you to become your calmest, happiest and most confident. So welcome to this episode where I’m going to be sharing about how to bend and not break.

Becoming resilient

I suppose this episode is about being resilient. I don’t think resilience is a very sexy word. I think I’m on the hunt for a better word for it. It’s kind of a complicated word as well, which I will discuss a little bit in this episode.

Snowflake generation

Because we, as a generation, I’m kind of talking about the millennial generation and younger. We often get called snowflakes. There’s a sense that even older generations think that we are not resilient, that we are not as strong as older generations, and that we need to toughen up. I actually don’t think that is the case.


We aren’t sensitive enough

You know, if you are struggling right now, of course, it makes sense to try to learn tools to feel more flexible, to be able to handle changes more easily, to be able to calm yourself down and deal with the challenges in your life more easily. So that’s really what I’m going to be talking about.

On the snowflake topic, I really think that most of the world’s problems are caused by us not being sensitive enough. We have a lack of sensitive people in this world, not a epidemic of sensitive people. If more of us could be more sensitive to each other, to those less fortunate to us and to the planet, the world would definitely be a better place.

Are we lacking resilience

So please know that your sensitivity is a wonderful thing. I think a question we need to be asking is, are we lacking resilience, or is the world just harder and we are facing more pressure than older generations. In lots of ways life is challenging for younger people now in ways that older generations might not necessarily have experience.

I personally cannot afford to buy a house in London, my grandma bought a house in London for 6000 pounds. Obviously I appreciate that was a different amount of money back then, but it wasn’t a big deal to buy a house in those days. For so many younger people, buying a house now can seem like a completely impossible dream.

New pressures

You know, university used to be free. Now students are getting saddled with debt before they’ve even got their first job. There seems to be a lot of stress and pressure on all of us. Whether that’s the stress of the pace of life, pressures from social media, the fact that we live in a very materialistic culture, or exam pressure. Plus we’re heading into our second once in a lifetime recession at a time when many young people are just getting started in their careers.

There might also be other issues at play. We are getting better at asking for help and having more conversations about mental health. During our parents’ or grandparents’ generations, people did not ask for help as much because it was so much more taboo. People just kept things to themselves.

It’s a different world

I don’t know that we can say that we are snow snowflakes, basically. So it was a very different world and a very different situation. I don’t think we should compare ourselves to other generations.

I want to let you know that if you are feeling like you lack resilience, then it’s not your fault. Life is stressful, perhaps more so than ever, knowing that it’s not your fault. At the same time, it is up to us to ask for help to become more resourceful.

How we can help ourselves

I’m going to share in this podcast some of the things that we can be doing to help ourselves. So some of the signs that you might be lacking.

Resilience could be that you really struggle with change, and uncertainty can seem almost unbearable for you. You might be finding it hard to focus or having lots of arguments with loved ones. You might be struggling with anxiety or depression or finding yourself bursting into tears a lot, or really struggling with criticism or fear of failure.

I want to reiterate that this is not a weakness, but it just means that you might need more support tools right now. So all the research that has been done into resilience has indicated that resilience is not something that we are either born with or not. It’s something that we can learn, we can develop in ourselves, we can grow and we can become more able to handle changes to adapt and to be flexible in challenges.

Online course: Bend don’t break

Before I get into my tips for learning how to bend not break, I want to let you know that I have a short online course available on my website. It’s called Bend Don’t Break. There is a hypnotherapy session, affirmations mp3 and worksheets. There’s a video workshop well as tools and resources and an EFT tapping video.

You can find that on my website at calmer-you.com/benddon’tbreak.


One of the things that is absolutely crucial for us feeling stronger and more resilient and more resourceful is community. Brene Brown is famous for saying, we were never meant to do this alone. Unfortunately, in our culture, there really is the sense that if you are struggling, it’s kind of your fault, and it’s your responsibility to sort yourself out and try to fix yourself.

It completely ignores the fact that we, as human beings evolved in tribes, where we were with people 24/7. I had the privileged experience of getting to live with a tribe for two weeks in the Amazon jungle in January. They were together constantly.

There is so much social support so much social time. They live in a tribe in small groups of about 150. Everyone knows each other. If someone’s struggling, the whole tribe knows about it, and they can support each other. In our culture, it’s really common for people who are struggling to isolate themselves and to not want to be a burden on other people or to feel like they can’t face other people. Unfortunately, this ends up creating more problems.

Asking for help is a strength

That means that we can spiral into feeling worse and worse because we’re not getting the community that we need. I just want to remind you that being able to ask for help is a massive strength is not a weakness.

If you are feeling like you need more community in your life. I really want to encourage you, even if you are isolating now because of COVID to make it a priority to focus on social connections. Be brave and reach out to people. It’s amazing how open people can be to offering help.

I am personally delighted when my friends asked me for help and say that they just want someone to listen because it honestly doesn’t happen enough. That might look like joining groups, joining online workshops, connecting with communities on Facebook, or keeping in touch with old friends reaching out to people asking them for a coffee.

Making friends

If you’d like a podcast on making friends as an adult, please let me know if that’ll be an interesting podcast. I have personally struggled to make friends in the past and I have made a lot more friends in the last three or four years than I did in the previous 10 years. So let me know if that’s an interesting topic for you.

Calming your nervous system

I think it is super important to know how to calm our nervous system down. We are so much more resourceful when we are in a calmer state. Having some tools that you know help you when you’re feeling scared or nervous to calm your nervous system down is going to mean that you can think so much more clearly. You can communicate more easily and be more in your body rather than in your head.

That might be doing a body scan, where you relax different parts of your body, taking deep belly breath, moving your body, being with your dog or whatever ways you can find to calm your nervous system down.


The next thing that is really important, I believe, is self-belief. I know it’s easier said than done. But self-belief really plays into our ability to know that we can handle things to be able to trust ourselves.

If we can trust ourselves and know that no matter what happens, we’ll handle it, can make such a difference in how resourceful and how capable and how strong we’re able to feel in the face of challenges. That reminds me of an affirmation which was one of my favourites from Susan Jeffers author of Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway. She says, no matter what happens, I’ll handle it. No matter what happens, I’ll handle it.

Make that your affirmation. Write it on a post-it and say it to yourself repeatedly You will then start to absorb that sense of trust in yourself that you can handle challenges.

Be kind to yourself

It’s also incredibly important to be kind to yourself. Sorry if I sound like a broken record talking about being kind to yourself, but honestly, I don’t think it can be said enough. Beating yourself up does not help you to feel more motivated. It actually saps your motivation. When you’re kind to yourself, it cushions you against failure. You’ll know that you can try things and if it doesn’t go to plan, you’ll make it and its no the end of the world. Be kind to yourself and give it another try.

Being kind to yourself is really, really important if you want to feel more resilient, stronger in yourself, or more confident. It’s the secret sauce.

Change your perspective on change

Basically, another thing to do is to change our perspective on change. I hear this all the time from people: I don’t like change. But nothing good happens if things don’t change.

All of the evolution and positive things that have happened in your life have occurred through change and change leads to evolution, it leads to growth and opportunities. Try to remember that change can be a good thing. Even negative changes or less desirable changes that at the time might seem rubbish can turn out to be positive things in our lives with the benefit of hindsight.

Don’t necessarily assume an undesirable change is going to be that way forever. You don’t know how a breakup could lead to you meeting the love of your life or getting made redundant can lead to a new career. Have an open mind.

It’s ok to fail

Lastly, something around reframing, criticism and failure. So I shared recently to one of my groups, stories about some of the failures I’ve experienced. I think it’s so important to talk about failures because when we’re in them, when we’re experiencing them ourselves, we can feel like we are the only one who has ever failed and we will never do anything right again.

The first event I did one person came and the first online course I ran, only about four people joined in. I’m rejected several times a day when I reach out to people for the podcast collaborations. It’s so so normal. I’ve learned through enough experience of failing, quote, unquote, failing. I know it’s not really failing.

There is no such thing as failure

I actually don’t believe that anything is really failure because there is always another day there’s always another opportunity. It’s never a final resting place. I think it’s helpful to know that other people have quote, unquote, failures and get rejected. It’s completely normal. It’s not a reflection on you. Try to remember that we all get criticised, we all fail and we are all imperfect. It doesn’t make you any less. Having this understanding and realisation will help you handle the bumps.

You can handle the setbacks in life with more kindness for yourself and knowing that it’s normal. You can always give it another try. I’d love to know from you what helps you to feel more resourceful and resilient.

And finally…

Come on over to Instagram and let me know. I’m at Chloe Brotheridge. If you’d like to check out my short online course called Bend Don’t Break, where you’ll get a hypnotherapy session and loads of other resources for helping you to feel resilient stronger, calmer, and more able to handle challenges in your life, you can head to calmer-you.com/benddontbreak.

If this episode was helpful, please do leave me a review on the Apple podcast app. Please send it to a friend, if you think they might need to hear this today.

Thank you so much for listening and wishing you a brilliant day, whatever you’re doing and sending it over love.

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