Resilient Women

Resilient Women
Photo by Vonecia Carswell / Unsplash

Today is international women's day, a day where we celebrate women in our lives who guide us, lead us and have a special place in our hearts as well as highlighting the groundbreaking work of women across countless sectors, there are so many lessons we can learn from them. 

At Phase, we are passionate about building resilience in all young people, in fact it is a topic we talk about a lot! Resilience refers to our ability to overcome challenges and difficulties. Charles Swindoll said “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you deal with it.” When we talk about resilience we are discussing that 90%. In this blog I want to highlight 3 women and their stories of strength and courage as well as what they can teach us about resilience.

Nadiya Hussain

Now if you are anything like me you love to spend time in the kitchen attempting to master banana bread. For me, something that contributed to this love of baking was growing up watching The Great British Bake Off! Nadiya Hussain was the champion in 2015 but it didn't come without its struggles and barriers. Baking was always something that Nadiya had loved and used as a coping mechanism for the chaos of juggling her young children, family life and studying to be a social worker. Among the busyness and responsibilities of life she had lost the fire she had in her as a teenager. For over 20 years she had battled with panic disorder and significant anxiety therefore overcoming a great deal of challenges to film bake off. The train travel, the low self-confidence and overwhelming anxiety was overcome to display her true talent and skill. Nadiya teaches us that resilience is about stepping outside our comfort zone and challenging ourselves, sometimes that is where the magic happens. It can help open our eyes to what we CAN do and help us grow in many ways.

To read more about Nadiyas story check out her website and this year she has written a letter to her teenage daughter that you can check out here.   

The Lionesses

In April 2023 The Lionesses reached glory as they won the Euros, such an incredible personal, team and national success, drawing in crowds and inspiring a generation of young girls. The Lionesses have faced disappointments and losses in their time too, one of the most recent being the Women's World Cup final last year where they lost 1-0 to Spain. They teach us how to learn from our mistakes and how to adapt, change and improve. The team is full of women who have faced challenges to reach where they are in their career but what we see when they play is a collective effort and shared vision of sheer determination. The Lionesses are a force to be reckoned with that teach us about the power of resilience. They teach us that when things don't go our way or we face failures we must learn, grow and work hard while encouraging others around us and prioritising collaboration. 

Who is in your team? Who is alongside you when you are faced with challenges?

Hannah Shields

I recently became aware of Hannah Shields through reading an article where her nephew shared her story when asked about his role model. Hannah Shields is an ambitious climber who made it 100m away from the summit of Everest in 2003 before she was forced to turn back due to life-threatening frostbite which prevented her from completing her immense challenge. Just 4 years later Hannah returned to repeat and complete the challenge making her the first person from Northern Ireland to reach the Everest summit. When later interviewed she shared how she tackled the climb saying “I refocused and broke my objective down into small and manageable challenges and decided to approach each smaller goal, one at a time.” Hannah teaches us resilience through her positive growth mindset. I can imagine it must be easy to feel daunted and overwhelmed by a mission like that but her ability to break challenges down is something we can all learn from. Resilience includes the way we problem solve and take one step at a time. Hannah’s nephew shares that his Aunt “has taught him to always enjoy what you do, and that there are no limits on what you can achieve.” Hannah did not give up when faced with challenges, she went away and came back stronger. 

Stories help us develop our understanding of resilience. We all face challenges in our lives but that is how we overcome them while learning and growing that counts. Do you know a resilient woman? What can you learn from her?

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