Cat Williams
Written by Cat Williams

Do you think resilience is an over-used term, and what is it anyway?

I am a military wife, Rapid Transformational Therapist, and resilience expert. I help people with their self-esteem, self-confidence, relationships and resilience every day, but I too am becoming a bit tired of how often I am hearing the word resilience!

Do you, like me, feel like it can be an “instruction”, when sometimes we want to acknowledge that it’s okay not to be okay?

A tennis ball or a tomato?

Resilience can be described as “bounce-ability”, the way we bounce back from adversity or challenge and carry on; and this is why I think the word can be unhelpful; sometimes we won’t just ‘bounce back’ straightaway.

Photo by Avin CP on Unsplash

I see resilience as more like a tomato!

We probably WILL feel squashed, battered and bruised at times, and that’s okay. It’s okay not to always feel okay.

We do have ‘seeds of growth’ however, that burst out when we are ‘squashed’, and new life can grow – “we never lose, we either win or learn” – right?!

A spark of inspiration

As the virus affected the daily life of myself and my clients more and more over the past year I had feelings, along with many of us, of being out of control, not quite knowing what each day would bring, and needing to find a way to stay calm and feel in control, in spite of the uncertainty. 

These were familiar feelings to me because we are a military family and when you are married to someone in the military you often feel that control has been taken away from you, your partner changes job frequently, you move house, and they go away for months at a time.

I realised other people felt the same but perhaps hadn’t experienced anything similar before, so I decided to bring all my knowledge and experience together and write a short online ‘Minimising Stress & Maximising Resilience‘ course, which was also a way for me to have something positive to focus on that would make a positive difference and help other people.

What has a hot air balloon got to do with your approach?

I love hot air balloons!  I use the metaphor of a hot air balloon to bring out people’s confidence, self -esteem and true potential, their resilience basically.

The basket of the balloon represents the stress that weighs us down and I teach people how to keep that weight as small and as light as possible. 

The ‘flame’ is about understanding and building your self-knowledge, self-confidence, self-worth and self-esteem so that you always keep your inner fire burning brightly and energising you in the most helpful way.

The ‘ropes’ that secure the hot air balloon to the ground until it is ready to fly represent the unconscious things we can often think or do that end up getting in our way or holding us back. Once these are pointed out they are easy to remove, but we often don’t see them, so I teach people how to identify and remove the ‘thinking traps’ or behaviours in their way.

The strings connecting the basket to balloon represent how we communicate with and take control of our mind and mindset – how we dialogue and instruct our mind to lead us where we want to go.  In my metaphor there are four strings to represent the four powerful and straight-forward ‘Rules of the Mind’.

Finally, the balloon itself is all about how to lift ourselves up using concepts such as Strengths Psychology and discovering your innate personality strengths, Reframing, learning positive Self-Talk strategies, and using tried and tested instant resilience building tips, techniques and easy daily practices.

Where would you advise someone to start in terms of building their resilience and well-being?

If you have heard of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) then you will know that our well-being begins with our internal thoughts.  I have a free webinar all about ‘Getting Back on Track’ and taking control of your thoughts and thinking traps.

Thinking traps are unconscious patterns of thinking that we can’t usually see until they are pointed out to us, but, once we notice them they are easy to remove and we experience a massive shift in how we approach situations.

I use a straightforward powerful exercise to identify common thinking traps, remove them, and set you off in the best possible way towards the clarity, calmness and confidence you deserve.

Here it is!!

Check it out and let me know the shifts that you notice and how much more ‘on track’ you feel in just 30 minutes!

Take care, Cat

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