resilience coaching

Resilience and the reason Why

Everyone – absolutely everyone – faces a setback from time to time.

We feel our commitment wobble; perhaps our courage takes a knock.

We may ask “why am I doing this?”

Think about your answer to this question.

It’s the key to your resilience.

Our resilience – how well we bounce back – gives us the courage to stick to our goals.

Resilience often lies not it what we want, but why we want it.

Ask yourself: what is my compelling reason?

Why do I want what I want?

“A promotion means more security,” we might say. “More power; a sense of achievement.”

What’s important about that?

Well it’s obvious… isn’t it?

Perhaps not. These are generic reasons – they become compelling when we make them personal – when they become something we can picture.

An example:

People around you may share your goal (a promotion, better balance, to lead a team).

Successful people tend to focus past the goal, picturing what they’re going to do after it’s achieved.

Go deeper into “Why?”

So “I want a promotion”…

Becomes: “I want a promotion because I want more money”…

Becomes a picture: “I want more money so I can tell my husband he can reduce his working hours; so we can finally afford … and to feel like I have fulfilled on a promise I made to … .”

It’s not just “I want a better balance” – it’s “I want to spend an extra hour per day laughing with … and … before they go to school.

It’s not just “I want to lead” – it’s “I want a team because my idea for a project will make a difference because of … (and my skin prickles with excitement every time I think about it)

[These are reasons others pictured to lead them through (successful) career changes.]

Your compelling reason keeps you resilient

It will keep you committed after a setback.

Positive and determined.

A compelling reason is what drives people to go the extra mile, to work better, to create opportunities, to talk to the right people.

If you’re struggling with your commitment, think:

Is my compelling reason clear enough?

Crafting your compelling reason

Try this short exercise to get your compelling reason down on paper:

Picture yourself having achieved your most important goal.


You’ve just called someone you care about to tell them.

Now say to yourself:

I have accomplished exactly what I set out to, and I can finally say… (and finish the sentence)

What about this achievement makes you feel stronger, better or happier? Specifically?

Now picture talking to someone who is in your shoes now.

They say “I don’t know why I’m doing this…”

What reasons do you have?

There are many ways to build your resilience, confidence and commitment – if you want to explore them, I can help. Get in touch to discuss how one-to-one coaching can help you.

Dr John Ankers offers down-to-earth coaching for life, business and academia. He is based in Liverpool, UK.

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Posted in career coaching, career transition, Life coaching, resilience.