Vroom! March 2022

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Have you ever walked a labyrinth? As you walk in the entrance, you can see very clearly where you want to go. Following the path, you get closer to the goal – and then the path turns and you’re further away. Another turn and you’re tantalizingly close, and then you’re moved away again. It takes patience to navigate the path and get to the center. Labyrinths are a great metaphor for the twists and turns of life and highlight the need for resilience. For me, I’ve most recently learned this through navigating an autoimmune condition and, perhaps even more so, being immunocompromised in a pandemic.

It’s been an intentional journey to take a pass on the familiar slip-road to catastrophizing when things become challenging. When I was diagnosed and it felt like I was trapped in a tight cocoon of pain, it was a great lesson in relearning and leaning into resilience in real time.


Grow in a big way

I have learned a lot about persevering. When pain strikes, whether it’s in the body or in a leadership challenge, we can often resist it, and that can create more tension and an increased pain cycle. I find comfort in these resilience hacks and tools.

  • Anchoring in your breath and paying attention to the presence is a great place to start.
  • Slowing down before speeding up. Actively choosing to lean into (versus resist) the experience can help reduce the tension, allowing for more agency even in the toughest of times.
  • Avoiding the temptation of numbing out.  
  • Checking in with values alignment. “Am I making choices in alignment with my values? Am I being who I want to be, even in discomfort?”
  • Taking care of the human with nourishment, sleep, connection, rest, play, and movement. “What do I know about what fuels my resiliency?”

Three Brave Ways to Practice Resilience

One: courageously slow down and take a breath versus trying to get through the challenge more quickly.
Two: Invite self-compassion - speak to yourself as you would to a beloved friend.
Three: Reach out and ask for support - relationships can be an incredible source of resilience.

Accelerate in a big way

Quote by Adam Grant: “I think about resilience as the speed and strength of your response to adversity. So when you encounter a difficulty, a hardship, a challenge, how quickly and how effectively are you able to marshal strength and either overcome that challenge or persevere in the face of it?”
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Helen Samson Mullen

A Senior Executive Coach at pLink Leadership, Helen Samson Mullen coaches her clients to bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be, so they may lead with clarity and courage. An empathetic coach and facilitator, Helen lives in Wilmington, DE, with her husband and goldendoodle.