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Purpose, confidence and resilience in the workplace

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I recently attended DLG’s Inspiring Women in Business event, advertised as an open conversation with DLG leaders about resilience, confidence and establishing a work/life balance. Seeing the panellists and their seniority within the business made me feel excited to hear what they had to say.


Lots of the panellists gave practical advice for building confidence. This included standing rather than sitting when speaking or presenting to an audience, and tips on being kind to yourself, including:

  • Eat well
  • Sleep enough
  • Wear your favourite shoes
  • Treat yourself to a haircut

Being kind to myself means getting an early night, eating healthily and going to the gym or playing sport. I've learnt that I produce my best work when I am well rested but energised from exercise. 

Staying resilient

Listening to the stories and advice of the panellists, both male and female, gave an insightful and broad approach to staying resilient. One panellist described her personal “toolkit of resilience” which included staying calm in a frustrating situation and concentrating on breathing to reduce anger.

I like the idea of a toolkit or checklist of go-to ways to ensure my own resilience, perhaps just recalling a list will give me the time to refocus. 

Keeping your energy levels high keeps your resilience high.

Many panellists referred to a work/life balance when talking about resilience, and the importance of setting aside non-negotiable time for important non-work activities, such as sports days or school productions. This way, these moments won’t be missed because of work. 

The event also provided the best description of a good work/life balance I’ve heard: “Ranting and laughing in equal measure.”

One panellist highlighted the importance of organisation and structure at work and at home in order to maintain resilience. The advice was that if you know you’ll have a busy day at work then make sure you enjoy a quiet evening the night before. Similarly, if you’ve got a busy evening, try and work from home that day.

Keeping your energy levels high keeps your resilience high - common sense advice, that I'd never considered.

Finding your purpose

The panellists gave a lot of helpful advice about purpose, and as someone who regularly suffers from imposter syndrome, this really hit home.

If you’re unsure of your purpose, ask yourself what you think you’re good at or what it was that you added to the last meeting/workshop/event you went to. Also ask people that you respect and trust what they think you’re good at.

Once you know your strengths, be proud of them, but don’t ignore your weaknesses. You should find a support network with opposite skills to your own and a coach who’s a good listener to build upon any weaknesses. In time and with practice, your weakness will become a strength.

As the event drew to a close, I wondered how three hours had gone so quickly. Feeling empowered by the open and honest words of the panellists, the following in particular stuck with me: “Be brave, always ask, be different, stand out, be curious”.

Don’t be shy…

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