Building Resilience for a New Year with Amanda Crowell | UYGW050

Join Amanda to explore:

  • Why we need to build a practice to support our resilience
  • How to create an active resilience practice as a sanity goal for 2023
  • Top tips from our resilience series


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Do you want 2023 to be the year you finally get to your Great Work? Join me on January 17th for Unleashing YOUR Great Work 2023, an online jumpstart to doing the work that matters the most to you without sacrificing everything else.

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Over the past five weeks, I have been submerged and immersed in a plethora of ways to rebuild my resilience in my Great Work. However, there was one consistent method that seemed to be the most present in every single one of my guest’s interviews, and that was to very simply, TAKE A BREAK! When we are able to take time off from our busy lives, whether it be the holiday season, a vacation, or even a long weekend, we are able to experience time with family and friends that is “unusual” than normal. When I say “unusual”, I’m referring to the simple things in life (hobbies, passions, guilty pleasures) that we don’t get to enjoy on an average daily basis. I have a love for art. I love to draw, paint, see how watercolors flow against a plain white canvas, or clashing oil paints one on top of the other. It’s an escape for me. An escape from the very verbal, chatty life I live day-to-day. When I get the opportunity to experience this passion it feels “unusual.” Make sense? It’s very easy for us to spend time thinking into the past reflecting on what never got done, or gazing into the future preparing for what needs to be completed in a week’s time. I’m here to tell you to stop. Make a list of some hobbies/personal tasks you’d like to accomplish during your time off this holiday season. Once your list is complete, go into that list, pick something, and just do it. Play that new video game that’s been sitting on your Playstation gathering dust. Finish that book that’s been settled on your bedside table the past few months. Explore nature and go on a walk to take in the fresh air. Let 2023 be the year you discover your own resilience and discover your courage to finally divulge your Great Work to the world. Happy Holidays! I’ll see you next year.

About the Host:

Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist, speaker, podcaster, author of Great Work, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda’s TEDx talk: Three Reasons You Aren’t Doing What You Say You Will Do has received more than a million views and has been featured on TED’s Ideas blog and TED Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global. Amanda lives in New Jersey with her husband, two adorable kids, and a remarkable newfiepoo named Ruthie. She spends her days educating future teachers, coaching accidental entrepreneurs, and speaking about how to make progress on Great Work to colleges and corporate teams. To book Dr. Crowell to speak or inquire about coaching, check out or email





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Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Welcome, everybody to unleashing your great work on this special 10 episode series, we are focused on resilience. What is it? How do we get it? And if we've lost it, how do we get it back. So listen in, because we know that great work is so much more dependent on your resilience than it is on your hustle.

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

Welcome, everybody to unleashing your great work. Over the last several weeks, we have had seven wonderful guests. And this Thursday, we're going to be having our keynote guest, Melissa Monty from the mind love podcast. But before we go out with a bang, I would like to take a few minutes and reflect on what I've learned over the last few weeks. These are recorded during the holidays. And part of the reason I wanted to record these at this time of year is because the holidays provide the opportunity to be with the people we love in ways that are unusual. During the rest of the year, sometimes we get the opportunity to spend a few days together with people we live far away from. Even if it's your own little family or your own roommates, you're spending an amount of time together that you don't usually get. I know for me what I want during that time is to be able to be present to that experience. To not be stressed about work, I didn't get done before I took some time off or that I didn't do as much in the year before that I had hoped to do or, you know stressed about what I'm walking back into when I go back to the office. I don't want those things interrupting this unique opportunity to spend time with my family and friends. Also, sometimes during the holidays, we have an opportunity if we take it to do some of the things we like to do simply because we like to do them. I really like to paint, I like to paint and draw. And I don't do it very often because I'm caught up in doing other things. But as I tried to build a resilience practice, I noticed that sitting down and doing something entirely visual is a big relief. I live a very verbal life, I talk a lot all day. And sitting down and just looking at something to draw it or just messing with the colors and seeing what mixes together and what I can do with these opaque paints or these water pick colors on this white paper or this thicker paper. Like there's something so unusual about that. And I like having the opportunity to do that. And of course, I have the opportunity to do that because I took the opportunity to do that. I do that not just because I want to feel good. Although that is enough. I want to enjoy my life. There's no question about that. And in order for me to enjoy my life, I need to be a little calmer. I need to not be always time traveling into the past and worrying about what I didn't get done or time traveling into the future and worrying about how I'm going to do all that. Instead, I need to practice getting into this moment. We all do. It's really easy to spend our time looking back looking forward and not realizing the opportunity of the moment we're in. That feels so much better. But that's not the only reason why we want to keep track of our resilience. There are other benefits to it. We started this series in the episode How to Get Your bounce back, talking about improvement fatigue, which is a phenomenon that I discovered when I was working with school teams that were doing these improvements sprints where like each week, they would do something to try to improve a process in their classroom. And by the end of the six or eight weeks of these little tweaks, people were really tired, they were utterly fatigued by the notion of improvement. They're like, I don't want to improve, I'm happy with where I'm at. Or if I'm not happy with where I'm at. I'm still going to stay here because I am done. I need a minute. And when we focus for a little while on resilience in our lives, it allows us to find our way back to enthusiasm for improvement. And when you're building a business or doing a creative work, or any kind of great work, work that requires innovation and creativity and problem solving, we need to find our way back to enthusiasm for trying new things for enthusiasm for failure for enthusiasm for trying to find empathy for people we don't understand like those are really the sort of linchpins are the bedrocks of great work and they take a lot of resilience to do them. And that is why I have spent the last nine episodes this one being the 10th really talking to people and trying to learn? What can we do? What can we do to rebuild our resilience? Or, as I've you tell speedback, in the second episode of the series told us, how can we prevent losing our energy in the first place. And we've heard lots of interesting ideas from the people that we had on the podcast in the last five weeks. So I wanted to just review some of them, because I think it's important for us each individually to have a list, I literally have a list on my phone and the Notes app, that are things I like to do. Because one of the interesting sort of unfortunate aspects of this is that when you're really low on resilience, when you're just kind of worn down and worn out, it can take too much resilience to remember what you like to do. What do I find fun? What do I find relieving what? You know, the the things that work for me, sometimes it just takes too much to even remember what they are. So I go into that list, and I pick something, and I do it. And so if you don't have a list like that, it might be a good idea to make one. So one of the big pieces of advice that came out over and over again, and it makes sense, because it's the obvious advice. And yet, I think it's probably the advice, it's the hardest to take sometimes is very simply to take a break, to fully disengage from the work from the worry from the expectations, just unplug. Once you've disconnected from all of that then find, as Mary Scott said, Go inside and discover what makes you feel better. So I love that she said this because it reminds us that what makes other people feel better, may very well make you feel worse, like it isn't about the things that make humans feel better. That's when you get into trouble when people are like it's not about massages and manicures. Well it. It's not about massages and manicures unless those make you feel great. And you've got the money for them and you want to do them then it is about massages and manicures. But that may not work for you. It might be more important for you. As Katie colver helped us to remember to go outside to go find that what she called a sit spot where you become familiar with a place that is somewhat wild. So you go out into the woods, you find a particular tree stump, you sit on it, and you spend some time there every day or as often as you can. The sit spot is a place where you become familiar with animals and the plants and the trees. And actually, Abby tell speedback said something similar where she was talking about, you know, she becomes familiar with a place where she has a hike. And then she notices when a tree that she knew when the tree was alive. And that tree has fallen. And then she notices the life that springs up out of the decay of the tree that she knew when it was alive. That is having a set spot that is allowing yourself to become familiar with a place that is wild and allowing yourself to feel a part of that place. Both Katie Culver and Abby tell speedback talked about that. Sometimes people call that forest bathing, which often they're what they're talking about is the the abundance of oxygen in a forest, which is very helpful and very calming. But there's also something about the wildness that lives in nature. And if you can become familiar with it and get to know it and feel a part of it. That's very grounding and very calming as well. Another person talking about taking a real break is Consuela Munoz who talks about shiny object syndrome. And I think during the holidays, shiny object syndrome can be a real problem. Because there's always something else you could do some other sale to peruse on your phone, another store to go to another party to go to more cookies to bake whatever it is you're doing. So this is classic, really great goal setting advice. In fact, guy go on and on and on about it in my book, great work, when you know what you want. You know, if you're being distracted from it, often I find when people are feeling kind of rudderless. Like they don't know where they're going, they don't know what they want. They haven't really stopped and thought like, what do I want from my life? What do I want from this week? What do I want from, you know, my career? What

Dr. Amanda Crowell:

do I want from my family life? They have those desires, but they haven't really named them for themselves. It can be much easier to be very distracted in moments like that. So if you have had that experience, it might be really helpful to really name for yourself what it would look like if you were living your Our best life the way you want to live it with your great work with your values, reflected in your behaviors, like, Who do you want to be? What do you want to accomplish? Like, how do you want to spend your time? What do you want your relationships to be like, when you know those things for yourself in a named over conscious way, then, you know if you're being distracted from those things, and then you can start to be more strategic, saying no to things that don't get you closer, you can, creating space for new things that feel really aligned. I thought that was a great concept from Consuela Munoz, in a similar vein, in the vein of knowing what you want, I really enjoyed Tessa Albertans concept of really noticing the stories that you're telling yourself. So one of the stories I want you to tell yourself is the narrative of who you want to be, because then you'll know if you're on the right track to be to be moving in that direction to becoming that person to doing those things to have in those relationships. But sometimes we have default narratives running in the back of our minds that were not even conscious of. One of them that we talked about in that episode with Tessa Albarn was the butt narrative, oh, yes, I have a few days off. But it's and I'm not really going to be able to spend them doing what I want, because everybody has so much they want me to do. And so noticing a narrative that has a but attached to it, here's a good thing. But here's why it's not that great that that is a narrative that is driving some of your behavior. What happens if you just stop and notice and revel and savor the first part of the story? Yes, I have a few days off. And then why is that good? How is that good? What would you like to do in those days? How would you like to feel in those days? And then the information at the end of it just gives you helpful tips on how to make sure that you're getting what you're hoping to get out of it? If you work with the great work journals? That's a, that is a question you're very familiar with, because it's embedded in every level of the journal, what's going to get in my way? How am I going to plan my way around it? Even just acknowledging the reality that there are, there are going to be obstacles to everything we're hoping to accomplish big and small. I really want to have peanut butter and jelly for lunch. But I'm gluten free. So that's really hard, because it's a sandwich. So how am I going to get around that? Well, I'll just run on over to the whole foods and get the gluten free bread, it may not be great, but it's worth it for peanut butter and jelly. That's a really small thing. What do you want to have for lunch? What's going to get in your way? How are you going to find your way around that. But it can also work for really big things. I want to write a best selling book, what's gonna get in my way? I don't have a publishing contract. I don't know how to get a publishing contract. How am I going to get around that? Well, I'm going to find the people, I'm going to ask them the questions. And I'm going to begin on that path, one step at a time. The question what's going to get in my way? And how am I going to get around it is a much healthier narrative. When you want to acknowledge to yourself that having what you want may not be that easy. But acknowledging that that is a truth doesn't mean that we have to be at the mercy of it. Now, I'm not saying that we can overcome every obstacle, because some of them are systemic, and some of them are a reality. And some of them we choose, not all obstacles are to be overcome. Sometimes we do have to not do what we want. So we can take care of someone we love or we can go to work so we can pay our bills or, you know, there's a reality to things and thinking of our knowledge about what's going to get in our way as information we can use to plan our way around it and get at least a little bit of what we were hoping for is a much more empowering, much more hopeful and much more resilience, creating narrative. So I really appreciated Tessa's take on that and if you want to go back, she's episode 47. I would listen to that again, because she was really laying down some knowledge really laying down some insight and I really, personally enjoyed it. And there were some people who I thought did a great job of just talking about what we can do to just feel better. Lynne Hillman is coming to mind her episode was about laughter and forgiveness. She has these two modalities that she uses. One is focused on forgiveness, which is not something that we do for the person we're forgiving, but instead it is a Freedom Technique for ourselves if we are locked in a feeling that someone has done us wrong or somehow harmed or somehow unable to do it. What we want to do, and it's their fault, that's a prison that we have put ourselves in that certainly other people impact us. But the willingness to allow their behavior to stop us from having freedom and agency and resilience, that's the real problem. And So forgiveness is the way out of that prison. forgiving them for their behavior allows us to now say, Now, what can I do? It's a wonderful freedom technique. And the other modality that she uses is laughter, which things like, my laughter is not a modality. It's like a thing that happens when somebody says something that's funny. But her, I think, really interesting perspective, is that you can laugh on purpose, you could just laugh because it is good for your body, it's good for your soul, it helps you to forgive, they certainly she called them laughter and forgiveness, she called them the two wings on the airplane, they will get you anywhere you want to go. And I thought it was just a really interesting perspective. Once you've forgiven, give yourself access to that land of levity of lightness of laughter. And I thought that was really great. Like as a resilience tip, just go, you know, laugh, just laugh. If that's possible, I feel like I could, I could laugh if I just wanted to, or go watch something that you know, for sure will make you laugh or talk to somebody that you love to talk to, because they're funny, give yourself the gift of laughter, and see what kind of resilience comes your way. And then finally, as we're sort of heading into a new year, we also need to be thinking about what we want to accomplish next year, one of the things that we want to accomplish, I would call this a sanity goal. And if you are setting up your first quarter of 2023, in the great work journal, a great sanity goal for you to take on is to have a daily active resilience practice. And what I mean by that is not to like intend to be more resilient, but instead every day, to take an action, to build resilience to rebuild resilience to maintain resilience. One of these things that we've talked about during this series, or anything that you come up with on your own, that makes you feel better, that would be a great sanity goal. And much like when we were talking about needing to know where you want to go, in order to know if you're distracting yourself from that. Another thing that can really build resilience, just because it removes some of the resistance, some of the procrastination and perfectionism and stuff that you know, in the flow of your work really drains your resilience away. So we can make your resilient, we can make your work less draining by knowing what you want, and then really tapping into the deepest, biggest why for that work. Lyle Benjamin talked a lot about this, as he has created multiple nonprofits, really talking about when he starts to feel drained. He just sits and really thinks about the impact he's making. The people that he's helped, the communities that he's built. And that alone, even if you're sort of in a busy season, and you don't have the time to take a few days off, which you know, certainly probably is speaking to anyone who works in retail during the holiday season. That kind of why this sort of re connecting with and savoring and remembering why we're doing the great work that we're doing can also help to build a ton of resilience. So here at the end of this 10 episode resilience series, I want to remind you that resilience is a practice. It's not only something you do when you have a vacation, or you take a day off, or it's the weekend. Resilience is something that you should do every day, so that you don't end up in a situation where you're fully burned out. Or you're so exhausted that you can't even enjoy your time off or you have lost any enthusiasm that you have for your work. I would love for you to make 2023 the year that you unleash your great work out into the world. And to do that, I hope that you will build an active daily resilience practice. And I'll see you in just a couple of days.


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