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How to Build Resilience

Anna Hemmings MBE

14 September 2015

Anna Hemmings is best known as Britain’s leading female marathon canoeist, a two-time Olympian and six times World Champion, she reminds us that resilience an essential attribute in today’s modern corporate world if you are to ‘thrive rather than simply survive’. In this week’s blog, Anna shares with us her three top tips that you can draw upon in every walk of life, be that in a sporting, business or personal environment.



Resilience is multi-faceted; it’s the ability to bounce back from setbacks with renewed energy and effort, it’s having the skills to cope with disruptive change and most importantly, being able to withstand and perform well under pressure without compromising your health and well-being. If we build our resilience we can increase our capacity to deal with the constant demands and challenges that we face on a regular basis. We are able to sustain high performance for longer, even under pressure

Top Tips: 

Control the controllables

Focus your attention, energy, effort on what you can control. The most resilient people have a tendency to believe and act as if they can influence events taking place around them through their own effort. They also understand what is beyond their control. This gives you a great sense of self-efficacy rather than a feeling of being a victim of circumstance. Identify the ‘un-controllables’, put them aside and spend your time focusing on where you can make an impact.

Use support available to you from other people

A strong social support network is a great source of resilience. Building good relationships and having people around you who you can rely on is really important, particularly when trying to overcome adverse situations. The most resilient people make sure they have a strong support network to protect them from the detrimental effects of stress and pressure. Show your appreciation for those who support you and ensure you do enough to reinforce relationships.

Manage your emotions

How we feel profoundly impacts how we perform, however much of the time we are not even aware of how we’re feeling or what impact those emotions are having on our effectiveness or on the people we work with. Positive emotions boost our energy and build our resilience. Develop your emotional resilience by improving your emotional awareness – pay more attention to the emotions you are experiencing; this will increase your ability to identify what you are thinking and feeling and how that affects your behaviour and performance. You can’t manage your emotions until you’re aware of them.


For more information on our leadership development programmes or to enquire about booking Anna to motivate your teams at your upcoming conference, event or team day please contact us on 0207 137 7353 or alternatively email

Anna Hemmings MBE


Anna is best known as Britain’s most successful female marathon kayaker. She inspires audiences with anecdotes from the World Championship and Olympic Games; hers is really a tale of triumph over adversity. 

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