This is the resilience you already have inside you, built upon your nature and nurture, and influenced by your personality and values.


How you view the world and deal with stressors is critical to the development of a strong Resilience Shield.


Sleep. Diet. Exercise. It’s that simple - the more we develop our physical capabilities, the more resilient we will become.


Our interactions with other human beings nourish and strengthen our Resilience Shield. The support of friends, family and significant others builds this layer.


Work can create stress within our lives - or we can be empowered and inspired by it. Finding work with purpose - or purpose in our work - can tip the scales in your favour.


A strong Resilience Shield empowers us to embrace the unknown and unknowable - in short, to deal with whatever life throws at us!


What is resilience?

Great question!  So good, in fact, that even the academics can’t quite settle on a universally agreed definition.  In spite of this, there are two things we know for sure.  Firstly, for resilience to exist, there needs to be some form of stress.  And secondly, you need to come out the other side of the stress event in one piece.

Given this, we like Dr Lies Notebaert’s definition of resilience as ‘an outcome better than expected given the adversity being faced’.

What is The Resilience Shield in 100 words?

It’s recognising that the world isn’t supposed to be fair or make sense, but is incredible in spite of this.  It’s defining your own happiness, owning your story and drawing strength from everything you’ve done to get you this far.  It’s developing an unconquerable mind that will go, always, a little further.  It’s utilising, recognising and celebrating whatever incredible feats your body can perform.  It’s separating your role from your identity and choosing who you want to share your foxhole with.  It’s finding your purpose and pursuing virtuosity within it.  It’s overcoming anything that life throws at you.

Why a shield?

Because a shield provides protection – not just for you, but also for those around you. And also because we also love the tales of the famous Spartan warriors who dominated Greece in the 5th Century BC. They used their 90-centimetre wooden and bronze shields (known as hoplons) to close ranks during engagements in order to achieve passive protection in a phalanx. Spartan shields surrounded the warriors on the fronts and flanks of the formation, with additional shields raised overhead for those in the middle. Interlocked in this manner, the hoplons were almost impenetrable. 

Spartan hoplons were hereditary, passed to successive generations of warrior from the maternal side of their family. As you will learn a component of our resilience is genetic, and thus analogous to the literal handing down of a shield in Spartan culture. The parting words from a mother to a Spartan warrior departing for battle were understood to be ‘return with your shield, or on it’.  To drop the shield was to endanger your fellow warriors as much as yourself and was considered the mark of a deserter. Such was the importance of the shield; it was more honourable to die and be carried out of battle on your own shield than to lose it. 

Wielding a shield also leaves a hand spare to carry a weapon.

Naturally, the material used in the construction of a shield is crucial to its strength and many different materials have been used to construct shields; and still are! But no matter the material used; it is the attention to detail in manufacturing the shield that provides the ultimate strength. Your Resilience Shield is no different.

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Improve your Resilience

Your resilience is not set in stone - it is modifiable. There are many things you can do to proactively develop your Resilience Shield layers. Don’t wait until you are hit by stress - start building your shield today!

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