Cultivate Resilience

Debacles occur in life.  For some it may seem like they can’t do anything right.  Life falls apart right before their very eyes once in a while, more times than one cares to tell the truth about, or so much, that they are filled with more doubt that chips away at their confidence.  How about you?  How you act or react when you’ve done something wrong can have a powerful impact on your psyche, your career, and your life.  However, a different response is possible.


I remember phases of my career feeling doomed for failure.  Have you ever experienced that?  You want to either climb in bed and pull the covers over your head, or you get angry at yourself and those around you, or you cave inside, and say, “Well, I won’t try that again.”  You give up.  These experiences can debilitate us, make us run for the hills, or, they become a point of understanding when we can see what we are made of.  We can learn resilience.

It didn’t help that I already I felt self-conscious about the family I grew up in, seven kids and blue collar family. My great grandfather was a cotton picker, and both sides of my family basically lived in poverty, and my grandfather on one side was a raging alcoholic, and the other worked as a dishwasher in a fancy hotel in San Francisco. My mom went to school till the 3rd grade, and my dad till the 10th. Only one of my sisters out of 7 has a college degree.

My family felt like a debacle.  We always had food on the table and hand me down clothes, and presents under the Christmas tree.  But somehow, I felt unimportant in this family, and unlike the rest, sadness and overwhelm with the chaotic environment left me mute and in my room.  Everybody needed more attention than what they could get.  So I started building my own inner life, and I wanted out in the worst way, so I left at 17 years old, and never looked back.

We’ve all got a story, a legacy.  It’s made us who we are, and when we look back we can see, either we became stronger for it, or we were defeated.

Now, let’s look at what is happening in the salon. Poor color choices, clients choosing to go somewhere else for their haircut because you continue to leave a wet towel around their neck, when they’ve told you they don’t like it a million times. Or, your coworkers harass you, or the salon loses their lease and you all have to find another place to work.

Maybe you’re learning haircutting, and you just can’t get a handle on the complexity of hair color, and you repeat past formulas that don’t work.  Maybe you’re not succeeding in the apprentice program.  Or, maybe each time you make a mistake you are completely hard on yourself.  Or worse yet, the last salon let you go.  Whatever the circumstance, the salon life is fraught with these “circumstances”.

[tweetthis]”We have this moment. Breathe in, and breathe out.” REBECCA BEARDSLEY[/tweetthis]


What you need to learn is resilience, and decide whether you are going to pull yourself up.  When we are feeling low about life, ourselves, and disappointment and anger come up, feel them.  FEEL THEM!  When we do, our senses come to life, we feel new levels of appreciation for the simplest of pleasures, like a walk in nature, or planting a garden, or talking with a friend.  A quiet strength develops inside you, a desire to better yourself and your life, a determination to make something of yourself awakens.

Food For Thought

[Losing: Builds Character or Sucks? The Wizards Speak On It] by Kyle Weidie

Your debacles lead you to awe-inspiring legacies that you learn from, they lead you to a resilience you never knew, nor could know without them.  In the research done by Donald Meichenbaum Ph.D., the Researcher Director at the Melissa Institute in Miami, Florida, states that, “Resilience reflects the ability to:

Bounce back

Beat the odds

Transform one’s emotional and physical pain into something “positive”

Evidence a relatively stable trajectory of healthy functioning across time

Move from being a victim to being a “survivor” and even to becoming a “thriver”

Be “stress hardy” adapting to whatever life sends, and for some, even evidencing “post-traumatic growth”.”  In other words, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

Now granted, nobody wants to keep on losing, or failing, or having hardships. But when you realize your debacles lead you to awe-inspiring legacies, you begin to reach others, you become relatable to all, your life takes on a deeper meaning.  Meichenbaum goes on to say, “Resilience is more accessible and available to some people than for others, but everyone can strengthen their resilience.”

Meichenbaum talks about developing these skills will help you develop your ability to handle these debacles and build resilience.  Lean on social relationships, personal control, experience positive emotions, and self-regulate negative ones, flexibility, and lean into problem solving.

One thing I grew well aware of in my trials, is that the seasons change, and every one of us goes through a dark night of the soul, and deep transformation occurs.  Our struggles make us come to the mirror, face to face with ourselves and grow our purpose and cultivate meaning.  This meeting is where our job, our relationships to ourselves and others becomes a practice in developing ourselves, when we are willing to do the work.

Life is still very mysterious, and full of unpredictability, and still, we can become better hair designers, better colorists, better hair stylists, and better people.


Question: What debacles made you change from victim to a learner?  Share your answer on Facebook, or Twitter.

  • Gretchen
    Posted at 11:32h, 13 December Reply

    Thank you for sharing your inspiration and light. I think you will find greater success if you choose to hire an editor or perhaps take a writing class. Our industry is in dire need of your education and I think it can only improve with clarity of thought and better technique. I would love to help you if you need a “verbal stylist” to bounce ideas around with. Thank you for sharing yourself and your experience.

    • Rebecca Beardsley
      Posted at 14:17h, 14 December Reply

      Thank you for reading Gretchen, and for your sage advice.

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