We could almost hear the screech of life putting on the brakes, we could just about see the skid marks of opportunity pull up short before our eyes and we knew that what had been our normal would never be normal again. Life has a habit of doing that to us, doesn’t it?


Zagging, when we are zigging, shaking us from our slumber and saying ‘Wake Up, You’re drifting, or you’re working too hard, or you’re getting too comfortable, or you’re taking me for granted, or you haven’t seen what I’m really about’.

There are a million different reasons life taps us, just as there are millions of people with millions of stories, and we are all powerless to change anything, except to roll with the punches and do the best we can to influence the outcomes.

There have been times where I have had to influence the outcomes in my life. Whether it was spending years as a single mum in a working atmosphere that was often both bullying and mysogynistic, or finding myself surrendering the loss of my gorgeous inner-city home at a time where interest rates were 18%!!!

Or... whether it was being bedridden for one whole year forced to leave our country property because the bank was changing the locks on us and finding ourselves as numbers 123 in the Centrelink welfare program because we were now bankrupt; we were all certainly being asked to zag.

Adversity can be a terrific equaliser and influencing our outcomes by changing lanes meant tapping into our resilience.

The only thing was, the word resilience didn’t enter our vocabulary. We didn’t know we were doing it. We didn’t purposely decide to be resilient. It’s like when we do something and we just do it, without knowing what we are doing until someone asks us questions to help us ‘unpack’ what makes us, us.

In asking ourselves some key questions to bring us back into the real world and start again, I realised the power of the reframe. Everything has an opposite. Day follows night, spring follows winter and the phoenix will always rise from the ashes.

So we took our reality, valiantly stared it down and decided to make friends with it and find meaning in it. Like starting a jigsaw, we looked at the value we had to offer as a valuable shape, what people would pay for that value as though it was a critical corner piece, and we looked for the learning and the bigger picture as though it was the box lid, because there is always one to be found.

I mean, seriously, going bankrupt at 50?

Well, for the first time in our lives we were debt free, literally, and that was a good thing - a brilliant place to begin building our financial freedom. We had each other and the sun would come up tomorrow.

We had our life and the opportunity to create our own thoughts, we could be proud of our journey and be role models for others to do the same, and more than anything, knowing that to zig and zag is never about controlling the path but about faith that the path we are all on is the right one. 

Neurobiology of Coaching, Wellbeing & Brain-Friendly Practices Diploma

Published on:
28 March 2017
Bernadette McClelland

Bernadette McClelland

Bernadette McClelland is a Keynote and Sales Kick-Off Speaker, Executive Sales Leadership Coach, and published author.

As CEO of Sales Leaders Global P/L she ensures her clients create double digit revenue growth and marketplace differentiation through unique programs based on ‘The NeuroScience of Sales Leadership and Sales Process’.

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