The five fibres of resilience

Resilience is a fundamental quality everyone in business needs to nurture and there are five elements or fibres to consider, says motivational coach Marcus Child.

While some of us are apparently more naturally resilient than others, there is plenty we can do to develop our strength in this area, says Marcus. Resilience is all about how capable we are of bouncing back when setbacks occur, he explains. “How often do you see a setback as a setup for a comeback? How well do you do what the salmon does and continuously leap upstream, despite being pushed back?

“I like the metaphor of resilience being like a cable with entwined fibres which conjoined give it super strength. I think there are five fibres involved in this; in other words, five ways to be resilient.”


We are physically resilient when we’re in good physical health, Marcus says. “How robust are we physically? Are we capable of doing lots of miles, turning up at lots of meetings and still bouncing in there, full of enthusiasm, wide awake and resourceful? Do we feel healthy?”


“Mental resilience involves the capacity to think clearly under pressure and remain able to solve problems. We can enhance this facility by continuously learning, reading new things, experimenting and reflecting on fresh insights from new experiences. This grows our neural plasticity, our ability to think in agile, creative ways, rather than being stuck in set thought patterns which worked for yesterday’s tests and problems.”


“This is about composure and confidence, our ability to manage and regulate our emotional state when it is under duress or verbal attack or when we are personally criticised on social media for example,” says Marcus. “How capable are we of being a rock, the cornerstone. How well do we manage to keep ourselves together in such circumstances?”


Social resilience comes from strong relationships with friends or family or our team, he continues. “We feel more robust and assured when we are with others who we trust and believe in and who have a similar sense of purpose to us. We have collective power, feel bullet-proof or invincible when we are together, a unit.”


Having a sense of cause or purpose is a ‘game changer’, Marcus says. “This grows when you feel you are ‘on a mission’. A major, definite purpose can give you amazing power, discipline, conviction and self-control.”

All the fibres support each other, he explains. “But I believe you can improve your resilience by focusing on just one. Becoming physically fitter and stronger fuels a sense of purpose and increases our mental toughness. Think of sportspeople who train hard; the discipline required produces a mental strength which serves them well in their physical pursuits too.

“Ultimately though, if we’re really working on the purpose or spiritual aspect, I think we can achieve all kinds of things. The small details bounce off, because we have a really big purpose in mind.”

With all the changes on the horizon for British farmers, resilience is going to be key. Considering the five ‘fibres’ and identifying which areas are lacking helps boost resilience and improves the chances of not just surviving, but thriving in spite of the changes and challenges.

About Marcus Child

Marcus Child is one of the UK’s most successful business coaches and motivational speakers. He has won numerous awards, including Speaker of the Year six times. His work focuses on the people within organisations, inspiring confidence and positivity, wholeheartedness and courage.

Over 25 years, he has worked with business leaders across the world and is known for helping thousands of people embrace daily life and times of change positively and successfully. Marcus is co-founder of Positive Reframe and will be talking at the Cultivate Conference, a business growth event focused on the rural and agricultural sector, in January 2022. See  for more information.


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Farmers are currently seeing the biggest changes in agriculture for more than 50 years. As a mutual insurer, we’ve stood by South West farmers since 1903 and through our Future Farming Programme, we are helping our Members and the wider farming community navigate the changes ahead in this transformative time.

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