The Bounce-Back Factor: How’s Your Emotional Endurance?

Do you ever feel like the littlest thing can throw off your entire day? Maybe there’s a train that makes you late for your first meeting or a sick kid. Perhaps the coffee machine is down at your favorite shop. Whatever it is, it goes from minutia to mega in a matter of minutes. Suddenly, you start seeing every part of the day from that frustration filter. You’re looking for a turn-around. 

I am asking for a friend that is me. 

I struggle with the little stuff. When big things hit the fan, I am cool as a cucumber. But little things like scheduling changes and last-minute disruptions? They’re painful and infuriating. I can handle a global pandemic like a boss, but how dare you ring my doorbell during the webinar. Yes, stuff that little. 

This behavior does not align with the person I want to become. I’ve watched so many people march around this world pissed off, and I don’t want to be angry all the time. It’s so easy to let minor disruptions take up a significant part of my brainpower, but I need my brain. Imagine what I could do with all that time not stressing about little things. Hell, if I could only get the time back that I spent beating myself up for beating myself up about the little things? Big win.

I talked about this with my coach Diamond and she brought up emotional endurance. Emotional endurance is your capacity to stay strong under challenging circumstances. Life is designed to present challenge after challenge and stretch your ability physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. How will you handle it? 

Much like building physical endurance for a long race, it’s about surviving a thousand small tests. What do you do when you train for a race? Run a little bit more every day. You build up endurance over time so that you can prepare for the big day. 

In the process of building up endurance, we also have injuries that have to be cared for. (More now that I am in the second half of my thirties for sure.) We can’t just push through everything. Things have to be iced, rested, and stretched to keep going. 

Building emotional endurance is the way to rest, stretch, and care for our insides. When these “injuries,” aka disruptions, happen, we reject and beat ourselves up when honestly, we should show special care for that hurt. These moments are our hearts building endurance for the inevitable next hard season of life. It’s our spirit’s way of becoming strong. Maybe it’s not a disruption at all. Perhaps it’s a teacher, a lesson in disguise.

More than ever, I find myself asking for teachers (not answers) when all hell breaks loose. Crazy part? They always show up. It’s funny how often you notice a sign when you’re paying attention.

The crazier part? The teachers always lead me to the answers. 

These teachers are living the life. Not stressing the small stuff, not even death, because they know that they have lived the now so fully that if they die, it just means their time has come. 

That’s the person I want to practice being every day. That’s the emotional endurance I want. In practice, it’s being kind to myself when I sleep instead of going to the gym. It’s listening to my gut and putting my phone down instead of responding with frustration at the moment. It’s an outpouring of love and listening to the teachers. Paying attention to the signs. 

I hope your teachers show up this week as you handle the big and little stuff in your life to create emotional endurance and the life you’re proud to live. 

Here to help – 


PS if you’re looking for a lesson on inclusive introductions for the candidate experience, that’s in this week’s blog.

Weekly Letters

Kat Kibben View All →

Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.

Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster,, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.

Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.

%d bloggers like this: