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

Katrina Kibben View All →

Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.

Katrina has written for,, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

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