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Resilience and perspective: embracing your story

“Whether you're the CEO of ANZ or you're a teenage boy or girl or whether you're Ash Barty or Dylan Alcott, we're all in search of the same two things confidence and happiness.” – Ben Crowe

Watch the video above to see the full conversation or click here to read the transcript.

Our lives have been turned upside down in 2020. From bushfires to COVID, we’ve all had to face challenges.


Many of us have are still adjusting to new ways of living, working and socialising. Can these differences and imperfections bring us together or will our physical distancing lead to increased isolation?


And how can we step back and gain some resilience and perspective in uncertain times?


Speaking on ANZ’s Wellbeing Conversation series professional mentor and leadership coach, Ben Crowe says we shouldn’t let external factors control our story, because we run the risk of giving away what little control we have.


Ben says: “I think everyone on the planet has to develop a level of resilience… And for me, resilience is having a perspective where you understand it’s our decisions, not the conditions that determine our mindset, our self-worth and our attitude. If you don't have that, the conditions will determine your mindset for you.”


Talking with Ben, ANZ’s Group Executive Digital and Australia Transformation, Maile Carnegie, adds for her, personal resilience is about striking a balance with mental agility and looking after the whole self. “By investing in my physical health, my emotional health, that meant I had hugely more energy to draw from and become more resilient mentally and at work,” she says.


Paralympian and Gold Medallist, Dylan Alcott agrees. For him resilience is about being open and vulnerable in the face of disappointment or frustration. “When I go to a bar and they tell me I can't go in because of steps or whatever. I would have taken a really hard, resilient approach,” he says. “I’d tell them I'm fine. I'm fine… But the best way to be resilient is to talk about how you're feeling and to be vulnerable in that situation,” he says.


Finding meaning


Ben believes it’s not the experiences we have that determine our lives, but the meaning we give those experiences. “Two people can have the exact same experience, the exact same trauma but two very different stories… post-traumatic stress or post-traumatic growth,” he says.


Some of the most difficult times unlock the greatest lessons and sense of humility according to Ben. “Celebrate the imperfections of life, because let's face it, life is imperfect and life is uncertain and life is vulnerable - it's imperfections that connect humans the most.”


“The world is imperfect right now and you're seeing the most amazing connection in terms of the sense of humanity during the bushfires over the summer suddenly we got off our banana lounges taking selfies of our feet and we started caring about the country burning down and the welfare of animals and caring for the communities,” he says. “Once we realised it's imperfections that connect us, we can we can take off that mask and embrace our weird and celebrate those things. And that's where authenticity and vulnerability and connection kind of come in.”


“Whether you're the CEO of ANZ or you're a teenage boy or girl or whether you're Ash Barty or Dylan Alcott, we're all in search of the same two things confidence and happiness.” – Ben Crowe


Maile sees how her own family celebrates their differences and how that’s helped enrich her life. “Once you get your head around the fact that it's not better or worse, it's just different, then you can start celebrating the wonderful difference of it. And my son is so extraordinary. The people who take the time to get to know him, just adore him. And he has made me an immeasurably better person. And he has made it much easier and more enjoyable for me to celebrate my difference,” she says.


Paralympian Dylan Alcott is also proud of his differences. “People often say, oh, don't say that you're different. You know, you're not different. You just like us. And I'm like, no, I am different. I have a disability. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. And I fully embrace that because I'm really proud of it.”


Where to go for help


Please remember you are not alone. ANZ’s Employee Assistance Program is available for support services for ANZ employees and immediate family members. Please visit www.benestar.com or call 1300 360 364.


For ANZ employees outside of Australia in need of help or support please see ANZ’s intranet site Max for details of your local employee assistance program.


If you, or someone you know needs help or support, please go to BeyondBlue.org.au or call 1300 22 46 36. Beyond Blue has a range of resources to help support people’s mental wellbeing during COVID.


You can also contact Lifeline at LifeLine.org.au or call 13 11 14.


For information on other services that can assist with navigating difficult circumstances visit anz.com.au


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