Between the coronavirus, the stories emerging from the #MeToo movement, and the extreme market volatility we’ve seen in recent weeks, it’s hard to stay afloat. It takes resilience, and fortunately women are good at it.
What Do We Mean When We Talk About Resilience?
We’re talking about how we respond to or manage change. We can think of our response to change in phases:
- Realization: We see the change coming (or we don’t). We may have a long time, or a very short time to prepare. In this phase, we might be resisting or reacting — or be in complete denial.
- Change happens: It can be abrupt, or there can be continuous change over a length of time.
- Recovery: The worst may be over, but we find ourselves in a new place (physically or metaphorically). At this point, we are taking stock and figuring out what to do next.
- Adapting and embracing change: We learn from the experience and adapt to new circumstances.
The good news is that women are good at resilience — some say we learn it from an early age.
Why Women Are Good at Being Resilient
Women learn how to be resilient at a young age because they have to deal with unique stressors — and this continues throughout women’s lives as they carry different burdens and expectations from men. “They carry more of the emotional load in families. The gender biases that exist either beat you down, or you develop a sense of yourself and others as being OK,” says UC Berkeley professor Andy Scharlach.
Here are some ways that women are resilient:
- They’re good at setting goals and able to see advancement toward a goal in small steps.
- They’re good at anticipating roadblocks and finding workarounds or recalibrating goals to accommodate new circumstances.
- They gather information before they take a risk — in investing and other areas in life.
- In high-intensity athletic events such as marathons, it’s been noted that men have higher drop-out rates than women. One theory regarding why women have better completion rates is that they are more likely to show up prepared in the first place.
- Research also shows that women are better at enduring adverse circumstances such as marathons, long-distance swimming, and of course childbirth.
- The more terrible, cold, wet, and windy the weather, the more women persevere relative to men. In the Boston Marathon, when compared to the sunny marathon the year before, the drop-out rate for men increased by 80 percent, while the drop-out rate for women increased by only 12 percent.
- There are a lot of contributors to our higher success rate. One you may not have thought about is that women have a tendency to be collaborative (even in competitive events). Supporting each other and sharing our struggles gives us strength to keep going, and to get back up.
4. Adapting and Embracing Change
- Women seem to do better at reinventing and retraining themselves. Following the Great Recession, it was found that although women made inroads into traditionally “male” roles, men were much less likely to take on “women’s work.”
All this is to say, we are good at this. In difficult times, it can feel like you’re barely hanging on, but remember that you have the tools to succeed.
Resiliency in Your Financial Life
At The Humphreys Group, we talk a lot about the importance of resilience with our clients — financial resilience, emotional resilience, physical and health resilience, spiritual resilience, community and social resilience, and vocational resilience.
Financial resilience refers to your ability to withstand life events that impact your income and assets. While it’s often not pleasant to think about, developing this resilience before a financial emergency happens can be a huge help to your future self.
If you’d like to talk more about resiliency and how you can further apply it to your financial life, reach out to us today.