Nicole Ptolomey O’Donnell

MD – Tailored EA Ltd

LinkedIn: Nicole on LinkedIn 

Facebook: @TailoredEALTD

Twitter : @TailoredEA


BWS Member, Nicole, has been supporting executives for over ten years. She created Tailored E.A in 2018 to provide freelance C-Suite support incorporated with project management, process improvement and strategic planning to offer a unique modern take on the traditional Executive Assistant.  Tailored EA are passionate about raising individuals up through coaching, training and development. Their vision is for everyone to reach their potential with authenticity and achieve a fulfilling career.

In this article Nicole discusses Resilience – Helpful strategies when you face a setback during this pandemic’

When you face a setback or notice yourself beginning to feel unsettled about a situation or change.

1. Take care of yourself. The stronger you feel physically and emotionally, the easier it is for you to overcome a setback

2. Think positively. Positive thinking drives positive emotions which in turn drives positive behaviours.

3. Stop negative thoughts. We are our own worst critic if we were to speak to others the way we internally speak to ourselves….my goodness could you imagine how nuclear those conversations would become. Stop the “I’m not worth it” “I’m not good enough” etc. Acknowledge were you went wrong (if you did) learn from it and move on. Try and make a concerted effort to stop the tumble dryer overthinking (where you play it over and over in your head until it fries your brain and shrinks your confidence. Do it once then park it. Write it all down – then bin it. If your struggling go for a walk, take a bath just take action to do an activity that will take your mind off it and accept that your negative thinking pattern is rarely an accurate reflection of the truth of the situation.

4. Positive reinforcement – Reflect on past situations when you have done well or overcame a previous setback. Make a list there will be a lot more than you realise. Be kind to yourself and remember setbacks are only temporary. If we didn’t experience setbacks we wouldn’t be able to truly appreciate or feel gratitude when things do go well for us or learn the valuable lessons from them. When you were learning to walk as a toddler – you naturally kept trying even when you fell over and you no doubt hurt yourself quite a lot in doing so. My point is you have been handling and overcoming setbacks for a lot longer than you are probably aware of.

5. Get some perspective. Worrying about something means you’re compounding the problem. Write is down and most of the time you will see that your fear is unfounded and can be dispelled with facts. Try and take the emotion out of it and approach it like a business transaction. Fear of something that’s not yet happened is wasted energy and its in this state you can become paralyzed into non action. Did you know that 40% about what you worry about will never happen, 30% has already happened, 12% are needless worries about what other people think whilst  only the remaining 8% are your real concerns that should be dealt with.

6. Turn to your network for support if you need to– When you suffer a setback you are never alone and there are many physical and virtual groups you can turn to and lean on for support if you don’t feel able to reach out to friends and family. People generally love to help others as it is an incredibly fulfilling thing to do, so do ask for help as often as you need to. Your giving people the opportunity to help by doing so which is a positive thing. If there’s no group already in place that you feel is a good fit then create one! Start a conversation on Facebook or LinkedIn and see where it goes.

7. Don’t sweat the small stuff and find happiness in your surroundings – If you can’t change something or if you’re going to be impacted by a business change out with your gift to influence accept its coming and that what you need to do is find a way to navigate through it. With every step you conquer you’re getting ready for bigger things. Get a plan in place and take what positive action you can. Sometimes we just need to wait a situation out. Use this waiting time to go walking, get fit, meditate, read, do online courses and skill up. Take pleasure in your surroundings and take time to acknowledge everything you are grateful for in your life. From your relaxing bath time to your family or even that morning cup of coffee. It sounds trivial but when you shift your thinking from negative to positive there is a physical surge in your feel-good chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin that contribute to the feelings of closeness, connection and happiness. It takes practice so do it often!