FLIPing Failure into Resilience

Podcast thumbnail for Turning Failure into Growth with Sarah McVanel

Has there ever been a time before now where we, collectively, have been called to level up our lives, face hard truths – many of which are buried deep that COVID has caused to surface – and face a sense of failure, disappointment and struggle? I know I have.


Click the image above to listen to the podcast about “Turning Failure into Growth” with Mark Black and myself.

Being isolated at home has caught me completely unaware of the unsolved pain of having had postpartum depression twice (and my kids are now 15 and 17 so truly, I thought I was “over it by now”).

Being off the road, not doing the community activities I (and my family) enjoy, and my business feeling sharp around the edges has brought up parallels to those PPD days. Stuck at home during terrible Canadian winters, isolated from friends, detached from the meaning and sense of accomplishment I got from work, and the lack of certainty in myself and my life, in hindsight over the last five months, I can see how there are so many painful similarities.

I don’t feel I “deserve” to be upset; in COVID, we’re all well when others are not, and when having a baby, we had a healthy child so what do I have to complain about?

I didn’t ask for help; I have to figure it out myself, as people in far harder circumstances all over the world become moms every day.  I have to course correct my business because it’s only me.

I kept my struggles to myself; I felt shame about being depressed as a new mom; I feel worried about being too open that a “motivational” speaker and coach is struggling now too.

I need to be strong for everyone else; my husband was grieving for his dying mother when our babies were born.  I need to be strong for my clients, colleagues, kids ( the “everyone before me” trap).

I guess the bottom line is, this has been a time where I’ve had to take a good hard (painful) look at the very book I published last year and live the FLIP.

And here’s what it’s affirmed for me; there is no fast forward button or easy route through struggle (well, there could be, but then it’s just unresolved ready for you to struggle with another day). When the FLIP happens is when you can say: I don’t know how to do this, I am struggling, but I’m determined to find a way through it.

Let’s talk about what resilience really looks like and what that FLIP might look like for you.

Want more info on FLIPing Failure into a Win?  Check out the links below to previous articles:

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Deb Rakonjac

Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

"Sarah nailed it!  She worked with the planning group to learn about the organization, the audience, the desired key messages and integrated it seamlessly into her keynote. Her energy was contagious! We received rave reviews of this portion of our event and Sarah was able to speak to all members of our organization in a way that motivated them to recognize others everyday. Our executives were extraordinarily pleased and integrated FROGging into their recent board meeting. Purolator is grateful to Sarah for dropping the pebble and we continue to see the ripples from this session across the organization. Working with Tami was phenomenal and the supports were easy to integrate to ensure the session went well. Thanks to you both!!"
Douglas D Swift

President & CEO, Swiftco Inc.

"I have had the Sarah experience in numerous settings: As a keynote, around a table with several other business owners, one on one over coffee, chatting with others at a conference reception, dining with a small group of colleagues. No matter the setting you always get the same Sarah: engaging, attentive, interested, inspiring, motivational, genuine. And always with an infectious smile. Do yourself, your company, your association a favour. Get the Greatness Magnified (Sarah) experience. The payback is priceless."
Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve