In this episode, I interview Stacey Copas, strategist, consultant and the author of “How To Be Resilient.” She talks about her amazing story, about resilience and how you can use it to your advantage.
Originally from Sydney and now living in the Adelaide Hills, Stacey has not let a devastating accident that left her a quadriplegic and dependent on a wheelchair at 12 years old slow her down. Instead she picked up the pace achieving a wide array of things from running for parliament to training people with disability in developing countries and a long list of things in between.
Stacey has had more than her fair share of setbacks and has used her life experience and personal philosophies to become Australia’s #1 keynote speaker and facilitator on resilience and turning adversity into an asset, delivering keynote speeches, training, consulting and coaching to organisations such as Telstra, South East Water and CSIRO.
Her first book “How To Be Resilient”, which has been endorsed by Brian Tracy, Layne Beachley and Jack Delosa, was published in June and has been featured by Financial Review, ABC radio and Sydney Morning Herald.
More recently Stacey has added athletics to her repertoire after 22 years of inactivity to further stretch her comfort zones, becoming the first women in her classification to compete in Australia, and is training to qualify for the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Stacey is an Ambassador for the Layne Beachley Foundation Aim For The Stars and donates 5% of her speaker fees and $2 from the sale of each book to support the foundation.
In her spare time you are likely to find Stacey in the nearest patch of sunshine with a book recharging her solar powers.
(01:52) Stacey’s background
(05:20) Was there a key moment in that transition, from when you thought your world was ending, to, in your twenties, being able to turn that around and reverse engineer it for a positive cause? Was there a key moment, or was it just like a combination of small winds over time that got you to the point that it ended up being an asset almost to you?
(06:42) How do you define resilience? What would be one of the first steps in a moment of difficult circumstances to try and build this skill or trait?
(10:58) When you’re speaking to these audiences, I’m sure it’s a very diverse crowd that you’re talking to, what do you say to people, or anybody in your life, who tend to let adversity define them negatively? What would you say to those sales teams, those businesses, those people– they understand what you’re talking about how it can be turned to advantage, but they continue to dig themselves deeper into that negativity hole? What do you say to these people to try and get them to take ownership?
(12:38) You mentioned three things you do to identify adversity moments and turn it on its head. What are the other skills that you talk about in the book that can help people build this ability?
(14:40) I can see a lot of trend in the work you’re doing is getting out of your own head and trying to decrease your wants to be selfish. It’s almost the human want to be looked at, to have purpose. You get out of your own skin and focus on how this is going to potentially help others who you’re surrounding yourself with, who you can help and that will in turn be able to help you use these moments to your advantage. Is that something that tends to be a common theme in your work?
(16:04) You mentioned the building a community that’s going to foster this sense of resilience. One of the things I always have trouble with is, in building that strong group is the issue of loyalty, and how important it is. But that can also get in the way of being able to pull yourself away from some of those negative influences that have grown over time. Maybe friends from childhood, colleagues from work. What would you say to people who are having trouble, who understand the value of the average of 5 people you surround yourself with. But also have those loyal friends who do tend to be negative but you just can’t pull away from. What’s your perspective on that?
Leaving someone behind doesn’t mean that you hate them, it means that you love yourself.
(18:55)I’m interested in the influence of sports or the sports mindset and how it has given you the ability to build resilience. How has sports been this building influence on resilience, building these skills to use adversity to your advantage?
(21:57) What exercises, what action steps in these principles, let’s pick one or two to discuss, so that people in the audience can develop the habit or routine of becoming resilient?
(23:55) How long do you do journaling, 5 minutes, 15 minutes? Is there a time limit you put on yourself?
(25:37) Is there a book that’s most impacted you and why?
(26:57) Do you find yourself reading more only non fiction, mostly fiction, or do you also read fiction stuff depending on your mood?
(28:17) What about documentaries? Do you watch them? If so, do you have a favorite?
Nick’s recommendation: ESPN 30 for 30
(29:50) If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?