How to Build Resilience One Step at a Time



“Every step counts” when you have a goal to achieve, says resilience expert Chaunté Lowe. This approach has helped her build an “I Can Do Anything” mindset that made her an Olympic high jumper and literally saved her life as she recovered from an aggressive form of breast cancer.

When you have a goal—any goal—she says, “you have to map out your steps to success and then take it step-by-step, learning each day.”

Lowe will be sharing more about her recipe for resilience during AORN’s annual conference next spring in San Antonio. She recently shared with us a few pearls that help her stay resilient.

  1. Stay Connected to Your “Why”

Your “why” is what inspires you to wake up each day and have joy and a sense of control no matter what you face, Lowe says.

When she decided to train for the Olympics while undergoing chemo, Lowe’s “why” was using her platform to promote breast cancer awareness every way possible. “In the face of immeasurable adversity, I had a voice and a chance to speak up and help others.” Her efforts resulted in a flood of thank-yous and stories of survival that her words sparked for others facing breast cancer. She read and reread these messages each day to fuel her Olympic training and regain her health.

A nurse’s “why” is saving lives, and she encourages them to think about those patients and those stories to build resilience. “It will give you the courage to keep fighting.”

  1. Be an Active Learner

Being dedicated to learning and refining your skills gives an opportunity for constant growth, which fuels your confidence, Lowe says.

“Remember to be patient with yourself, because where you are today isn’t necessarily where you will be down the road—lean into your learning curve and give yourself the grace to be better in your own unique way.”

  1. Care for Yourself

Lowe describes herself as the “heartbeat” of her home to her husband and children, but admits she wasn’t caring for herself. “Nurses often do the same, being so caring and giving of their time, they often put themselves on the backburner.”

She stresses that nurses MUST take the time for their own self-care to “rest, recover, and restore” so they are strong enough to help those who need them most.

Ready to learn more about building your own resilience? Make plans to attend Chaunté Lowe’s keynote presentation, April 3, at AORN’s 70th Global Surgical Conference & Expo in San Antonio. Register for AORN Expo 2023 today.