Are You Strong Enough?
Speaker, author, and communication & leadership consultant Anne Grady shows how to triumph over adversity through courage and resilience with lessons from her new book, “Strong Enough”
We’ve all been there – knocked down by life, work, relationships, and everything in between. How do some people get back up more quickly than others? Why do some people conquer their fears while others are paralyzed by them?
Author and speaker Anne Grady, a communication and leadership consultant to top companies, has overcome trouble, trauma and adversity beyond what many of us will ever face. In her new book, “Strong Enough: Choosing Courage, Resilience and Triumph,” Anne shares the winning formula that can help anyone transcend any challenge, personally and professionally: Courage + Resilience = Triumph.
“This formula has been my saving grace over the last decade,” she says.
Anne’s humor, humility, honesty, and practical strategies for facing change make her a highly sought after speaker. Audiences come away knowing they are “strong enough” to overcome any difficulty after hearing her inspiring personal story.
With a master’s degree in organization communication, Anne has studied and taught that emotional intelligence and proactive communication are the keys to personal and business success. She put those lessons to the test 10 years ago as a single mom launching her own consulting business while raising her son, Evan, who suffers from severe mental illness.
Anne often begins her talks with the jaw-dropping story of how her son at age 3 violently attacked her with a pair of scissors then sadly begged her moments later, “Mommy, uppy. Please pick me up.”
The trauma of this and many other experiences since taught Anne to dig deep within herself to find the strength she needed to move forward, instead of focusing on her fears and weaknesses. Caring for a child who was oppositional, defiant and violent, she had to learn to communicate proactively and strategically without reacting to his tantrums and rages. She learned she had to courageously take responsibility for her own thoughts, words and actions, even when it felt easier to “play the victim.”
“I began to realize that I wasn’t a victim, I was a volunteer,” she says in her acclaimed TEDx talk. “I could either let this define and defeat me, or keep moving.”
Anne remarried, and with the love and support of her family continues to raise Evan. Then in 2014, she faced a series of devastating blows. A relaxing massage turned alarming when the therapist found a lump behind Anne’s right ear. She underwent an intricate six-hour surgery to remove a tumor that left her face partially (though thankfully, temporarily) paralyzed. Then, just before undergoing a second surgery on her eye and six weeks of radiation therapy, she fell down a flight of stairs and broke her foot in four places.
“Had I not had the courage and resilience training with Evan, I’m not sure I would have been strong enough to handle all of that,” Anne says.
Three weeks after finishing radiation treatments, she published her first book, “52 Strategies for Life, Love & Work” and traveled to India for a speaking engagement. “Turns out, I was strong enough,” she says.
Anne teaches that courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to work through the fear and discomfort we will all face at times. “Courage means you allow challenge and adversity to be a catalyst to help you grow strong enough.”
The second part of Anne’s equation, resilience, is both the ability to get back up after you have been knocked down and “the proof that you are already strong enough,” Anne says. Combined with courage, it provides the lift we need to triumph over adversity, even when troubles don’t let up.
Anne’s inspiring talks have made her a favorite speaker for corporations and organizations of all kinds, from healthcare and education and government agencies working with special needs populations, to C-suite leaders and Fortune 500 companies. Topics she can address include:
* Resillience self assessment. How resillient are you?
* Discomfort as a catalyst for growth
* Steps to work through fear
* Dealing with setbacks
* How to build resilience and characteristics of resilient people (including humility, gratitude and compassion)
* Why risking failure is a key to success
* Managing stress by understanding how our brains work under pressure
* Understanding the fundemental attribution error (we judge others by their behavior and ourselves by our intent)
* Triumph: Letting go of what’s holding you back in order to embrance where you are heading
* Relinquishing control over what you don’t control
* Fostering gratitude for better health, businesses and relationships
“Gratitude is huge,” Anne says. “Research has found you don’t have to find something to be grateful for; the mere act of looking releases dopamine and seretonin in the brain, changing your neurology.”
In “Strong Enough,” and in talks that captivate, charm and challenge her audiences, Anne shares strategies anyone can use to become more courageous, resilient and triumphant.
“I used to think courage and resilience were innate characteristics (like skinny thighs). You either had them or you didn’t. But what I’ve come to learn, to appreciate, is that courage and resilience are skills and can very much be learned and cultivated. And whether we like or not, life gives us plenty of chances to practice. If we use adversity properly, we can become more courageous and resilient as a result. We can triumph over anything life throws our way.”
Watch Anne in action on Vimeo.
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For more information, visit www.GetStrongEnough.com.