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  • Writer's pictureFLX Women

The 3 Rs: Resilience, Resistance, Radical Connection

Updated: Sep 24, 2018

By Kristen Fragnoli

As we set off on this adventure we are calling FLX Women, we are exploring three central themes that will form the core of the fall 2019 women’s leadership conference Women Rising: Resilience, Resistance and Radical Connection. These ideas will resonate with each woman in unique ways, yet there is a a deep sense that these three qualities – resilience, resistance and radical connection - are needed by women regardless of context. The blog will share stories, reflections and inspirations related to these themes. Let’s start conversations about what resonates most for each of us so we can discover common ground and celebrate our diversity. Here is how we are thinking about the “3 Rs.” Tell us what you think or share a story of your own.


Resilience is not only the power to overcome, the capacity to endure challenge and the ability to bounce back after failure, disappointment or difficulty. Resilience is also learning to adapt to varied and changing contexts while remaining authentically ourselves; being true to our own sense of self yet being open to growth, change and transformation. Resilience grows when we are open to new learning, flexible in our expectations and optimistic about our circumstances. We build resilience when we use personal and communal practices that fuel, nurture and prepare us for a multiplicity of experiences. Resilience is valuable not only in times of crisis, but also in times of calm; in fact, increased resilience brings increased joy, balance, meaning and connection and helps us live in a state of calm more easily.


Resistance is our power to fight against, the capacity to oppose and withstand that which we do not support – that which we believe is wrong or hurtful. Resistance means using our voices and our resources, including whatever privilege we have, to take a stand for and advocate for humanity and human dignity. Conversely, when we face internal resistance we must recognize that fighting against personal growth, change and transformation is a maladaptive practice that may hold us back or hold us to unneeded constraints or false personal beliefs. Understanding our internal, personal resistance to change helps us explore our own values and make conscious decisions about our actions – when we have done that, we can then use public resistance to push against social practices that hold our communities back from the fullest, most just life available and use our strength to make positive change.

Radical Connection

In an age of disconnection, distraction and division, seeking to purposely and deeply connect with others by vulnerably sharing our stories and empathetically listening to theirs is a radical approach that brings understanding and healing. Radical connection means breaking out of the trance of superficial engagement and crossing difference, stretching ourselves to see many perspectives, and digging deep to find common ground. Women are natural connectors yet sometimes we are disconnected by competition, internalized stereotype and social systems that hinder our performance and separate us. Engaging in a lifestyle of radical connection brings us together to raise us up so that we can empower and be empowered, see and be seen, and use our unique gifts to improve the world.

Share your thoughts about resilience, resistance and radical connection!

Kristen is a leadership coach, speaker, traveler and lover of books and mountains. She is the owner of Quest Potential Leadership Coaching and founder of FLX Women. Learn more about her work at She tries to be courageous, passionate and connected in all she does and hopes you are too!

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