How to Become Stress Resilient with Jodi Woelkerling


How can we become stress resilient? How can we avoid getting burnout because of stress? These are some questions I asked Jodi Woelkerling, a stress resilience coach.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • The importance of recognizing stress
  • How to recognize what causes stress and work on it
  • How beliefs and values can cause stress
  • Dealing with perfectionism

About Jodi Woelkerling:

Decades of experience in the corporate world has shown Jodi that resiliency is a key feature of every enduringly successful individual and every organisational culture that is productive and collaborative over the longer term. 

The modern workplace is filled with constant challenges and competing priorities, both for the business at large and for the individuals within the business, and resilience is a key component of effectively navigating these challenges. 

Jodi is passionate about assisting businesses to build an enduring resilient culture at the whole culture level, the various levels of leadership within the business and at the individual level, so that the business as a whole and the individuals within the business can experience the enormous benefits of an enduring resilient culture.

Connect with Jodi:



TP: Hi. Welcome to the podcast. And today we are speaking about stress resilience. My guest today is Jodi Woelkerling. Welcome Jodi to the podcast.

JW: Thank you very much for having me. It's great to be here.

TP: Yeah. And you're again from other side of the Earth. I'm in Northern Europe, and you're from Australia.

JW: Certainly.

TP: Several years ago, you were on the edge of burnout. Can you please tell us what brought you there? And what did you do with that?

JW: Okay. So I've spent most of my working life in the corporate world in positions of generally leadership and areas, positions of responsibility and authority and what I found through most of my working life while I could do those roles, I almost lived in a permanent state of stress, but wasn't aware because it was just kind of the normal way that I lived. And now there was obviously peaks with most people with that where you feel more stressed or less stress depending on what's going on. But a few years back, I was, as you said, on the edge of burnout, I wasn't a great state kind of mentally, physically, it was showing and I could feel I was very, very close to that sort of overwhelm exhaustion kind of level. And it was, in some ways, in hindsight, a really good point because I got to that serious point and went "My gosh, there must be something better than this". It was one of those I call them light bulb moments. Where you go, there has to be something better. And it almost set me on a quest that I really haven't stopped since. So it was a quest, first of all, to help myself and to get myself back into a better state. And then that almost naturally progress to helping other people with the same issue. And then that progressed to helping businesses to create environments that are more stress resilient. So, yeah, that's how I kind of ended up doing the work that I'm doing.

TP: It's great to hear that your own, let's say, difficult journey has brought you to help other people.

JW: I think it gives you some interesting insights that it's like when people are telling you things, you've been there so you can actually really empathize with where they're coming from, what they're saying.

TP: And you work with all those people on three levels. Can you please tell us what are those three levels?

JW: So I find when people are affected by stress, you have to work on the three levels. The first level is if you are finding your in a state of stress, being aware of it and being conscious of it. And then there are certain things that you can do to bring yourself back to calm and most of those things, good stress and the stress response has a largely to a large extent of physiological response, and a lot of those in the moment resets work to that physiology. So bring yourself back to calm. So that's the first level, and most people find those fun to learn, and they are usually quite easy to learn, quite quick to learn and very, very useful. So then the second level is working with people on lifestyle and mindset, things that make an enormous difference to how we deal with the stresses in our life. So things like sleep is probably one of the the best examples. So most people can relate that when they've been stressed, it quite often affects their sleep and the other way around. When they haven't slept well, they normally they feel the stresses in their life and the effect on them a lot more. So sleep is just one example. But there's a whole range. So like diet, exercise, mindfulness, meditation, there's a whole lot of them. And the other side of that level two is mindset, so changing the way that you look at situations and you mentally process situations so that you respond and you decode them in your mindset in a way that's going to be working for you rather than against you. So that's level two. Level three, level three applies, I find to people who, like myself, stress is a repeated issue in their life, and it is something that's almost like an undercurrent through a lot of their life. And I find while level one and level two are fantastic to actually really get to the root of it is level three. So level three is the underlying subconscious things. So these are our things we're not aware of generally. So our beliefs, our values, our habits, our default behaviors, and our perceptions of things. And when I work with coaching clients, that's where the bulk of our time is because it has a huge impact on people's lives

TP: And really getting this stress resilience so that you are not affected with those busy working days or something unexpected to turn up. This really helps to be alive and happy and enjoying your business as well.

JW: Yeah, it's a quality of lasting. And it's important to remember that when we're building stress resilience, it's staying calm as much as possible. But the other side is we're human. We are going to feel stressed no matter who we are at different stages, recognizing that and bringing ourselves back to calm as quickly as possible. No one's going to be happy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There's going to be things that affect us, but there's ways to kind of manage it.

If we're not aware of it and we're not conscious of it, we really can't do anything to overcome it. - Jodi Woelkerling, Podcast Step Up & Thrive

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TP: Lovely. So can you please talk us more about this third level about the underlying or subconscious beliefs, values, and perceptions? What can we do with those?

JW: It's such an interesting question, and it's probably the thing when I work with people one on one, I enjoy doing the most. It is thought by a lot of researchers out there that 95% of our behavior is subconscious. So that means 95% of our behavior comes from that automatic response. So this level three is working on that subconscious things, because really, if we're not aware of it and we're not conscious of it, we really can't do anything to overcome it. So probably a really good way of explaining this because it is a very individual thing, how this shows up in different people. An example I see a lot of the time is perfectionism. So there may be somebody who almost has an underlying belief that unless they do something perfectly, they're not good enough. That's a very, very common one.

TP: This I would say every woman entrepreneur has it because they have to be better than all those men to be treated equally. Very often.

JW: I find it more often, I was hesitating saying it but you actually, my perception is that perfectionism is more an issue for women than men. Overall, there obviously are exceptions, but, yeah, it's a women thing generally.

TP: What else can you tell about the beliefs and values? How can we change it? How can we take them away? Remove them.

JW: So when I work with people on this, it's almost like a three stage process. So the first stage is awareness. You can do this with the help of something like a coach, or you can do it yourself, where you're basically becoming aware of what your automatically not aware of. And this is where coaches tap into that because they'll see what you don't see yourself and you have become almost blind to because it's just the way you live your life. But awareness is definitely the first step. So just say, for example, somebody has a pattern of their value that they see in themselves is always determined by the value of how people around them see them. So they're basically handing over the power of their self perception to other people. That's another common one. Being aware that that's what's going on is a huge development in itself, because if you're aware of it, you can start to do something about it. The second step is unpacking it. Now what I mean by that is and some people do are okay with not going to this level. But most people, they need to kind of unpack it, at least to some stage. And what I mean by that is finding out where it's actually come from. So just say, for example, the perfectionist, the example that I said before, if you've got almost a mode of thought where everything has to be perfect or it's not good enough or you're not good enough unpacking well, where did that actually come from originally, was that something that was because most of these behaviors and beliefs and the subconscious things are formed in the first seven years of life. In the first seven years of life, our brain is in a different state. It's almost like the hypnotic state where you're actually very you're just kind of soaking up messages and they become automatic. So there'll be something in most cases in the first seven years of life that's giving you that belief. So it can be something that you saw, to say, in your parents. It can sometimes be one sentence from somebody important in your life can be as simple as that. And with this, people kind of when they talk about this formative stuff in the first seven years, it doesn't have to be from a place of neglect or abuse or malice. It can be, but it doesn't have to be from those really negative kind of upbringings. It can be something really subtle. So just say, for example, money is a big one. People have beliefs around money, and it could be money is always hard to come by. Could be their belief. There might be something when you unpack it that's happened that they saw when they were a kid, their parents or were struggling for money, or that was always the source of tension between their parents. So unpacking, what's the underlying? And the third level, which is great for people to actually do because it's about taking the power back in their life is there's various processes and methods that you can go through to actually actively overturn those behaviors and overturn those beliefs so that they go from a subconscious thing to consciously creating the opposite and often that's done by repeated habitual practice of what you're wanting to create rather than what's been underline.

TP: That's really amazing, and what kind of changes there can be after these three levels with the lives of those people?

JW: The impact is enormous, absolutely enormous. I'm not exaggerating when I say it can be life changing with people who go through this process.

TP: Please tell a few samples.

JW: Yeah. I have to be very careful of privacy. I'll talk about myself. I'm quite happy to talk about myself as an example. I basically had a perception myself of not being good enough and it's tied in with the perfectionism. But for me it was doing everything perfectly and being lovable and likable and all that sort of stuff. So to me, a lot of my stress was related to my underlying beliefs about myself and beliefs about what makes me worthwhile in the world. And really, before I dealt with all of this, quite an undercurrent of low self esteem. And by going through this, being aware that that was what was going on, working out my root causes for it, which again were childhood things and then actively working through processes to overcome that. So things like a trained, I'm not sure if you're familiar with or your audience will be familiar with Jack Canfield "The Success Principles", a trainer, American. So, one of the things that he does is a mirror exercise where you talk to yourself in the mirror. It is the most uncomfortable thing to do when you're not used to doing it. When you look at yourself in the eyes, in the mirror and tell yourself you're doing really well. And I love you when that's really foreign to you, it is so uncomfortable. But if you make it a repeated practice, it over time, changes that subconscious and that along with other things. I didn't just do the one thing, but that's one of the things that I did do to change that underlying belief about myself and belief about my worth in the world. So that's probably the best example is kind of talk about myself that way. I'm not giving away any anybody else's information.

TP: Yeah. Your example is really great. Yeah. Thank you so much for that example. And now it's time for our quick section. And this is something that we do regularly on our podcast. And my question is, what is your biggest revelation about stress resilience?

JW: It is so common in modern life that it's almost got to the stage where we're not even aware that we're stressed, and we need to be aware that that's what's going on and that that doesn't have to be the way that we live our life, that there is a better alternative through managing our own stress and managing the stresses in our life better so that we can improve our quality of life enormously. It doesn't have to be the way we live our life.

TP: Yeah. Luckily, life can be much happier. Okay. Maybe not those 24 hours and seven days per week, still.

JW: Absolutely more happiness than sadness and stress and everything else absolutely, it can be life changing.

TP: Yeah, that's true. Thank you so much, Jodi, for joining us and sharing all those tips. And if our listeners would like to know more about you and follow you, what can they do?

JW: So the easiest way to find out more about me is via my website. My website is just www.jodiwoelkerling.Com so if you look up the spelling in the show notes, it's basically JodiWoelkerling.Com. People can look at what I do on there. There's also I've got a book that's about to be released. So if they're interested in that, there's information on that. And there's also information on the services that I do, and they can basically request or reach out to me, reach out to me and register sort of like as somebody for email lists and to possibly have a chat with me on my website. You'll also find me on LinkedIn as well. I'm pretty active on LinkedIn.

TP: The audience would like to know more than there's a lot of materials to read.

JW: Beautiful. Beautiful. Thank you.

TP: And thank you. Once again, it feels so great to have you here to talk about stress resilience and why not to have a happier life.

JW: Beautiful. Thank you so much for having me on Tuuli.

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