Saturday, 18 November 2023 17:53

Resilience is at the heart of wellbeing, success and long term mental health, and wow, isn't David Beckham a great example of a resilient individual!

I was impressed with him as a player and a man when I officiated at the Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, way back in the day. I've enjoyed watching the first two episodes of the David Beckham documentary on Netflix and I can't wait to see the other two episodes as I'm even more impressed with the way he has negotiated and navigated his way through challenging times, such as the aftermath of the 1998 World Cup red card.

My reflections on why David has displayed so many resilient behaviours:

1/  Sense of purpose; resilient adults have a secure sense of self, evident in adaptable behaviours; David found a purpose in what he was doing through the love of his wife, expected baby, and his desire to be the best Footballer he could be.

2/  Resilience is built: resilience is not an individual character trait that we either have or don't have, we develop resilience as we go through adversity and learn from it; David had to experience media abuse/supporters abuse, he wasn't shielded from it and it was brutal.

3/  Resilience is a team sport: whilst David wasn't able to access mental health support services, he did build a support network around him; Victoria was a rock; he knew he could turn to his parents; Sir Alex Ferguson said to him, "It will be alright. We will look after you"; and his Manchester United team-mates rallied round him to love and support him.

4/  Never give up: we all experience self-doubt; David experienced many moments of self-doubt yet refused to give up, going onto step out of his comfort zone on many occasions, cultivating a growth-mindset approach in all his ultimately successful endeavours.

David Beckham was able to sustain his values and goals while meeting the challenges he faced head on. Have you seen the series? What are your learnings?

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