Lessons in Resilience: Ajeeta Dash


I continue to get excited when I think of my present and past leadership coaching clients who have embraced the Benatti Resiliency Model and see their success! Please enjoy this blog featuring my leadership coaching client Ajeeta Dash and the impact her resilience journey has had on her career and life.

Thank you, Ajeeta, for sharing your personal insights. You have had an impact on my career as a leadership coach.

Of the five strategies of the Benatti Resiliency Model—well-being, self-awareness, brand, connection, and innovation—which has resonated with you most? Why and what did it lead to?

Connection has definitely been a strategy that has resonated. I have always been someone who likes meeting new people and interacting with people, but now I am more intentional. I make an effort to reach out to people more and ensure that I stay in touch. I have also made an effort to extend my network and establish new connections, allowing me to explore new ideas and mindsets.

What have you learned about yourself by focusing on resilience?

My mind used to be constantly working, either ruminating on the past or thinking about the future. Focusing on well-being has helped me recognize how much mental chatter I used to have. Focusing on resilience has definitely allowed me to focus more on the present.

Have you ever experienced burnout?

Yes, especially during the pandemic. The first couple of months of the pandemic were stressful as I was juggling several different projects and working with teams in Massachusetts, California, and Japan. Long hours of remote meetings were draining and I kept forgetting to take breaks in between meeting. I really experienced burnout during this time.

How did you get out of it?

I decided to take a few days off over my birthday weekend and head to the mountains. I stayed in a lodge that had really bad internet connection and this forced me to disconnect. Being outdoors, hiking, and the fresh mountain air all helped to get me grounded again.

How do you recharge yourself?

My dog and her antics always lighten my mood. I exercise a few times during the week. I try to be outdoors as much as possible during the weekends—gardening, walking my dog, and meeting friends.

What is one daily or weekly resilience habit that contributes to your success?  

I make it a point to meditate 4-5 times a week. This practice has really changed my mindset and made me a calmer person.

How has focusing on your resilience led to career success?  

My resiliency practice has helped me focus more on the now, on developing my brand, on reaching out to people and growing my network. I can feel my self-confidence growing. I have taken a risk and started a new position as a Global Project Lead; this is a new career path, but I am confident that it will allow me to grow and learn. 

What is the ‘why’ of resilience for you?

To be able to manage stress, to improve my relationships both in and outside of work, to not stagnate.

What is a specific resilience habit you’ve formed?

I took a meditation class recently and through that got paired with a “gratitude buddy”.  During the class, we had to text each other three things we were grateful for at the end of each day. My gratitude buddy and I have continued this practice even after the class ended. This has been very helpful, especially at the end of a particularly rough day when it feels like the sky is falling. Taking the time to think over the day’s events allows me to reset my attitude and I can focus on the successes of the day rather than the failures.

What is one piece of advice you would give people to recharge their careers?

Make sure you take time to focus on your mental and physical well-being. Always be in a growth mindset—think of the possibilities and not the constraints.

What fun thing have you done in the last month? 

I signed up for a watercolor painting class during the pandemic. This was an online class offered by the MFA and it forced me to get off my computer by 5:00 and join a group of fun like-minded people and learn something new. I have been doing a new project every week or so—it’s a great way to spend a couple of hours.

What is a flow activity for you?

Walking in the woods is a great way to relax and refresh as is a walk on the beach.  I have been to Crane Beach a few mornings and just walking along the water, hearing the waves brings an instant calm. The beach is a lot less crowded in the cold months but the emptiness has a serenity about it. In the winter months dogs are allowed on the beach, so that is another plus.

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