On Navigating Adversity, with Shereen Benzvy Miller, and Celebrating our Second Anniversary and IWD, 2023!

Enjoy this next inspiring podcast episode with Shereen Benzvy Miller as she shares her lived experience, and how we can navigate the adversities in our own lives.

A human rights lawyer by training, Shereen is a senior public servant with a strong record of leadership in delivering timely, innovative and effective business and process transformation in the Government of Canada over the past 20 years. She has expertise in shaping strategic policy,  guiding and directing key programs, and overseeing operations in both service delivery and regulatory bodies.

You can find Shereen here:


Jump through the episode with out timestamped chapters:
[00:02:57] Shereen’s background
[00:07:13] Unpacking Unconscious Bias
[00:09:10] Navigating Failure and Isolation
[00:13:06] Reinventing Ourselves
[00:14:42] Exploring Lived Experiences of Diversity
[00:18:59] Understanding the Impact of Adversity and Change
[00:21:38] Elise’s Journey with Pediatric Autoimmune Neurological Disorder
[00:26:30] Unexpected Acts of Kindness
[00:27:46] How Being Open About Your Journey Can Lead to Support
[00:28:59] The Impact of Mental Illness on the Family: Elise’s Journey
[00:33:14] Transforming Adversity into a Positive Force
[00:40:39] Step-by-Step Solutions to a Difficult Journey
[00:43:19] Understanding Uncertainty and Making the Right Choices
[00:47:04] Asking Yourself – What Do I Really Need?
[00:48:43] Finding Value and Being Valued
[00:51:09] Overcoming Fear and Reaching Out with Confidence
[00:51:52] Exploring Character-Based Hiring and Inclusive Leadership

Here are her key takeaways:

  1. We are reinventing ourselves all the time. Reinvention is really about growing, it’s about taking paths that you didn’t even know you could take.
  2. Make a list of the things you want changed and divide that list into the things that you actually want to fight to change, and the ones that you are happy to leave for someone else.
  3. Reputation is built in steps and it just rides out on horseback.
  4. Lived experience, knowing other people have been through similar adversity, will help you find common ideas and hope as you go through it.
  5. When adversity hits, you have to understand its disruptive, its very disorienting, it puts you off balance, but chances are somebody has been through something like this, and if you listen to them, it can allow you to see a possibility that you maybe hadn’t thought of.
  6. Uncertainty by definition creates anxiety. By talking about our lived experiences, we can try to get people out of that endless loop of uncertainty
  7. “Unpack the problem! Don’t let the label of it be your defining characteristics
  8. Little small successes give you courage to take that next step. Momentum builds. The bravery of others will inspire you.
  9. Figure out what you need and do the unpacking. What do you need to succeed? Who do you know?
  10. Aptitude gets you in the door, but your enthusiasm and excitement will move you ahead.

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