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Home » How To Build Resilience As Your Superpower: Denise Mai (Transcript)

How To Build Resilience As Your Superpower: Denise Mai (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Denise Mai’s talk titled “How To Build Resilience As Your Superpower” at TEDxKerrisdaleWomen 2021 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


Imagine a nine-year-old little girl, left home all alone. No cable, no cell phone, scared to death. Every time there’s a noise outside, she’s wondering if a stranger is looking to break into her home. With every walk past the window, her heart would stop.

And she would be scared to go to sleep because she didn’t know when her parents would return home. Well, this little girl was me. This was how I started building my resilience. I built it by facing my fears.

Even though I was in a dark, scared place as a child, I built my confidence by not letting my circumstances keep me there. This became my superpower. Today, I want to share with you my story, so I can help you discover how you can build resilience into your life.

Defining Resilience

Building confidence and belief in you in order to build this superpower within you. But what does it mean to be truly resilient? I believe that resilience is the capacity to recover from adversity, to bounce back from challenging life situations, or when things don’t go as planned. When things are stressful and challenging and overwhelming, it means being calm, clear, and stable.

The question is, how do you choose to face these challenges? Let me tell you about how I started my journey on building my resilience. My mom is resilient. She was a refugee from Vietnam. She risked her life with her younger sister to escape her country on a boat.

They were stranded for four days. They were raided by pirates, not once, but twice. Sadly, her sister died on the boat. But my mom, she survived. After 15 treacherous days, she arrived at an Indonesian refugee camp. She was one of the lucky ones sent to Canada. My mom had me at the age of 40. She was a single mom on welfare.

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