Stronger mind: Build confidence and emotional resilience through philosophy

Stronger mind: Build confidence and emotional resilience through philosophy

Written by Irina Kamalova


Irina Kamalova – 

Stoicism is an ancient Greek school of philosophy that teaches that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge. There are many people selling Stoicism through books, articles and talks. I became interested when my therapist pointed me to Massimo Pigliucci's TED-talk

I decided to go deeper and learn about Stoicism through the 'Little Book of Stoicism', which has a good rating. However, my inner search showed me that everything is more complex than it seems in philosophy. 

At first glance, I realised I had followed Stoicism in school, which helped me achieve the best grades and enter a competitive University. Using Stoicism, I studied for long hours and told myself that I could do better every day. I also tried to control all my emotions against the pressure from teachers and my own family.

After University, following this philosophy helped me push borders and deliver complex projects in my workspace. In the tech industry, I needed to keep working until my code was working well, all tests were passed, and the bugs were fixed. 

I had to approach the issue as steadily and as calmly as possible, checking all data sources and logs. Being emotionally resilient allowed me to be successful through many challenging situations. 

I believe many women still feel lonely in the IT workspace, and can benefit from the following philosophy and support themselves through following strong statements.

Admitting that failing is normal and you can learn through failures every day made me stop chasing perfectionism. And yet, I discovered one day that something is missing in Stoicism statements. I wanted to find the balance between my experience of following philosophers in the past and making my life happier by relying on strong principles in the future. 

Stoicism rests on the pillars of: Eudaimonia and The Dichotomy of Control.

The best version of yourself

In Stoicism the goal is Eudaimonia which translates to contentment. 

Everyone has an inner diamond that cannot be broken, and allows you to be resilient. You have to choose to make the best of every day so your diamond will shine.

I’ve used my diamond to achieve many things: Two University diplomas, learned three languages, became a successful technologist, and built a life for myself in a different country including starting a family, growing my community at WWCode, elevating my profile through talks and developing friendships.

Eudaimonia is a truth that exists within you whether you know it or not. 
There's a diamond inside when you see how many things you've done,recognizing your achievements leads to your Eudaimonia.

The dichotomy of control is another pillar of Stoicism.
The dangerous trap: Perfectionism

It's so interesting that a stoic can easily step into perfectionism's trap! Some things are up to us, and other things are not up to us.

How can it help in your career?

In your career, you may strive for perfection as a woman in tech. That is not the path to Eudaimonia. It’s important to stay true to yourself and remember your diamond while striving for success. 

Emotional Resilience: How can it help in your career?

Practising emotional resilience will help you not overreact on issues and incidents in the workspace. First, accept things as they're and make a decision without blaming yourself or circumstances. Being able to cool down in the moment and make wise decisions will help to achieve long term goals on the career path.

Is there something that is missing from this philosophy? I think so!

Expansion of yourself

There's no limitation to your diamond because Eudaimonia exists within you. When you extend your control over yourself, you gain the ability to act on your reason. It's not about being happier. It’s about contentment. 


Stoicism is a powerful philosophy that can be translated into many solid statements and useful exercises! But it should be considered very carefully, revisited with modern psychology and combined with other ideas and books. A good example of a book that completes the puzzle is "Trust Yourself by Melody Wilding". 

I hope my thoughts and statements will help you feel better and gain more confidence!