Want to Be More Resilient?

Joe Weinlick
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Resilience, the ability to handle change well and bounce back after hardship, is a key factor in dealing successfully with work stress to move onward and upward in your career. Building resilience helps you face challenges head on with the clarity and control necessary to succeed. In the 21st century, changes tend to come at a tumultuous rate. Work on these four practices to become more resilient and adapt to change in a better way.

Know Yourself

When you're aware of your own strengths, it's easier to rely on them when change happens fast. Take an inventory of your strengths during the smooth periods; when things get rocky, you are less likely to second-guess yourself and more likely to confidently do the things necessary to move in the right direction. Likewise, understand your weaknesses. Many business professionals shy away from focusing on the areas that really need improvement. Building resilience requires having a good understanding of those weak places. This makes it easier to simply admit your shortcomings and ask for the assistance necessary to improve the situation.

Keep Your Frustrations in Check

Frustration is a natural reaction to unexpected change, but it becomes a problem when you let your irritability get out of control. Building resilience involves paying attention to your emotions and learning to practice coping techniques, such as deep breathing or taking brief walks, to help you manage them. Most importantly, don't take out your frustrations on your co-workers, supervisors, friends or family members. Work to figure out the source of any angry feelings, and then put the energy behind that anger into facing your challenges and improving the situation.

Watch Out for Unrealistic Expectations

When dealing with a work change, you may face unrealistic expectations from your supervisors. Unfortunately, many take the easy way out in that situation, by accepting it with resignation and passing the unrealistic expectations along to the members of their team. A better response is to reflect honestly on your capabilities, and then push back, letting your supervisors know their expectations are out of line. Work with them to develop a better plan that takes inevitable change into consideration without setting everyone up for failure by demanding too much.

Remember Your Goals

One of the best techniques for building resilience is to regularly remember the principles that are important to you. When blindsided by change, it's easy to focus on the minutiae, forgetting the big picture including all the good things your organization does. You have your job for a reason, and those reasons likely still exist during challenging times. When you focus on the things you love about your work, it's easier to adapt to changes smoothly. Resilience and problem solving go hand in hand; once you accept changes as inevitable, you have more energy to tackle the problems that follow.

Whether you're a top executive or in an entry-level position, building resilience helps you deal with change in a way that benefits your organization and your career. Focus on developing self-knowledge, understanding your emotions and staying in touch with your principles to improve your response to challenges. By building resilience, you lower your own stress and help your team thrive through difficult work situations.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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