No matter how you define success, you will need to be resilient, empowered, authentic, and limber to get there.
― Joanie Connell, ‘Flying Without a Helicopter: How to Prepare Young People for Work and Life’
To begin this post, I ask you to watch thisTedX talk from Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work. Particularly note his comment about how the ‘lens’ through which we see the world determines our happiness. Perspective and self-determination play a part in resiliency. Being positive in the present is crucial to this.
There are many good resources out there to help you learn to be more resilient. One is an edX course – Becoming a Resilient Person – The Science of Stress Management – run by Clay Cook an Assistant Professor in Education at the University of Washington. Clay defines resiliency as the ability to strive and thrive. To get a glimpse into this course I suggest watching the following introductory vid-presentation.
Clay also talks about giving yourself permission to take care of yourself which is a hallmark of resiliency. With this comes – learning to optimize your well-being – ways and means to spend more time in a happy state – how to feel more fulfilled about your life – doing what matters most to you.
Someone said adversity builds character, but someone else said adversity reveals character. I’m pleasantly surprised with my resilience. I persevere, and not just blindly. I take the best, get rid of the rest, and move on, realizing that you can make a choice to take the good.
Brooke Shields – American actor.
What stands in the way of striving and thriving at work?
Commonly, compromised resiliency is seen in the extreme as burn-out. You have moved along a continuum. Burn-out is seen as that state you reach when – exhaustion sets in – a lack of motivation occurs – frustration, cynicism and other negative emotions prevail – cognitive problems hinder your performance – slipping job performance becomes evident – inter-personal problems at home and at work are noted – not taking care of yourself is a concern in your mind and in the mind of others – being pre-occupied with work when you’re not at work happens – generally decreased satisfaction niggles you – health problems arise. Any or all of these may feature and signal that address and action is needed.
In the short term, you have simply lost your way. Getting back-on-track at that time may feel like a huge task, however, that needn’t be the case. This is the time to draw upon resources. Maybe you need to seek support of others? Colleagues? A career coach? Simply a friendly ear? Maybe you need to look at the job market for what’s around that could motion you to apply for another job? No matter what, addressing the issues you face is needed.
What to do?
Dr. David Ballard, who is the head of the American Psychological Society’s ‘Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program’ says: In those situations, the demands being placed on you exceed the resources you have available to deal with the stressors. Such sounds very true? He offers in an article in Forbes some relevant advice:
- Take Relaxation Seriously
- Cultivate a Rich Non-Work Life
- Get Enough Sleep
- Get Organized
- Stay Attuned
- Know When It’s You, and When It’s Them
- Figure Out When Enough Is Enough
While simply stated, such advice is very true. It’s often the simple approach that we over-look when feeling stressed or our resiliency is compromised. You may wish to stay with your current job. You may wish to explore other options. No matter what, you do need to look out for yourself.
Resiliency is about having boundaries and knowing your limits.
Most importantly, knowing what’s important to you. Values clarification is one step. Residing within and working from those values is another. As Clay Cook advocates, you need to look for ways and means to strive and thrive. With that, you need to look out for both your physical and emotional well-being. All this is about balance.
Resiliency is essentially about residing within yourself.