If transitions in leadership, careers, and organizations are inevitable, why do they test our resilience, causing the sturdiest among us to doubt and fear? This is true of any disruptive event, including a personal loss like my own, which, at the time, diminished my confidence, optimism, and ability to meet my goals. Being widowed young with preemie twins and no life insurance just wasn’t the narrative I imagined. One thing only allowed me to move through this experience: I learned to summon the resilience I never knew I had.
While some level of anxiety is perfectly normal amid times of upheaval, be on guard for signs of apathy and stuckness. Here are two questions to reflect upon.
Do challenging events feel disproportionately large or even insurmountable?
Are these challenges impacting other areas of work and life?
It’s important to understand the range of emotions people feel during periods of change, stress, and uncertainty. We're all hard-wired differently, and yet everyone has the capacity to be resilient with the right tools and practice. That’s because resilience is a learned skill that can be deepened and sustained over time.
Real resilience, however, is a lot more nuanced than the clinical definition offered by the American Psychological Association. Real resilience is not just about bouncing back, it’s about learning to transcend the events that “hold us” by integrating the lessons and the losses. In order to do this, we must cultivate self-awareness, empathy, a broad perspective, and a willingness to grow and change.
I welcome the chance to teach you and your team the Resilience Rx Framework™, a model that was inspired by my own experience and road-tested by professionals and executives facing a myriad of disruptive events. The Framework is easy enough to use daily and applicable to challenges small and large. Every training program is customized and supported by research in the areas of resilience, emotional intelligence, positive psychology, leadership, and change management.
When events feel daunting and unwelcome, learn to live in the gray zone, beyond black and white expectations. Learn to be more adaptive and to reject limiting beliefs and behavior. In so doing, you and your team will come to view disruption as unexpected opportunities for growth and change. A resilient mindset and practice are all it takes to thrive.