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Life

How Well Do You Bounce Back from Adversity?

Resilient individuals don’t seem to be as flustered by bends in the road

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During these past 12 months, it’s fairly safe to say that we each have faced varying degrees of adversity. Resilience as been described as the ability to bounce back from adversity. Having resilience is fundamental to dealing with upheaval in our professional or personal lives. Why? Quite simply, those who have resilience tend to flourish!

Resilient people are able to establish a balance – they believe they’ll succeed; they sharpen their focus on the tasks at hand, they stay loose, and they roll with the punches. They maintain orderliness and self-awareness, largely to avoid becoming overwhelmed and confused.

Although resilient individuals are as vulnerable to the anxieties of change in business as anyone else, they’re able to regain balance quickly, stay physically and emotionally healthy, and remain productive when confronted by confusing or gloomy situations.

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Most Setbacks are not Forever

When next to nothing is going right, resilient individuals still manage to figure out how to get back on track. They apply such ingenuity to daily tasks, long term projects, group or team relations, or problems with the boss.

If they lose a client, they’re willing to undertake the rigorous assessment as to why. If something’s going wrong on a project, they jump right in to see why. They consider the possibilities, take each one and follow it through for whatever insights may emerge.

Resilient individuals are adept at managing sudden, major, and complex change with minimum dysfunctional behavior. Their capability can be a marvel to behold. Rather than shrink from controversy, they’re likely to dive into the fray.

They take a stand-up role, admitting where and when they were wrong, if so. They assess the choices they made that lead to the result and what other choices they could make to achieve a more desirable outcome in the future.

When resilient individuals find themselves boxed in on all sides, they don’t get down or feel sorry from themselves, at least not for long. They’re willing to record their feelings, brainstorm, or even clean out the file cabinet, knowing that such activities can be therapeutic.

Perhaps most vital, they determine what they can tackle right now, today. They know that the act of getting things done, in and of itself, generally proves to be an uplifting experience, however small the deed.

By identifying, observing, and incorporating the behaviors of resilient people, it’s possible to change your behavior to better deal with the world around and within you.

So, in your workplace who is great at getting things done, rolls with the punches, and doesn’t come unglued in the face of setbacks? That’s the person you want to emulate.

Temporary Arrangements

While resilient types have or develop flexibility and know when to roll with the punches, in many instances they are better than average at overcoming attachment to a place, a piece of equipment, a method, or even a business philosophy. They seem to understand that, particularly in the workplace, virtually all arrangements are temporary.

In any case, as a lot, resilient individuals don’t seem to be as flustered by bends in the road. If they’re thwarted in some aspect of a project, they make forward progress in others. They use what they have to get what they want.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Life

How the Rest was Won

Are you consistently getting the rest that you need so that you can keep your well-oiled machine operating at peak efficiency?

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The last 14 months have presented a supreme economic challenge to many people, especially to business owners but certainly to career achievers as well.

Suppose you are a diligent worker, and everybody knows that. As normal schedules resume, you arrive on time, consistently offer your best effort, dawdle very little, often work late, and head home knowing that you gave it your all. Once you arrive home you have other responsibilities, some taking up half or more of the evening.

Here is a basic question: Are you consistently getting needed rest so that you can keep your well-oiled machine operating at peak efficiency? In other words do you:

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• Take pauses throughout the workday to rest and reflect,

• Depart each day at a reasonable hour (at least most days),

• Get a good night’s sleep every night, and

• Have some form of relaxation on Saturday and Sunday?

If you answered no to any of the questions above, it’s probably an area where you need to focus.

Fatigue isn’t Pretty

In the course of a career, as you rise through the ranks, or simply take on more responsibility right where you are, like everyone else in the global workforce, understandably you are subject to fatigue.

You simply cannot be at your best, hour after hour, day after day, and week after week if you don’t take care of yourself, especially focusing on rest and relaxation.

Everything written above has been apparent to you for years if not decades. How often do you pay heed to your internal wisdom, however, about when and where you need to have some timeouts?

If you graduated from college at 21 or 22 and work until age 71 or 72, that is a 50-year career. Who among us can work for 50 years and not expect to have some disruptions along the way? We need to take periodic breaks to attain the periodic rest that we need.

For example, in the course of the workweek, how many times do you give yourself permission to retire to bed early at, say, 8:30-9 p.m.? How many times, in the course of the workweek, do you have a truly leisurely non-hurried lunch where you get to properly chew and digest your food?

A Moment Like This

How many times do you take one minute, the full 60 seconds, to pause what you’re currently doing, stretch, gaze out the window, ruminate and reflect, and then turn back to the task at hand? If you’re like too many professionals today, across the board, I’m guessing that your answers to the questions above are “not often enough.”

You know by now that no one else is coming to help you deal with your personal need for rest and relaxation. Attaining such rest is a do-it-to-yourself proposition. Either you will take charge of the issue, or the issue will take charge of you.

To paraphrase the renown poet, Robert Frost, you’ve got miles to go, and promises to keep. Others are counting on you. Most of all, you need to be able to count on yourself – to be present, to handle the tough challenges, to come back and do it again, and to stay buoyant all the while.

Fortunately, you have what you need to maintain that well-oiled machine, and now, it’s simply a matter of putting what you know into practice.

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Life

Choosing to Trust Yourself

Every other day, we’re given contradictory, ‘authoritative,’ new advice on social distancing, masks, what’s safe, and what isn’t.

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Every other day, it seems we are given new ‘authoritative’ advice on social distancing, masks, what’s safe, and what isn’t. Much of the news to which we’re exposed contradicts what we were already told.

The CDC and some top officials, who shall remain nameless, have done less than a stellar job of providing reliable public information. Some governors in large population states, have been inconsistent, partial, duplicitous, authoritarian, and, in some cases, criminal.

Who Can I turn To?

Against such a backdrop, how does John and Jane Q. Citizen move forward professionally and personally? This is not foolproof but works as well as anything we’ve seen: Trust yourself and your decisions.

Trusting yourself enhances your ability to choose based on limited or inconsistent information. A study in the 1940s of highly successful people uniformly found that they reached decisions quickly and retreated from them slowly.

A more recent study found when people make decisions based on instinct, they are happier or at least more content than those who make decisions based on careful analysis. Hmm. Too much thinking could be hazardous to your choices – and to your happiness!

Reinforcing Statements

Here is the statement that reinforces your desire to trust yourself: “I choose to trust my ability to make the right choice.” Another essential choice is choosing to feel worthy and complete, simply spoken to yourself: “I choose to feel worthy and complete.” This helps me reduce anxiety, stay calm, and feel more relaxed.

Depending on how long it has been since you’ve felt worthy and complete, you might have to make this choice for many days or weeks running – but keep at it.

By choosing to feel worthy and complete, you automatically redirect yourself to accept that there is nothing you must do. Everything is based on your choice.

If you choose to continue working on some task, even one assigned to you, the choice is made in the present moment, and not based on a prior agenda. A worthy and complete feeling yields a tremendous sense of inner harmony.

Maintaining Your Choices

As with any quest to reinforce choices you make, write or type your choices and post them, or voice record them and play them back. How many choices can you make at once? Make a few or many, there is no limit.

Choose what feels right for you. And keep choosing. While you’re waiting in a bank line, run through your choices. If you notice yourself wavering, recall the new behavior or feeling that you’ve chosen.

You can choose to overcome rituals that no longer support you, or you can make choices beyond anything others would have guessed you’d choose.

A new idea is such a rare thing. We often simply parrot what we hear and read. You can make choices that are not congruent with your history. You can makes choices that no one has ever made before.

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