Resilience and adapting to change

Adapting to Change takes Resiliency

Are you resilient to change? I’m talking about all types of change like things massively changing within an hour all the way to changing the course of your life. It can be changes both at work and changes to how you operate your life. It can be the fact that you had a normal voice you didn’t ever think about and now, you’re struggling with your new SD voice.

Resiliency and adapting are two survival skills we all need to master. Life is all about change both large and small, spanning small and large time segments. It is the one constant in life yet many of us treat the change like a shock or surprise when it happens. The surprise turns into anger and resentment for the less resilient among us. Our inability to adapt can also be the fuel of self-ridicule when we see change as our own personal failure.

When you can’t bounce back from the changes served up to you each day, it can have a big impact on who you are. The good news is that everyone has capacity available for adapting to change, some have more than others.

The importance of being resilient

According to the Resilience Alliance, “of all the factors that contribute to adapting to change, the single most important factor is resilience—the capacity to absorb high levels of change and maintain high levels of performance. When resilient people face the ambiguity, anxiety, and loss of control that accompany change, they tend to grow stronger from their experiences rather than feel depleted by them.” They believe there are seven characteristics in resilient people:

  1. Ability to identify opportunities in turbulent environments
  2. Possess the personal confidence to believe they can succeed in the face of uncertainty.
  3. Have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and use this as a guide when they become disoriented.
  4. Ability to generate a wide range of ideas and approaches for responding to change.
  5. Able to draw readily on others’ resources for assistance and support during change.
  6. Develop and apply systems, processes, and structures when dealing with change.
  7. Initiate action in the face of uncertainty, taking calculated risks rather than seeking the comfort of the status quo.

How do you improve your resiliency?

Work on it. If you want to be able to handle change better, take on one of your weaknesses. Do you lack personal confidence? If so, look for strategies to improve your confidence. Do you have a system that you can use to adapt to change? If the answer is no, create a plan.

Face facts. You have to realize that plans for your future will never go as you thought they would. This doesn’t mean they will all go poorly. It means that all your plans will change with some going better and others going worse. We tend to ignore change when change turns out great and react poorly when they don’t. Change = Life.

Always have a Plan B, C & D. You should always have other options to help you push through to your goal.

Don’t give up. There is your goal and there are your actions. Don’t give up on your goal simply because your actions toward your goal have been impacted. There is always another set of actions you can take to keep you moving in the right direction.

Lighten up. Egads! Lighten up on you, everyone and everything else. Grow a sense of humor because isn’t that better than being unhappy?

Look at failure differently. When things don’t turn out as you planned you can choose to look at it as a lesson and not a failure. If you don’t learn anything from change, you aren’t paying attention.

Ask for help. For some reason, we tend to think we have to do everything by ourselves and that isn’t how life works. We are better and more powerful when problems arise, that we face them with another person. Two heads are greater than the sum of their parts. You can’t know or think of everything when a change arises but another person broadens perspective and alternatives.

There’s a reason Darwin said the key to survival is the ability to adapt. A focus on identifying and developing resilience can help use your available mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual energy to respond to these challenges. May you be resilient and happy.

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Sources:

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran, “The Borg Were Right, Resistance is Futile” https://dysphonia.org/resiliency/

Resilience Alliance, How Can We Adapt to Change http://resiliencealliance.com/helping-organizations-deal-with-disruptive-change/how-can-we-adapt-to-change/

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