As any experienced Career Counsellor will tell you, the job market is an uber competitive landscape. Whether you’re looking for a job, trying to get promoted, vying for a raise, or simply trying to excel in the position you already hold, simply showing up isn’t enough. The days of being awarded participation ribbons evaporated the moment you turned in your graduation cap and gown.
Advancing in your career takes a specific combination of skills and strengths.
Now more than ever there is one key (and often overlooked) skill that can dramatically increase your chances of achieving success:
The ability to adapt, go with the flow, and remain on course is what will truly set you apart from your competition – and make your journey to the top a lot more enjoyable.
From millennials to managers, many professionals already have a head start on developing resilience.
Developing resilience helps you be resourceful, improve yourself, and stay highly motivated. The desire to be a better human – no matter what life throws at you – is exactly the stuff that resilience is made of.
Resilience allows you to perform at peak levels, by managing energy expenditures. In this sense, energy refers to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy.
When you have all your available energy working with you – instead of against you – your potential is limitless. Energy allows you to be sharper, quicker, and a happier, more positive version of you.
Resilience means sending an error-free cover letter when you’re on your 10th job application of the night. Resilience means rebounding in the middle of an interview after forgetting how to answer the seemingly impossible “tell me about yourself” question. Resilience means remaining motivated to make your sales quota after losing an account you were working on for weeks. Resilience means being able to keep your team motivated and productive even when the company is facing daunting challenges.
Resilience means achieving all these things and being able to handle the failure and disappointment that comes with taking on challenging goals. Resilient people have developed the ability to return to feeling positive, calm, and self-assured faster and with more ease. To have the energy available for resiliency – that focused, in-the-flow, peak performance state – you need to protect yourself from sources that drain your energy.
The top threat to resiliency is stress. Stress caused by uncertainty, fear, insecurity, and change, is incredibly draining. High stress levels leave you with nothing left to fuel resiliency (or positivity). After a day where everything seems to go wrong, it feels much easier to hit up UberEats and Netflix, than cook dinner and head to the gym. That’s stress robbing you of the energy and motivation you need to hit your goals.
Worse still, stress damages your physical and mental health, making top performance all but impossible. Aside from depleting your energy stores (and willingness to make good-for-you decisions), stress literally sucks the life out of you.
When you experience stress, Cortisol (aka: the stress hormone) increases, while DHEA (aka: the anti-aging hormone) decreases.
Think BPA’s are bad? This is what happens to your body on High Cortisol, Low DHEA:
Brain cell death
Impaired memory and learning
Decreased bone density
Reduced muscle mass
Reduced skin growth and regeneration
Impaired immune function
Increased blood sugar
Increased fat accumulation around waist / hips
Clearly, promoting resilience and reducing stress go hand-in-hand.
You can’t be at your best, while your body and mind are at their worst.
But what can you do about the sources of stress that you cannot avoid? In times like this, it is powerful to be able to quickly shift out of a draining state into a more neutral or balanced state. With this super-power you will be unstoppable, more productive, and happier too.
The following HeartMath® “Inner-Ease” Technique (https://www.heartmath.org/articles-of-the-heart/heartmath-tools-techniques/inner-peace-inner-ease/) can help you de-stress immediately (like when your co-worker blames Mercury Retrograde for the 10th time this year for flaking on a major project deadline). But, when used regularly, this technique will help you build immunity to stress. With repeated practice, you’ll find you’re less triggered and reactionary to stressful events. Get ready to spend a lot less time with cute puppy videos and ASMR podcasts.
If you are stressed, acknowledge your feelings as soon as you sense that you are out of sync or feeling common stressors such as frustration, impatience, anxiety, overload, anger, mental gridlock, being judgmental, etc.
Take a short time out and do heart-focused breathing: breathe a little slower than usual; imagine you are breathing through your heart or chest area.
During your heart focused breathing, imagine with each breath that you are drawing in a feeling of Inner-Ease and infusing your mental and emotional nature with balance and self-care from your heart.
When the stressful feelings have calmed, affirm with a heartfelt commitment that you want to anchor and maintain the state of Inner-Ease as you re-engage in your projects, challenges, or daily interactions.
This 4-step strategy will only take about 5 minutes (or less).
The more you practice, the quicker you’ll be able to go from anxious to Zen. When you’re in the zone, everything gets easier and you will simply perform better – in your job search, in your interviews, and at work with colleagues and clients.
Channel your inner duck: your feet might be going a million miles an hour under the surface, but all anyone will see is you calmly floating along.
What are your biggest stressors in life and how do you cope?
Share how you calm down, recharge, and refocus to bring your dreams closer to reality.
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