January 23, 2018
For those of us sending around wishes for a calmer more sane 2018, please get over it. There is not a single trend out there that points to anything but continued change and disruption. Chaos is the new normal. The most productive response? Don’t brace yourself. Get flexible instead. This applies not only to social trends but to the workplace, careers and financial security, as well. To quote New York Times technology writer Farhad Manjoo, “Chaos is the new normal; the apprehension you feel every time you get a notification on your phone—the fear that you don’t know what fresh horror it could bring—isn’t an overreaction but an adaptation…Instead of revealing unseen order and predictability in the world, technology has unleashed a cascade of forces that have made the world more volatile.”
In case you don’t feel it, here are just a few of the things we will be grappling with this year:
• With the new tax bill, we begin 2018 without fully understanding the impact on our personal and corporate bottom lines, impacting all U.S. citizens and businesses.
• Wall Street predicts the business world to be in flux with many consolidations, mergers, and acquisitions expected.
• Healthcare laws are changing, and we are bracing to see the impact of that on our wallets.
• In most businesses, from Main Street to Wall Street, we are reeling from the impact that rapid change, due to digitization, globalization, multi-generational workforces and an evolving quid pro quo between employees and employers.
Flex To Counter The Flux
Despite these trends of uncertainty, there’s a counterbalancing trend that carries with it the real secret to coping: developing an agile, adaptive, more resilient frame of mind. In fact, according to Claudia Saran, Principal Advisor, U.S. People & Change Leader, KPMG, CEO’s today are “looking for recruits that share a growth mindset, with high adaptability, high resilience and high levels of curiosity.”
Why is this so? When you can’t cope with non-stop change, you aren’t at your best. Employers who understand this reality know the key to optimizing their potential is to build a workforce of people, who not only adapt but thrive in the face of change.
So, how can you develop the flexibility and agility you need to be successful in this changing climate?
• Keep your support system strong. One of the key factors of resilience is social support. Having a stable network of social encouragement buffers against burnout and leaves you less susceptible to the toll stress takes on your wellbeing.
• Reduce your sense of pressure. And double your peace of mind. Cognitive behavioral therapy research shows that your brain will overestimate potential risks when you’re worried. The best way to make peace with it? Realize what is and is not within your control. Plan for what is, and let go of what isn’t.
• Stay focused. People who are more focused have less stress. That’s because you stay present and oriented towards where you need to go. Your stress comes from the past and the future. Focus keeps you grounded.
• Reenergize and restore. You need to recharge to reduce your sense of stress. If you’re low on energy, you don’t have the resources to devote to emotion control, focus, self-confidence, or collaborations with family and friends—all of which lead to resilience.
Jan Bruce is CEO and co-founder of meQuilibrium, the digital coaching platform based on the science of resilience.