How Resilience and Adaptability Help You 'Bounce Forwards'

Published by Editor's Desk
Category : career-development

In the contemporary work environment, resilience is often heralded as the capability to 'bounce back' from challenges. While this understanding isn't wrong, it perhaps doesn't go far enough. Instead of merely reverting to our original position after facing a setback, what if we could harness our resilience and adaptability to 'bounce forwards'? Let's delve into an employee-centric perspective on how these intertwined traits can propel us into a future brighter than our past.

1. Understanding 'Bounce Forwards'

Bouncing back implies a return to a prior state, essentially moving backward. On the other hand, bouncing forwards is about leveraging adversity to catalyze progress, ensuring we're not just recovering but advancing.

For employees, this means that setbacks – whether it's a failed project, a missed promotion, or a mistake – can be used as stepping stones towards greater success.

2. The Role of Resilience

Resilience is about more than enduring; it's about evolving. It’s the inner strength that not only helps us withstand the storm but also instructs us on navigating future tempests more effectively.

Employee Insight: Recognize that every challenge you face is a learning opportunity. Instead of ruminating on the failure, dissect it. What went wrong? What could you have done differently? What did you learn? By answering these questions, you're positioning yourself for a stronger comeback.

3. The Power of Adaptability

While resilience is the inner strength to withstand challenges, adaptability is the agility to change course as needed. In a world where change is constant, clinging to old methods or mindsets can hinder progress.

Employee Insight: Stay curious. Be open to new tools, technologies, or processes. Regularly update your skills and knowledge. This proactive approach ensures that when challenges arise, you have multiple strategies to address them, making you more likely to find a path forward.

4. Merging Resilience and Adaptability

When resilience and adaptability converge, they form a potent synergy. Resilience ensures you don't get bogged down by setbacks, and adaptability allows you to find new routes forward. Together, they ensure not just recovery but progression.

Employee Insight: Develop a growth mindset. Believe that your abilities can be honed and that challenges are avenues for growth. When you encounter a setback, use your resilience to withstand the immediate impact and your adaptability to chart a new path forwards.

5. Real-World Implications: The 'Bounce Forwards' Effect

Consider a scenario where an employee's proposal is rejected. A resilient yet non-adaptive employee might re-present the same proposal later, hoping for better luck. However, an employee who embodies the 'bounce forwards' ethos will take the feedback, refine their proposal by integrating new insights or approaches, and present a revamped version. This not only increases the chances of acceptance but also demonstrates growth and initiative.

6. Resilience, Adaptability, and Career Growth

Employees who harness the power of 'bounce forwards' position themselves as assets in any organization. They demonstrate the ability to learn from challenges, innovate, and drive progress. Such employees are more likely to be recognized, promoted, and given leadership roles, as they not only manage adversity but turn it into an advantage.

7. Cultivating a 'Bounce Forwards' Mindset

Bouncing forwards is not an innate trait but a cultivated skill set. Here's how to nurture it:

- Feedback is Gold: Embrace feedback, both positive and negative. Understand it's a tool for growth, not a personal attack.

- Lifelong Learning: Dedicate yourself to continuous learning. The more knowledge and skills you have, the better equipped you are to find new paths forward.

- Mindfulness: Practices like meditation or journaling can help you understand your reactions to setbacks and guide you towards more constructive responses.

In conclusion, as employees navigate the complex, ever-evolving labyrinth of the modern workplace, the ability to 'bounce forwards' will set them apart. Resilience ensures they don’t stay down after a fall, and adaptability finds them a clearer, often superior path forward. By integrating these principles, employees can transform challenges into springboards, propelling themselves into brighter professional futures. The journey, laden with setbacks, is inevitable, but with resilience and adaptability, the trajectory can always be upwards and onwards.

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How can I go from burnout to self care

What People are talking about burnout?

I feel like my body is running on adrenaline. It’s as if I am trying to run a marathon at a sprint pace - every single day at work.

I have been consistently experiencing high levels of stress and I didn’t take steps to manage or reduce it. Eventually this led to exhaustion, physical and emotional burn out!

I just can’t say “no” and felt that I would let someone down by refusing an assignment. So I took on too much work leading up to stress and burnout. 


So what happened?

Your decision to begin your journey from burnout to self care is itself a sign of how far you’ve come. From a professional wanting to work hard and succeed to someone being overwhelmed and overworked for so long and then finally experiencing burnout is a long and arduous process. You’ve already crossed the first step of recognizing burnout and now you must slowly but steadily rid yourself of all of its symptoms. Since burnout happened to you gradually, affecting your ability to function across all aspects of life, you must prepare yourself for an incremental approach to the burnout recovery process. 

What can we do about it?

Focus on sustainability

The key to transitioning from this state of exhaustion to one of rejuvenation lies in embracing sustainability in your self-care practices. The next time an assignment is presented to you, ask yourself “Can I do this with the same intensity for the next few weeks?” If there’s a task that you don’t enjoy, ask yourself “for how long can I continue doing this task without feeling bored and unmotivated?” Instead of tolerating a stressful situation for long periods of time, address it at the beginning with the idea of sustainability at the back of your mind.

Secondly, sustainability in self-care means recognizing and respecting our limits. It involves setting healthy boundaries, saying no when necessary, and understanding that rest is not a luxury, but a fundamental need. It's about listening to our body and mind, and responding with kindness and patience.

Lastly, sustainable self-care is about finding balance. It’s not just about relaxation and downtime, but also about finding joy and engagement in activities you love, fostering relationships that nourish you, and pursuing goals that give you a sense of purpose.

Can I read more about it somewhere?

"The Thriving Therapist: Sustainable Self-Care to Prevent Burnout and Enhance Well-Being" by Matthew A. Hersh, Ph.D., is a holistic and comprehensive guide aimed at psychotherapists and mental health professionals. It emphasizes the importance of sustainable self-care practices, particularly for those dedicated to caring for others. The book, born from Dr. Hersh's personal experiences, including a life-threatening illness, offers a nuanced view on self-care, integrating wisdom from various sources with the author's own insights as a psychologist, therapist, and cancer survivor​​.

Here are three main takeaways from the book:

  • Integrative Approach to Self-Care: The book provides an integrative view of self-care, combining research, self-reflection exercises, personal anecdotes, and practical techniques. It encourages readers to actively engage in self-care rather than passively reading about it​​.
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  • Evidence-Based Guidance: Dr. Hersh offers a well-researched, evidence-based guide to restoring health, mental well-being, and idealism for mental health professionals. This is particularly relevant in our increasingly stressed society, where mental health professionals often experience burnout​​.
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  • Tools for Mindful Coping: The book is a reflective guide that provides tools, guides, and wisdom for mindful coping. It supports helping professionals and others in developing skills to care for themselves while they care for others, emphasizing the balance between personal well-being and professional responsibilities​​.

Dr. Hersh's background as a clinical psychologist, mindfulness teacher, and energy psychology practitioner, along with his personal journey and professional experience, enriches the content of the book, making it a valuable resource for professionals in the mental health field​​.

I don't get it.. Tell me more 

When transitioning from a state of burnout to embracing self-care, it's crucial to engage in self-reflection. This process allows you to understand your needs, set boundaries, and develop a sustainable self-care routine. By asking yourself the right questions, you can uncover the root causes of your burnout and create a tailored approach to your well-being. Here are five important questions to guide this introspective journey:

What are my primary stressors? Identifying the specific sources of your stress can help you address them more effectively.

How do I typically respond to stress, and is it effective? Understanding your current coping mechanisms can reveal if they're helping you or potentially contributing to your burnout.

What activities genuinely rejuvenate me? It's essential to distinguish between activities that truly refresh you and those that might be escapism or short-term fixes.

What boundaries do I need to set for my health and well-being? Recognizing where you need to set limits can help you conserve energy and prioritize your well-being.

How can I integrate self-care into my daily routine? Consider practical ways to incorporate self-care into your everyday life, ensuring it's sustainable and not just a temporary fix.

By pondering these questions, you can begin to develop a deeper understanding of your needs and how best to meet them on your path to recovery and well-being.

Here’s what an ideal burnout to self care journey looks like:

Imagine yourself as an employee on a journey from burnout to embracing self-care:

Morning Ritual: Your day starts with a new ritual. Instead of immediately checking emails, you take a few minutes for meditation or deep breathing. This helps set a calm tone for the day.

Commute with Mindfulness: On your commute, you listen to relaxing music or a motivational podcast. This time becomes a transition period, mentally preparing you for the day ahead.

Structured Work Hours: At work, you diligently adhere to structured hours. You've learned to prioritize tasks, focusing on what's important and letting go of perfectionism in less critical tasks.

Regular Breaks: Every hour, you take a short break. It might be a walk around the office, some stretching, or a moment of mindfulness. These breaks help reduce mental fatigue and maintain focus.

Healthy Lunch Breaks: You commit to taking a full lunch break away from your desk. This time is for unwinding, enjoying a healthy meal, and perhaps a brief walk outside.

Effective Communication: You communicate more openly with your team and supervisor about your workload. When feeling overwhelmed, you ask for help or delegation, creating a supportive work environment.

After-Work Unwind: After work, you engage in activities that you enjoy and that help you relax - it could be a hobby, exercise, or spending time with loved ones.

Evening Routine: You have an evening routine that signals to your brain that the workday is over. This might include journaling, reading, or a relaxing bath.

Quality Sleep: You prioritize getting enough sleep, understanding its vital role in recovery and health.

Reflect and Adjust: Each day, you reflect on what worked well and what could be improved. You adjust your self-care practices accordingly, understanding that recovery is a dynamic process.

By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you gradually recover from burnout, transforming your work life into a more balanced and fulfilling experience.

In case you are wondering, there are some more problem and their alternatives

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