Feeling like giving up? Simple steps to build resilience at work

There are better days than others! There are days that we feel we can conquer the world. We feel excited about our job or with our business and feel we are on the right track to accomplish our dreams. However, life is full of ups and downs and there are situations that put a lot of pressure on us. We might feel that circumstances are bigger than what we can handle. We may feel difficulty to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we lose sight, feel stressed, frustrated and lost.

If this is your case: Don’t lose hope! Take a moment, a breath and try out these strategies that have worked for me to bounce back and keep moving forward!

Seek support from family, friends or organizations. Do not get isolated! Accept help and support from others that care about you. Share your situation with people you trust. Being able to talk about your situation with someone, helps you release pressure, gain more clarity or even a new perspective. If you are the kind of person that prefer to keep your work problems to yourself not to worry your loved ones, look for other means of getting support such as having a personal coach, counsellor or joining organizations where you can build meaningful relationships. However, if you are more introvert and find it challenging to reach out, I have found that writing about your problems, might have similar effects as talking to other people. It prevents accumulating pressure and emotions within you.

Take breaks and time to recover. When you are overloaded with work, highly stressed or frustrated take a break to cut this negative loop. If your work or daily activity requires you to be mentally active, get a break where no mental activity is involved, such as going for a walk or exercising. If on the other hand, you are most of the time in physical activity, pause with reading a book, watching a video or listening to your favourite music. According to Peter Drucker,  it is recommended to take breaks every ninety minutes. It does not need to be a long break, but rather a few minutes. Some ideas are: walk to the coffee machine grasp a coffee, take the stairs (if any) and go outside for a few minutes to take a few long breaths. It is therefore important that you identify activities that will reboot your energy. Identify short and long activities that will reenergize you and fit them into your schedule.

Remember your WHY! A sense of purpose or destiny is essential to build resilience. Understanding the reasons behind the things you do become your inner drive. Make use of different resources that help you remember those reasons, such as quotes, books, songs among others. An additional exercise that has worked for me is to create an image that I associate with my why. For example, if you are working hard to give a good education to your children, you can visualize your children graduating from school, being successful, and all the emotions that this image brings to you. Access that image whenever you need to reboot.

Take ownership. You can’t control external factors nor circumstances, you can’t control your boss, colleagues or clients’ behaviours. But certainly, you are in control of your reaction. Taking ownership means accepting the fact that as humans we have the choice on how to respond to adversity. Blaming people won’t resolve the problem and may even increase the pressure or frustration.

Look at the bright sight. There is always a positive side to any situation. In those difficult times, when you feel like giving up, start reviewing all that you have achieved, your strengths, be grateful for what you have, and start to think how this situation can make you stronger.

Resilience is described as the ability to bounce back when facing adversity. When we overcome obstacles, we realize the great courage and power to face difficulties. We hence realize our ability to choose and change the pressure from a negative emotion into a driving force. It is then that we understand many resources we always have within us.


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