Finding Hope during the Pandemic

There is a lot of uncertainty these days, whether in our work environment, financial affairs or in our changing and unsteady political climate. The strategies that most of us rely on to contend with such uncertainty tend to be self-defeating. When we face an uncertain future we often resort to feeling anxious, worrying, complaining, or being negative about events that may never occur.

But some employees rise to meet these uncertain times with hope and resilience. We need to develop such attitudes if we want to be successful in the face of COVID’s ups and downs.

What does having hope mean? Think of how you handle difficult situations. Do you offer platitudes like, “I hope everything will work out”? Unfortunately, this is just a way of disengaging or checking out of a difficult situation. True hope comes from a source much deeper – your core. At your core, there are vital qualities that help to determine how much hope you yourself feel, as well as what you can offer to co-workers. Hope is an essential component in facing any type of uncertainty: from layoffs, to sickness, to working from home, and to the current state of the world.

Hope’s Primary Qualities
  • Strength – You draw from inner strength to tap into your personal powers.
  • Resilience – You bounce back when faced with setbacks and obstacles.
  • Optimism – You stay positive despite the challenges ahead of you.

The above qualities are the antithesis of pessimism, complaining, and worry. Rather than be self-defeatist, you can be strong, resilient, and optimistic, and in this way improve your self-esteem.

Hope is essential for handling a crisis but it can also serve as your core value on a daily basis. Uncertainty can arrive at any time, whether it appears in a personal issue, a business issue, a national event, or a global event. The situation doesn’t even necessarily need to be negative. It could be the uncertainty and excitement of getting a promotion.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the qualities that were mentioned above.

Strength

Most of us are all too willing to give away our power. Yet, what could be a more hopeless situation than being without power? This can happen in both business and personal relationships. You can find yourself going along with something you disagree with simply because you don’t have the strength or power to speak up.

Retaining power means that you can stand up for yourself, that you can overcome resistance, that you can turn a catastrophe into an opportunity. True strength is in the core of your being. It’s a quiet calm that isn’t disturbed by events or the turmoil of emotions.

Inner strength established self-power that will anchor, uplift, and encourage you.

Resilience

Here’s an outside-of-work example:  We often see the elderly celebrated in the media for reaching 100. They are always happy to share the secret to their long life. They all have different secrets, from a cigarette and a glass of whiskey every day, to 3 glasses of red wine a week.

The truth is that they didn’t win the gene pool lottery, nor were they immune to the woes of life. They were resilient. They faced hard times and bounced back, shook defeat off at every turn. Being resilient is the true secret to avoiding victimhood.

It isn’t about positive thinking. When we’re faced with sadness, it’s healthy to deal with sadness; when we lose a loved one, grief is natural.

Resilience and overcoming adversity comes from a strong sense of self.

Optimism

Society has taught us that life is difficult, that some struggle is the norm. Society wants us to believe that the safest place for us is behind a wall. In this environment, optimism seems foolish and unrealistic. Yet, when we meet people who are truly optimistic, we are jealous of their cheerfulness. Attitudes of pessimism, skepticism, and cynicism come from fear and distrust. Life can take care of itself, that’s the attitude of optimism.

Finding hope in uncertain times is easier than you think, it’s within you.

The Connection Between Self-Control and Resilience

Self-control is crucial to coping with work’s challenges and being a resilient employee. No matter what the circumstances are, a employees can control only their own actions and reactions to a situation.  How they act and react to obstacles builds their resilience, and those actions and reactions are based on the level of self-control they have.

resilience

Resilient Self-Control Actions

Psychologists have identified the positive coping skills a person needs to be resilient. When life is difficult, resilient people take action to improve their situation.  They know they need to control their:

Making plans is a positive coping skill that allows your staff to take control of their success.  Self-control builds when the staff commit to your plans.  Employees who work toward their goals cope with obstacles by growing, adapting, and staying focused on their goals.  The self-control needed to carry out a plan builds resilience against difficulties and distractions.

Resilient workers also have goals.  Instead of allowing challenges to overwhelm them and struggling with negative outcomes, resilient workers have goals that they perform hard tasks to achieve.  They recover from setbacks because they are focused on and committed to their goals.  A work team without goals often find themselves without a clear direction, because they don’t have the self-control to work toward their success.

Physical health is essential to resilience because it provides a positive way to cope with stress.  Exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep all contribute to good health.  A healthy lifestyle requires self-control.  Every worker needs to have the self-control to stick to an exercise plan, commit to healthy eating, and find time for adequate rest.

Because a resilient employee has self-control, they understand that reaching their goals can take time.  It can be hard to wait for the fulfillment that arises from of achieving goals, but self-control allows employees to stay focused and follow their plan despite distractions or the immediate satisfaction from doing something else.  Being patient makes your employees more resilient when they face obstacles because they know it may take time to overcome them.

Resilient Self-Control Reactions

When faced with a challenge or a situation your workforce doesn’t like, being resilient also involves how they react to those stresses. Life coaches teach that a worker’s reactions are under his or her own control.  Learning how to respond positively includes:

  • Self-esteem
  • Avoiding Overreaction
  • Facing Problems
  • Humor

Self-esteem is essential to resilience.  Workers who believe that their supervisor or their employer is giving them a raw deal, and that others are always trying to hurt them do not have the resilience to cope well with life’s challenges.  Self-esteem requires self-control by not reacting poorly to less than ideal situations.  Instead, resilient employees use their goals and plan to work through difficulties and don’t let their self-esteem suffer from other’s opinions.

When a resilient person fails, they understand they have control over making changes and trying again to reach their goal. They don’t blame their failure on outside forces and think they can’t make the changes needed to achieve.

Self-control plays a role in avoiding overreaction too.  When a worker overacts, they often lose their focus on their goals because of their immediate emotional reaction.  While everyone gets upset, angry, and sad from time to time, overacting is a sign that a worker doesn’t have self-control or resilience.

Resilient workers face their problems with a plan, a goal, and a commitment to overcome them.  Those who aren’t resilient avoid dealing with their problems and often use unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol and other drugs to lessen their disappointment and pain.  Workers need self-control to choose a positive way to cope with challenges and be resilient when faced with difficulties.

Humor is an important skill that helps your employees be resilient.  Being able to accept difficulties and setbacks by finding the humor in situations lessens stress.  Self-control allows your employees to let go of negative feelings and laugh when things don’t go as planned.  Resilience includes moving past the difficulty and finding a new way to reach goals.

Resilience is based on the control of your actions and reactions to challenges. Successfully overcoming a challenge increases self-control, helps employees learn and grow, and builds resilience.

Need Assistance Hiring Resilient Workers

If you need some assistance in recruiting and hiring more resilient workers in this uncertain labor market, contact Flexicrew Today.