Building resilience and adapting to change

Healthy Living > Mental health > Building resilience and adapting to change


Blog Article | By Liggy Webb 6 April 2020
Embracing change with Liggy Webb

With the unprecedented impact that coronavirus is currently having on the whole world, we’re all experiencing a change of pace that may seem disruptive, overwhelming and, at times, exhausting.


It seems that every aspect of our lives is changing, including the way we work, the way we communicate, the way we shop, eat and entertain ourselves. Some of us are in self-isolation, and we’re all social distancing. Life as we know it is starting to feel very surreal and we’re all being asked to adapt in ways that perhaps take us out of our comfort zone and may feel chaotic, confusing and frustrating.


This is a situation you cannot control or stop. What you can do, however, is learn how to respond to it and deal with it in the most positive and constructive way. Listening to the advice that you’re being given to stay safe – and to keep others safe – has to be the number one priority.


We all react differently to change!


When it comes to change, we’re all unique and we’ll respond differently. Some people thrive on change and see it as stimulating and exciting. Others become very stressed and agitated, and see change as something that destabilises their entire existence. We are, after all, creatures of habit so it may be that we’re currently grieving for the life we had before the coronavirus pandemic.

Illustration of an octupus on top of a whiteboard

'Speed, agility and responsiveness are the keys to future success.' - Anita Roddick

Learning quickly how to adapt to change will help you adjust to this new way of working and living more easily. If you can learn to accept what is being asked of you and not resist those demands, it will help you to use your emotional energy to influence your situation.


Sometimes the way you view a situation could be narrow because you perceive it through your own filter. It’s important to examine your changing situation from all angles. Be careful not to get stuck up a one-way street with your thinking. Keep an open mind – you have an opportunity to be curious and learn so much from your new way of living.

Illustration of a man and woman leaning either side of a whiteboard

'Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.' - Anonymous

It’s also helpful to accept that you will most likely experience a range of emotions during the period of change. You may feel unhappy, fearful, insecure, unsettled and frustrated. On the other hand, you may feel enthusiastic and curious.


Any of these emotions will have an impact on your energy levels, so it is important to bear this in mind and accept that the experience could well be an emotional rollercoaster. During this time it is important to look after your wellbeing and be kind to yourself.


Have a positive mindset


Having a positive attitude about any kind of change, especially change you can do nothing about, is by far the best approach. If you only focus on the negatives, then it is likely that you will manifest them. While it is important to understand some of the risks and pitfalls involved, it is also important to seek out and focus on the positives.


In every given situation, no matter how challenging, if you look hard enough there will always be an opportunity. Even the most difficult and painful experiences will help to strengthen your resilience and build your toolkit of coping mechanisms for the future.


Break projects down into manageable chunks


When you are dealing with a big change in your life, wherever possible it’s best to divide the bigger change into smaller chunks and take them one step at a time. Most change involves several stages and you don’t need to take them all at once. When you feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the change, concentrate on the step you’ve reached, rather than the bigger picture.


Dealing with change can be challenging and sometimes you may feel confused or scared. You don’t need to cope alone. Reaching out and talking about what is going on and how you are feeling can help you to create perspective and get some reassurance and advice. A supportive colleague, manager, family member or friend can be just the tonic in times of turbulence and change.


Your take-away


As you embark on these new challenges, take time to stop and reflect on what you are learning and celebrate your successes along the way.

Illustration of a man and woman leaning either side of a whiteboard

'If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it... change your attitude.' - Maya Angelou

Liggy Webb is an award-winning and bestselling author, presenter and international consultant. She is also the founding director of The Learning Architect, an international consortium of behavioural skills specialists. She is recognised as a thought leader on human resilience and works with a wide range of businesses focusing on optimising potential through continual learning and behavioural agility.


Liggy believes that the diversity of her clients has provided her with tremendous insight into the many and varied challenges that people currently face in a rapidly changing and often volatile world.


Discover more about Liggy on her author page.

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