After a couple of years of study I am back at work in a corporate environment. I take all my learning from self-awareness, meditation and relaxation, and my new found resilience back into a familiar workplace, and still I am finding the stress levels rising as I meet negativity on a daily basis.
I am curious about why I am struggling to maintain my equilibrium, why I am still vulnerable to the cumulative effects of pressure. The components that seem to be impacting me are:
- a heavy workload leading to tiredness and insufficient time to think clearly
- a general lack of appreciation and gratitude for work completed
- a lack of influence to make changes that I feel are important
- frequent challenges to my point of view leading me to question my knowledge and intelligence
It is difficult to maintain courage in a system that has a heavy investment in maintaining the status quo and limits change and challenge. So how can we stay strong?
- understand that hostility to new ideas stems from a desire to stay safe and resist challenge – it is not personal
- build a support network of like-minded individuals, not for complaint sharing but to share learning and coping strategies
- keep a record of the positive contribution we are making, whether this is visible or not to the organization
- go back to the sources of encouragement and inspiration that nourish and strengthen us
- remember that resilience is a flexible kind of strength. Stay true to the principle, but be flexible in terms of how things are done and communicated
- work on the relationships and activities outside of work to maintain a sense of perspective and keep work from escalating beyond its boundaries
- make time for meditating, mindfulness and relaxation to keep centred
It is hard to maintain our energy, commitment, integrity and courage to do the right thing in a system that is at odds with our personal views. The ability to persist and rise above our own frustrations to stay true to what we believe is a demonstration of courage. It is the only way to survive with our spirit intact, and in doing so we may well inspire transformation in the system around us.