Home Career Psychotherapist Philippa Perry’s Guide to Workplace Resilience | Business to business

Psychotherapist Philippa Perry’s Guide to Workplace Resilience | Business to business


Iour strength is not in your resilience, but in acknowledging and being aware of your vulnerability. Most of the time we have to be ourselves with other people, not just the people we think we should be. If you’re in a business environment where everyone seems to be wearing a “game face” and therefore you feel like you have to wear yours too, you risk feeling unsupported, isolated and disconnected.

Doing something that stretches you that you haven’t done before that might not work is stressful, but not all stress is bad. Exercising is a way to keep your brain in good shape. No stress means you’re not getting a mental workout. You can, however, have too much of a good thing.

A constant high level of stress leads to panic and dissociation. Dissociation is the disconnection between our thoughts, sensations, feelings, and actions, and is experienced as a kind of disconnection. Panic and dissociation can lead to burnout, so what can you do to avoid them?

I believe that everyone should develop and nurture their inner observer. Noticing how you feel when you’re super busy might not be your top priority, but it should be there because our feelings are the lights on the dashboard. We wouldn’t think that taking out the car’s fuel warning light is the best driving strategy, and in the same way we need to observe our feelings, not suppress them. They are there to tell us when we need to rest, play, connect with others. When we ignore feelings, they have to scream louder, in other words, make us feel worse.

When we are in the habit of observing our emotions, we can use them instead of being used by them. This means noticing the feeling when it starts to appear, listening to it, and taking whatever action is necessary. When we observe a feeling, we are less likely to become that feeling.

There is a difference between “I feel angry” and “I am angry.” The latter is the definition of a whole person, while the former has a part that sits back, observes and is still available to make a decision, taking into account the feeling, not just being a reaction to that feeling.

To ignore feelings, not to take them into account means to risk a riot of emotions. Feelings are like employees: ignore them or suppress them and they will arise; listen to them, take their reports into consideration, and you enlist their help.

Staying up all night, obsessing over work, neglecting your bodily needs, having no personal or social life is fine as an emergency stop until the part of you that knows how to watch and manage your inner resources and devise strategies to keep emergency mode from became the norm.

What we can do to take care of ourselves at work as individuals can only go so far, but the culture is also to blame. If we contribute to a culture where we can only show strength but not vulnerability, we are part of the problem. When we value profits above the people who generate them, we are part of the problem.

I believe that the immorality of getting as much as possible from employees and contractors for as little as possible should not be hidden behind offers of counseling and mindfulness workshops. Ignoring our workers is just as dangerous as ignoring our feelings. We need a work environment where we listen to each other, consider each other and work together, not against each other.

Our success depends as much on how we talk to ourselves as it does on external factors. When we listen to our inner monologue, is it stuck in a familiar pattern? Ask how you talk to yourself when faced with rejection. You think:

a) Those people lacked vision. I will not change anything and continue.

b) They were right, I will give up.

c) This feedback was difficult to take into account. However, some of them were helpful and I will make some changes and keep trying.

Whether we are primarily A, B, or C is likely to have more to do with all of our past cumulative experiences than what is the most productive path in the present.

Do we project our inner world onto the outer world and relate more to our old beliefs than to the world and other people as they are in the present?

The great thing about the stories we tell ourselves is that we can take them on and edit them until we find a narrative that works.

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