Building resilience to pressure workshop: part one

Tight deadlines, demanding clients, early starts, late nights, weekends, homelife demands – pressure is inevitable. And whilst we can often thrive under it, it can still be tough. What’s important is that you equip yourself with tools and techniques to build your own resilience to pressure in the long term.

In our first sell-out Resilience Programme workshop last week, advertising and media professionals from a broad range of disciplines and at various stages of their careers opened up about their own experiences of coping with pressure.

In the relaxed and confidential atmosphere of NABS HQ the workshop helped attendees identify what their pressure triggers were and how to build their own resilience by taking a cognitive approach to the way they think about the stressful situations they encounter.

Soraya Shaw, our head of careers at NABS and resilience expert explained that humans have eight basic emotions – and of those emotions, five are broadly linked to fear and our primeval state for survival. Because of this, when we are faced with overwhelming pressure it’s common to enter a flight, fright or freeze mode. She explained that we should do our very best to avoid getting to this point through effective resilience techniques.

One of the most common problems with we humans is that we often have negative learnt beliefs which can limit us and can contribute to our stress levels rising. For instance, if you get scared the moment your boss asks to see you in their office – you have developed a negative learnt belief. You might not be in trouble, but the way your brain is hardwired means you immediately fear the worse.

These learnt beliefs can exacerbate your negative feelings and increase the pressure you feel which is why you need to think more flexibly and positively when encountering these situations.  Challenge your beliefs and replace all of your limiting language such as “I must” “I should” and “I can’t” with more positive language such as “I prefer”, “I can” and “I want”; this can be difficult to do, but if you can rewire your thought patterns and reduce the pressure from your own expectations, you can start building your own resilience.

All too often we are our own biggest critics, but if someone else makes a mistake, how do you react? You’re probably quite supportive. We’re harder on ourselves than we are with anyone else, so why not apply these very same befriending skills to yourself rather than beating yourself up?

Confidence and self-belief are at the heart of resilience. Learn what your strengths are and trust in your skills, knowledge and experience to help you achieve the right results. Self-belief gives you confidence in who you are and what you can achieve, and in the face of pressure draw on this confidence that you can get the job done.

Building resilience can seem difficult at first, but if you can adapt and change the way you approach stressful situations using these techniques then you can build your own resilience to pressure and have a better outlook at work.

Our Building resilience to pressure: part two workshop on 6th November will allow attendees to share experiences since they last met and to feedback on the resilience techniques they’ve practised and mastered since the last session.

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