Resilience: The Key to Survival During Tough and Turbulent Times

By Roz Zweig, Broker, Coldwell Banker, and Geraldine Markel, Ph.D., Managing Your Mind Coaching & Seminars

Do you have a sinking feeling that it’s been a tough go and that things are going to get worse before they get better? It’s certainly possible, but resilience and reinvention are the keys to weathering today’s economic climate and leveraging new opportunities to maximum capacity.

In uncertain times, the temptation to remain entrenched in the business practices and habits that previously yielded success must be overcome. It’s not as daunting as it sounds, we promise.

Here are some keys to surviving this industry in tough times:

  • Maintain a stable coping stance in the face of setbacks and hardships.
  • Take in and utilize new information in order to continuously tweak behavior during long-term, negative situations.
  • Muster motivation to persevere in the face of increasingly difficult challenges and uncertainty.
  • Use self-reflection to adjust expectations and definitions of success. Regardless of income levels in previous years, what are reasonable performance and income objectives in the present, unhealthy economic state?
  • Juggle optimism and realism. For example, you are optimistic about your skills and motivation, but realistic about the fact that it takes more effort, over a longer time, to make less money.

It may be difficult to accept that the short-term is becoming long-term, but planning for a variety of market improvement scenarios including best case (six months to one year), worst case (one year to 18 months) and “unthinkable” case (18 months to two years), will ensure that you are prepared for all situations. In fact, facing the “unthinkable” is where resilience really comes into play.

Here are 10 tips to boost your resilience:

  1. Stay healthy and strong: develop and maintain healthy nutrition, sleep and exercise routines.
  2. Engage in regular stress management strategies for mind and body like yoga, meditation, acupuncture, music, dance or deep breathing. Integrate a few five-minute stress breaks throughout the day.
  3. Consider getting involved with a professional or social club. It may be comforting to join a group where you can discuss work and challenges with others.
  4. Select a few new networking opportunities and get involved on a consistent basis.
  5. Evaluate your work processes. Did you get complacent about practices which were “good enough” in a hot market? Are you as efficient as you need to be?
  6. Learn how technology and social media can help your business. You may hate the idea of lead generation, but it may be a necessity during these times.
  7. Consider the fact that you may need to reinvent yourself. Allow “think time” and seek resources that inspire creativity or provide training.
  8. Revisit your core values. Consider what you really need for survival, such as the gratification of a big paycheck versus quality time with family and friends.
  9. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Be proactive. Cut current expenses and find less costly ways to do business.
  10. Engage in productive self-talk such as, “I did it before, I will survive, but I will need to be creative and proactive to deal with new challenges and uncertainties.”

Resilience means that you expect and bounce back from unnerving setbacks and conditions. It means that you engage in self-reflection, systematic planning and innovation. When you cultivate your natural resiliency, it helps you feel more in control of your own behavior so that you can move forward. Responding in this manner to adversity is the key to riding out and overcoming the economic hardships of today’s economy.

About Roz Zweig: Roz Zweig is a long-time Chicagoan who really knows and loves the city she works in. Chicago real estate is in her blood, and she has been a successful Broker Associate for over two decades collecting numerous local and national sales awards. Roz’s expertise includes residential, development properties, luxury estates and the special needs of transferred executives.
About Geraldine Markel, Ph.D.: Geraldine Markel, Ph.D., is principal of Managing Your Mind Coaching & Seminars, LLC, which provides results-oriented, work/life and performance enhancement programs for leaders and their staffs. Dr. Markel specializes in working with idea generators to keep them on target and to ward off unnecessary distractions, in addition to working with independent professionals, writers and graduate students.

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