By now, you have a sense of how the attitudes of commitment, control, and challenge can help you to be resilient under stress. In this chapter, we’ll explain how you can deepen your own hardy attitudes. It’s always important to keep a hardy mindset, even in less stressful times. But, if stressful changes do come your way, they offer a great opportunity to test your courage and motivation to turn problems into advantage. Essentially, can you walk the talk?
STEP ONE STUDY PEOPLE YOU KNOW WHO ARE HIGH IN RESILIENCE
Begin by thinking about people you know who are high in the attitudes of commitment, control, and challenge, and who show resilience no matter what happens to them. Remember Lou Zamp- erini from chapter 1? His resilience was evident, as was his courage and motivation to overcome extremely stressful circumstances. He tried to influence the outcome of whatever challenges he met in life, and did so while helping other people. Do you know someone who is high in resilience and hardy attitudes? Whether this person’s stress demands large or small ef- forts, does he or she stay the course, engage rather than withdraw, and grow from the experience? Use the following five key ques- tions to analyze what this person has actually done to turn stress to advantage. 1. WHAT STRESSFUL CIRCUMSTANCES DID HE OR SHE EN- COUNTER? Was the stress acute (disruptive and time limited) or chronic (a mismatch between dreams, desires, and actual experi- ence)? Remember, sometimes an acute stress stirs up chronic stresses. 2. WHAT PROBLEM-SOLVING ACTIONS DID THE PERSON TAKE TO DECREASE THE CIRCUMSTANCES’ STRESSFUL- NESS? How did he or she do this? Did he or she follow up on opportunities stemming from the stressful situation? 3. DID THE PERSON’S COPING EFFORTS INCLUDE GET- TING SUPPORTIVE ASSISTANCE AND ENCOURAGEMENT FROM OTHER PEOPLE? Did he or she reach out to others as well in this process, and if so, how? 4. HOW DID THIS PERSON TALK ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE? When reminiscing, observing, planning, or evaluating the stress, did the person associate the experience with his or her life direc- tion, purpose, and meaning? Did the evaluation express new in- sights about circumstance, life, and self? 5. HOW DID HIS OR HER COPING EFFORTS EXPRESS HARDY ATTITUDES? Can you fit what he or she said or did into commitment, control, and challenge (thought the problem was important and worthwhile enough to solve, tried to influence its outcome, and used the experience to learn and grow from)? Case Studies: People High in Resilience The following two examples of clients we worked with can help you think about people you know with regard to resilience and hardy attitudes. ELENA S.: ‘‘WHEN LIFE IS HARD, YOU MUST TRY EVEN HARDER.’’ 1. What stressful circumstances did she encounter? Elena is a marketing manager whose company was step- ping up pressure on her to bring in more clients. Monthly, her anxious supervisor scrutinized her records. Under pres- sure himself, he was often irritable toward Elena, which amplified her stress. As if this work stress was not enough, Elena’s husband wanted more of her time and attention, and her eighty-eight-year-old mother had become too frail and forgetful to live alone. 2. What did Elena do to decrease the circumstances’ stress- fulness? In what follows, you will see that Elena faced the reali- ties of these stressful circumstances, despite their painful- ness. She had little time for personal enjoyment, like reading. As much as this disappointed her, she had priori- ties that demanded attention. Elena sufficiently tended to her work and home pressures, and when plagued by doubt, panic, or anger, she tried hard to counter these reactions through solutions that serviced her best interests. So, each time she had a stressful interaction with her boss or hus- band, she reflected upon it, hoping to gain insight into what was going on, and then tried to communicate better or unilaterally suggest plans that would help. 3. Did Elena’s coping efforts include getting supportive as- sistance and encouragement from other people? Despite her boss’s irritability, Elena set up meetings with him to discuss ways in which they could build their client base. She resisted personalizing his frustrations, de- spite her own stress. Sometimes her boss opened up and talked about company troubles. With sincere interest, Elena listened to him and asked how she could help. This seemed to clear tensions between them so that their strate- gizing meetings became more productive. In a better econ- omy, the marketing department relied on long-standing clients who, year to year, gave them a tremendous amount of business. It was easier in those days to escape the atten- tion of upper management, because more-than-adequate quotas kept the marketing department below radar. At the end of the twentieth century, however, many of their stable clients went belly-up. No longer able to rest on their lau- rels, they developed a plan to open up new markets. Elena needed support from her boss to begin the problem-solving process, and it seemed like he needed the same of her. 4. How did Elena talk about the experience? Did the evalua- tion express new insights about circumstance, life, and self? Elena realized that she had initially responded to stresses by lapsing into a work routine that sapped her cre- ativity and energy. She began to act more like an account manager than like a market strategist. Through her com- pany’s dissatisfaction with her department’s performance, she realized she was in a professional and personal slump. She also realized how much she missed social interactions with friends, family, and coworkers, and how insufficient social opportunities contributed to her stress. By putting her work life into perspective, Elena was freer to focus on bettering her home life. This stressed her much less, although there were still work changes to deal with. She could pay more attention to loved ones, which her husband enjoyed, because she now had energy. He agreed with Elena that her mother should live with them and vowed willingly to help make this transition successful. Even though her mother now required assistance, Elena wanted to do everything she could to assure her mother’s independence. To do this, Elena and her husband planned to give Elena’s mother manageable chores to maintain her mental and emotional functioning. 5. How did Elena’s coping efforts express the attitudes of commitment, control, and challenge? Elena is high in hardy attitudes. She dealt actively with job and work pressures. Instead of running away, she sought the help of others, built rather than tore down brid- ges, and faced personal limitations that added to her stress. Along with this, she disallowed negative preoccupations and instead focused on assisting her boss. Elena clearly sees her life as important and worthwhile enough to engage in fully (commitment rather than isolation). She put energy into healing relationships and developing plans to increase the marketing department’s client base (control rather than powerlessness). And, she seized personally beneficial op- portunities to grow in the stressful work change (challenge rather than threat). HERMAN W.: ‘‘THERE’S A SILVER LINING IN EVERY CLOUD, IF YOU CARE TO FIND IT.’’ 1. What stressful circumstance did he encounter? Herman slowly moved up the ranks at his company. He worked as a manager in the human resources department for several of the twenty-five years of his employment. His company abruptly notified him that they were eliminating his department because of the need to downsize personnel and decentralize company functions. The long and short of it is that Herman no longer had a job. This news sideswiped and upset him, especially since it was a financially inoppor- tune time for this to happen to his family. Herman’s wife planned to retire when their children started college next year. Now, more than ever, they needed his income. 2. What did Herman do to decrease the circumstance’s stressfulness? At first, Herman felt victimized and angry at the system. ‘‘How could the people I’ve worked with and trusted for twenty years just call me in and tell me I don’t have a job anymore?’’ He worried whether he was too old to get an- other job of similar rank and income. When the initial shock faded, Herman began to think things through more calmly. Rather than continue to imagine the worst about his long-time colleagues, he approached them with questions and listened to what they had to say. He came to recognize that, as operating costs soared and revenues declined, the company needed to mollify investors by streamlining in any way that it could. Like many companies today, his company was beginning to outsource human resource functions. It was the department rather than Herman, they said, that was dispensable. It hurt, but Herman knew this was a sign of the times. 3. Did Herman’s coping efforts include getting supportive assistance and encouragement from other people? Herman knew his age, salary, and experience might work against him in the job marketplace. He loved his work and did not want to start at square one again. Herman calmly began thinking. He knew other companies would soon outsource their human resource functions too, if they had not done so already. Throughout the years, he formed good collegial relationships with his coworkers, manage- ment, and customers. It occurred to him that his years of expertise and success in this field would make him a valued human resources consultant. To move forward with this plan, he ran this idea by his former colleagues. They be- came Herman’s first client, which also lessened their guilt of having to let him go. Herman had just enough income from this initial client to cover the costs of starting his con- sulting company. 4. How did Herman talk about the experience? Did his eval- uation express new insights about circumstance, life, and self? Several successful years later, Herman was happier than ever. This new chapter in his life, he thought, was possible because of the stressful work change. He’s never bored and makes more money than before. And, according to Her- man, this opportunity added purpose and meaning to his life. His wife really came through for him too. She helped him pick up the pieces by working part-time with him. They had not collaborated like this for years and enjoyed the meaningful connection. Herman’s children started col- lege, and they are doing quite well. Even though it was stressful at the time, Herman sees leaving the company more positively now. He had the in- sight that the company disliked the push to evolve as much as he did. ‘‘By outsourcing human resource functions, they found a way to cope with change. I know it sounds simple, but until now, I lacked awareness of how closely their fears and tasks matched mine. It’s hard sometimes to see the big picture, especially when you’re hurting.’’ Herman has a greater sense now of the impersonal disposition of outside forces. Although he saw others come and go throughout the years, he expected to survive. Today, Herman appreci- ates the laws of change. ‘‘Although I will always try to posi- tively influence what happens to me, I’ll blame others less for doing what they have to do.’’ 5. How did Herman’s coping efforts express the attitudes of commitment, control, and challenge? Once Herman’s shock wore off, he sought out his col- leagues to understand what happened. He further con- vinced his company to be his first client. And, his coping efforts extended to his wife. Herman found a way for her to retire by working with him in the new business. His commitment, control, and challenge are quite clear. Strengthening Your Hardy Attitudes Can you think of a stressful change or circumstance when you showed hardy attitudes? Whether the stress demanded a large or small effort, did you stay on course, engage rather than withdraw, and grow from the experience when the going got rough? At the risk of repeating ourselves in order to emphasize their importance, use the five key questions to think through what you actually did to turn stress to your advantage. 1. What stressful circumstance did you encounter? Was the stress acute or chronic? Remember, sometimes an acute stress stirs up chronic stress. 2. What actions did you take to decrease the circumstance’s stressfulness? How did you do this? Did you follow up on opportunities stemming from the stressful situation? What did you do? 3. Did your coping efforts include getting supportive assistance and encouragement from other people? Did you reach out to others as well in this process, and if so, how? 4. How did you talk about the experience? When reminiscing, observing, planning, or evaluating the stress, did you associ- ate the experience with your life direction, purpose, and meaning? Did the evaluation express new insights about cir- cumstance, life, and self? 5. How did your coping efforts express hardy attitudes? Can you fit what you said or did into commitment, control, and challenge? Finally, imagine your future. How do strong atti- tudes of commitment, control, and challenge make a differ- ence in your experience and events? As you go through daily stress, see if your hardy attitudes make a difference in how you experience it.
STEP TWO BE AWARE OF THE DISADVANTAGES OF ISOLATION, POWERLESSNESS, AND THREAT
Another aspect of thinking in a resilient way is to maintain a keen awareness of the long-term disadvantages of withdrawing (rather than staying committed), sinking into powerlessness (rather than exerting an influence), and searching for easy comfort and security (rather than continuing to learn through change). Think of people you know who let stressful changes undermine them because they fail to be hardy under pressure. If you think through what they do compared to those who cope resiliently, you get a clear sense of the differences, and you can refer to this the next time a stressful change happens to you. People You Know Who Are Low in Resilience Make a list of the people you know who seem deficient in hardy attitudes, people who withdraw and feel powerless and threatened. Write down each of their stories. In this regard, it will be helpful for you to answer the same five key questions about them: 1. What stressful circumstance did he or she encounter? 2. What actions did the person take to decrease the circum- stance’s stressfulness? Did he or she follow up on opportuni- ties stemming from the stressful situation? 3. Did the person’s coping efforts include getting supportive as- sistance and encouragement from other people? 4. How did this person talk about the experience? 5. How did his or her coping efforts express hardy attitudes or the lack of commitment, control, and challenge? Case Studies: People Low in Resilience Here are three real-life examples of unfortunate people deficient in hardy attitudes. Mulling over their lives may help you recognize precisely how the disadvantages of nonresilient or low-resilient at- titudes overwhelmed them as they encountered daily life experi- ences: ALLAN H.: ‘‘LIFE STINKS, AND THERE’S NOTHING i CAN DO ABOUT IT.’’ 1. What stressful circumstance did Allan encounter? Allan grew up in a comfortable, upper-middle-class neighborhood. His parents overprotected him; they grew up poor, prospered, and desired to give Allan everything they had not had. He played soccer throughout middle school, and in high school, he was on the track team. In college, Allan spent more time socializing than studying, which most likely contributed to his average academic per- formance. Soon after graduating, he married, and shortly thereafter, he and his wife started a family. They have two daughters. Allan parlayed his college computer training into a job with a high-tech company as a software writer. He made a very good income with stock options. Allan had found his life’s work, which delighted him. It pleased him that his family was much better off financially than other people he knew. From time to time, Allan heard office rumors that the company he worked for had been over-reporting its earn- ings. Allan never took this too seriously; he trusted his em- ployer and the financial stability of the company. Before he realized it, his company’s stock plummeted in value. Allan lost his job, his health benefits, and had little financial assets to speak of. This dismayed his wife, a stay-at-home mom; Allan felt like a failure. It did not help that his chil- dren could not understand this reversal of fortune either, as they had always looked up to their father. 2. What actions did Allan take to decrease the circum- stance’s stressfulness? Allan had difficulty getting over what happened and kept seeing himself as the victim of others who were just jealous of him. He withdrew from everyone, sat at home watching television, and began drinking heavily. He made one or two half-hearted efforts to find another job, but he lacked sufficient energy to make this happen. Allan con- vinced himself those other companies too would use and take advantage of him. He tearfully reminisced about his happy childhood, when people were trustworthy. As evi- denced by his company’s deceit, Allan disbelieved in people’s genuineness and worried about the world’s deteri- orating condition. 3. Did Allan get supportive assistance and encouragement during this stressful time? Before long, Allan became deeply bitter, distrustful, and self-pitying. He lacked energy and imagination to find solu- tions to his problems, which lowered his self-esteem. Even- tually, a whole series of life reversals ensued. His mortgage went unpaid, and the family lost its sumptuous home. Al- lan’s desperate wife was unsuccessful in talking with him. His neediness exhausted her, and he refused to get help. To survive, she left, taking the kids with her. He was furious because she rejected him in his time of need. Allan’s use of alcohol to medicate his pain resulted in a driving-under- the-influence charge. As time went on, Allan failed to turn his life around. 4. How did Allan talk about the experience? When remi- niscing, observing, planning, or evaluating the stress, did he associate the experience with his life direction, purpose, and meaning? Did the evaluation express new insights about cir- cumstance, life, and self? Allan expressed his plight with bitterness about the world around him, and lots of self-pity. From his view- point, people either do not care at all about others, or are actually vicious. Organizations and social institutions were also described by him as bent on undermining the people within them, despite official presentations to the contrary. He was also preoccupied by the injustices piled on him, and how this victimization had destroyed his life. He would often cry when reflecting on these painful conclusions. 5. How did his coping efforts express hardy attitudes or the lack of commitment, control, and challenge? Note that Allan’s lack of hardy attitudes prevented him from making resilient use of the experience. He withdrew from rather than committing to the events and people around him, and sank into powerlessness, anger, and pas- sivity when the going got rough. To him, you avoid threat- ening changes rather than use them as an impetus for learning and growth. GRACE H.: ‘‘THIS IS A MALE SOCIETY, AND I’M UNFORTUNATELY A WOMAN.’’ Grace hoped to move up the company ranks in a small clothing firm that specialized in designing and producing women’s clothing. As an administrative assistant, she fol- lowed company procedures and policies by the book. Grace gave the company 110 percent of herself. She rarely complained, if at all, and valued responsible action. She had grown up in a poor family, and it had always been an effort to go to school and work part-time simulta- neously. After dropping out of college, she found her pres- ent job and threw herself into it. As the years went by, the company passed Grace by for promotions. She noticed that younger, junior men tended to rise up in the company. This particularly irritated her, as she had trained them in their jobs. Once, while talking with her boss, she summoned up the courage to ask him about this situation. He superficially responded, claiming that those who the company promotes possess particular capa- bilities. ‘‘If, you wait,’’ he stated, ‘‘your time will come.’’ This proved to be untrue. She did not bring the matter up again for fear that retri- bution would follow. Grace’s personal insecurities stopped her from looking for another job. She told herself, ‘‘I need the money,’’ so she stayed put. Over time, Grace lost her self-esteem. She carelessly carried out work tasks and gave very little of herself to her job and coworkers. She kept to herself. She felt stuck in a thankless job; this depressed her. Grace gained weight, slipped into poor grooming habits, and, to avoid pain, she watched television endlessly, over- spent at the mall, and occasionally got drunk. Grace felt her father favored her brothers over her. She believed her boss did the same thing to her. She expressed more and more anger toward men and a patriarchal society, which, she felt, conspired to put women down. Even though she could get angry when forced to think about her difficulties, she preferred to avoid it all and lose herself in distracting activities. ‘‘Why waste my time putting emotion and energy into this problem,’’ she stated, ‘‘this is the way the world works; it’s less painful to accept my life as it is today.’’ You can see Grace lacks the hardy attitudes to be resil- ient. When there are problems, she avoids them and just gives up trying. She suppresses angry feelings by losing her- self in self-destructive activities. Although it may be true that some companies advance more men over women, she uses her views as a blanket justification for giving up rather than as an observation that could lead to corrective efforts. Grace will have trouble turning disadvantages into oppor- tunities, unless her attitudes change considerably. MARTIN O.: ‘‘JUST KEEP BEING OPTIMISTIC; THINGS WILL TURN OUT FOR THE BEST.’’ Martin had similar beginnings to Allan. He grew up in an upper-middle-class family. His father, who grew up poor, wanted Martin to have every opportunity to make it in life. He made everyday life comfortable for Martin. Martin never struggled. Although he got through college, he did so un- eventfully. He performed poorly. He referred to his average grades as ‘‘gentlemanly Cs.’’ Martin had no experience with adversity. He felt optimistic about his future, even though he had no big plans or goals in mind. He was handsome, had many friends, played sports, and dated many girls. Martin showed little concern that life might turn out poorly for him. Upon graduating with a major in business, many com- panies offered Martin jobs. He took a job in sales, which seemed right to him because he always enjoyed meeting and talking with people. In job training, he superficially learned about company products and strategies for selling them. Martin relied on his charm and social skills to engage potential customers. Before long, while other sales repre- sentatives increased their customer base, Martin had little to show for his efforts. His supervisor showed more con- cern over Martin’s performance than Martin did. The super- visor talked to Martin about it and encouraged him to try harder. Martin took lightly his supervisor’s concerns and continued in his ways. He occasionally sold a customer. Nevertheless, his selling efforts failed more than succeeded. It pleased him to bring in a new customer, though it was a rare occurrence. Soon, his company terminated him because of his poor performance. Martin saw his termination as a temporary setback, and optimistically maintained that everything would work out in the end. Martin presented well. He eas- ily got another sales job, and his social skills always got him through customers’ doors, but his reluctance to give up unproductive work behaviors prevented him from making sales. Here, too, his performance was lackluster. This com- pany also terminated him for poor performance and lack of motivation to improve. Once again, Martin had little insight as to why the company terminated him. This pattern con- tinued over the years. Martin’s deficiency in hardy attitudes is more subtle than either Allan’s or Grace’s. His optimism at first may appear hardy, but superficial buoyancy can be a way of de- nying and avoiding problems. It’s difficult to solve prob- lems you fail to see. Martin’s cheerful ways and social interest makes him seem committed to influence life cir- cumstances. But, Martin’s naive optimism did him in. If you think changes and problems always turn out well with- out your effort, why put energy or time into working con- structively to transform them? Naive optimism prevented Martin from seeing how life’s changes, positive or negative, can be opportunities to learn and grow. His laissez-faire approach to life hurt him in the end. Avoid Vulnerable Attitudes By now, you are probably very alert to the disadvantages of re- sponding to stressful circumstances with the vulnerable attitudes of withdrawal, powerlessness, and threat. You need to keep in mind how these attitudes in the people you know, and in the ex- amples we have reported, undermined the process of turning stress to advantage through involvement, influential effort, and at- tempts to keep learning. Now it is time for you to observe yourself as honestly as you can to see if and when you have sunken into attitudes of with- drawal (rather than commitment), powerlessness (rather than con- trol), and threat (rather than challenge). Looking back: Think about your past. s Do you remember concrete examples or extended periods of time when you avoided or reacted catastrophically to changes that were disruptive and stressful? s Did you try to avoid the disruptive changes? s Did you get angry enough to strike out? s Did you give up trying? s Did you come to the conclusion that life just isn’t fair? Try to see behind these actions the nonresilient attitudes of with- drawal, powerlessness, and threat. Make yourself a list of the trou- blesome events and your disadvantageous reactions to them. Looking at today: Now make an honest appraisal of the present. s Are there concrete examples or extended periods of time when you have failed to express the attitudes of commitment, control, and challenge? s What are the particular characteristics of the stressful circum- stances that have this effect on you? s Is your inclination to withdraw, sink into powerlessness, and find changes too threatening to learn from? s Do you justify it to yourself with pessimistic conclusions as to what life is all about? Write down your observations concerning your present-day func- tioning. Looking ahead: How about your future? When you think of the days, months, and years ahead: s Do you hope that nothing will change and lack an elaborate plan as to what your life will become? s Do you think the world will get worse, rather than get better, and that there is nothing any of us can do about that? s Or, do you look forward to the meaningful evolution of soci- ety, the world, and yourself? Even if you have found signs that you can sink into with- drawal, powerlessness, and threat, don’t give up. Identifying these attitudinal problems is an important step toward getting rid of them. Remember how troubled the lives are of the people you know who are nonresilient and the examples we have given you here in Step Two, and resolve not to let this happen to you. In- stead, focus on the resilient people you know and the examples discussed in Step One. Try to follow in their footsteps of commitment, control, and challenge, and you will truly be able to say, ‘‘Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.’’
STEP THREE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF WHEN YOU TURN STRESSFUL CHANGES TO ADVANTAGE
So far, we have tried to get you to immerse yourself in what hap- pens concerning resilience when you have or don’t have hardy attitudes. Whatever your present attitudinal inclination, you are trying to keep in mind the advantages of commitment, control, and challenge, and the disadvantages of withdrawal, powerless- ness, and threat. As you involve yourself more and more in this process, it should have a beneficial effect on you. There is yet a third way to increase your hardy attitudes. Of the three steps discussed here, it is the most powerful. It involves expressing the resiliency skills needed to turn disruptive, stressful changes from potential disasters into opportunities, and using the feedback you get from your efforts to convince yourself that you can make a meaningful difference in how your life unfolds and improves. In other words, you will have the courage to do what helps, and develop in the process. Chapters 7, 8, 9, and 10 deal with exercising the skills of transformational coping and social support. In transformational coping, you think of stressful changes as problems to be solved and take the necessary steps to achieve that end. When it comes to support, you arrange to give and get assistance and encouragement from those around you, so that you all can believe in yourselves and carry out the hard work of prob- lem solving. In the process of employing both coping and support skills, you get feedback from your efforts.Three Sources of Feedback The first source of feedback comes from the observations you make of yourself as you engage in your efforts. The coping exercises in chapters 7 and 8 guide you in how to structure stressful changes as problems, and how to go about turning them to advantage. As you observe yourself carrying out these exercises, you may well think, ‘‘Is that me? I didn’t know I could do that.’’ The social sup- port exercises in chapters 9 and 10 guide you in resolving conflicts with the significant people around you, and replacing those con- flicts with a mutual pattern of assistance and encouragement. As you observe yourself carrying out these exercises, you may well think, ‘‘I didn’t know how constructively I could interact with those people. It’s great that I was able to strengthen my relation- ships with them.’’ How does feedback from observing yourself in action benefit you? By seeing yourself cope and interact constructively, you strengthen your hardy attitudes of commitment, control, and chal- lenge. The second source of feedback is the observations that others make of you and tell you about. When you use the right skills to cope and interact, people will note the changes in you and may well communicate what they see. Or, you may ask them for their observations. Typically, they will admire the changes you are mak- ing toward greater incisiveness and constructive involvement. They may tell you about this directly, in such words as, ‘‘I respect what you have done so much. To tell you the truth, I didn’t think it was possible.’’ At worst, they may express jealousy toward you. But, behind this, of course, is envious admiration. How does feedback from others who observe you in action benefit you? Their comments motivate you to cope constructively again, reinforce your learning, and deepen your connection to them. This type of feedback deepens your attitudes of commit- ment, control, and challenge. The third source of feedback is the actual effect your actions have on the target events and/or people. Your actions that come out of the training exercises aim at turning potential disasters to advan- tage and deepening the intimacy of your relationships with those around you. As you begin to achieve these goals, you get concrete signs of how your life is improving, both in and out of the work- place. This feedback, too, will convince you more and more that it is worth involving yourself (commitment), trying to have an effect (control), and learning through the changes (challenge), rather than withdrawing and feeling powerless and threatened.
We hope you can see even more clearly now why hardy attitudes provide you with the courage and motivation to work resiliently at improving your own situation and the lives of those around you. It takes courage to see change as natural, despite its stressfulness, and as an opportunity to grow and develop to your fullest at work and at home. To strengthen your hardy attitudes, keep practicing the exercises covered in the first two steps of this chapter. In this regard, remember to: s Keep reflecting on people you know who are strong in hardy attitudes and resiliency. s Keep reflecting on the disadvantages of feeling isolated, pow- erless, and threatened. s Apply this to your own beliefs as you struggle for the resil- ience to turn stressful circumstances to advantage. Further, to really deepen your attitudes of commitment, control, and challenge, engage fully in the coping and social support exer- cises of chapters 7, 8, 9, and 10, conscientiously using the feed- back you get from your efforts to influence how you think of yourself, your job, and your life.