In November 2014 I was excited to be asked by International Network Norway (INN), an organisation supporting the international and expat population in Stavanger, to give a presentation on ‘Dealing with the Unexpected’. This talk was prompted by the uncertainty in the oil industry and the sometimes very sudden changes people are having to make in terms of their work roles and relocation plans. I was even more pleased to be asked to repeat the presentation in May 2015. The diverse and truly international audiences asked many thoughtful questions, and I had many interesting emails in response.
The main focus of my presentation was on the benefits of developing emotional resilience in preparing for and coping with the unexpected, particularly in expat and cross-cultural life. Emotional resilience is defined by Janssen in The Emotionally Resilient Expat as ‘the ability to recover from and/or adjust to negative events or significant change… also to maintaining or returning to a positive view of oneself during and after such turmoil.’
By developing emotional resilience we increase our capacity to cope with the unexpected more successfully. We can all increase our emotional resilience, whatever our age, stage of life, background or current situation. It may not be easy, in fact it may well be immensely challenging, but the American Psychological Association describes emotional resilience as involving behaviours, thoughts and actions that anyone can learn and develop (www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx). The key is to identify ways that are likely to work well for you, as part of a personal strategy for developing resilience.
If you would like to find out more, please get in touch.