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Self-Resilience – The Key to Thriving Through Change

April 11, 2013 by Rachel Karu in Change Management

Self-Resilience – The Key to Thriving Through Change

The only consistent things we can count on are death, taxes, and constant change! Darwin offers that

it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.”

Despite our awareness that some amount of change is imperative to survive as a species, it is challenging to keep up with ongoing change. In our corporate world with a “do more with less” mentality, many people are burned out and running out of steam.

The 3 Phases of Change

One of the keys to thriving through change is to recognize that it has phases and to know which phase we are experiencing. Each phase has different emotions tied into it.

1. Disorientation

The first phase is Chaos or Disorientation. This is when change is first thrust upon us and we go into “fight or flight” mode. We experience a roller-coaster of emotions including fear, anger, denial, and for some, great excitement. We are not sure why we need to change or if we fit into the new model.

2. Re-orientation

The second phase is Re-orientation. This is when the pieces of the change puzzle start to come together and we better understand what we can influence and if we can to make the change work for us.

3. Integration

The third phase is Integration. This is when we accept the change and sometimes find it hard to imagine that life existed beforehand. Since we are human, this cycle continues over and over again.

The 8 Facets of Self-Resilience

Knowing this model helps us connect to how we are feeling and helps us recognize that “this too shall pass.” It also provides us with an opportunity to focus on the concept of Self-Resilience. What can we do during each phase to thrive during change and “bounce back” in a healthy manner?

Although this three phase model is helpful, when it comes to developing greater levels of Self-Resilience, there are 8 Facets that are important to consider:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Socially Connected / Social Support
  3. Flexible and Adaptable
  4. Self-Assurance / Self-Esteem
  5. Organized
  6. Problem Solver
  7. Socially Competent
  8. Proactive

The good news is that once we are aware of these facets, we can “build muscles” in each one which provides us the opportunity to capitalize on the change and to learn how to nurture ourselves along the way. One example is considering the facet Socially Connected / Social Support. Many people resist the idea of asking for help when they are struggling with change. This in fact can make change extremely isolating and we don’t get the benefit of people’s resources, ideas, and connections. Case in point: Research shows that most jobs are filled via “word of mouth.” If we are resistant to reach out to our network when we are in transition, we miss out on important opportunities and have less of a likelihood to find a new job.


Accepting that all change involves movement through a series of phases is a helpful way to comes to terms with it. Examining the 8 Facets of Self-Resilience while in the midst of change helps us tactically manage the experience on a step-by-step basis.

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About Rachel Karu

Rachel Karu MS, ACC, inspires reflection and results as she assists organizations, teams and individuals to Reflect, Act and Excel. She possesses an MS in Counseling for Business and is a certified Coach. Rachel can be contacted at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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