Why dealing with adversity can be stress free

Taking a delivery

The need for resilience is more appropriate than ever with many struggling with the stress of everyday life experiences and the continual development of the workplace. Pressure can derive from anywhere, with new technologies being introduced, a change in management or even a shift in your social environment. The individual stress can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, this ability to deal with life’s unpredictability is a skill that can be learnt by anyone1. Developing this skill enables people to harness pressure caused and instead use it as a measure for motivation. This can ultimately improve employee performance2.

What should employees do when they are unable to thrive in the face of adversity and fall victim to high levels of pressure?

We looked further into the ACBDE model3, which is a process to rationalise emotional behaviour. Consider our example from an employee’s perspective:


A.  Adversity. This could derive from a change in management.

B.  Belief. When someone believes they cannot cope with the change and experiences negative thoughts about how their team is run.

C.  Consequences of these thoughts. This belief could lead to disengagement from work or a lack of motivation for tasks.

D.  Disputation. The questions that you previously proposed about the manager’s capability should be re-looked and retracted. Challenge your way of thinking.

E.  Energisation. The emotion that follows a shift in thinking could lead to a positive perspective leading to overcoming adversity and making a change.


This model has been successful in challenging negative thinking and ultimately improving resilience. Having said that, there could be a larger scope for improvement on future challenges that the model does not consider. Perhaps an ABCDEF (F- Future) would encourage some reflection on what they have learnt. This could alleviate any feelings of high-pressured negativity or stress and increase the chances of success within this environment.

Having a strong sense of resilience both personally and within an organisation is important when experiencing a pressured environment. This is one example of how to overcome your emotions when they get the better of you.

What do you do when you’re faced with adversity?




1Hefferon, K., & Boniwell, I. (2011). Positive psychology: Theory, research and applications. Berkshire: McGraw-Hill Education.

2Seery, M. D. (2011). Resilience A Silver Lining to Experiencing Adverse Life Events? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(6), 390-394.

3Beck, A. T. (1976). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: International Universities Press.