HardinessMaking Stress Work for You to Achieve Your Life Goals
Learn to embrace the 3 C's of psychological hardiness to overcome stress and increase personal growth Life is full of questions. How you answer these questions can determine which path your life takes. Think about how many questions you are faced with every day. It can be overwhelming. From the mundane to the profound, questions help you navigate everything from your daily routine to your career choices and relationships. Sometimes, asking the right question is just as important as the answer: What do you want out of life? Is it financial success? A loving family? Career achievement? Maybe you are coping with a serious illness. Whatever your goal may be, you have undoubtedly encountered barriers that slow your progress. One of the biggest of these barriers is stress. Scientific research has found that your ability to resist the damaging effects of stress—your hardiness—can reduce stress-related illness and strengthen your ability to thrive under pressure. Hardiness, written by respected clinical and research psychologists, will help develop your psychological hardiness which, in turn, enables you to enjoy more of life’s rewards. Mastering the 3 C’s of hardiness—commitment, control, and challenge—is essential to increasing hardiness and responding effectively to stressful situations. This invaluable guide provides exercises and activities, based on 30 years of research, specifically designed to increase your hardiness in all areas of your personal and professional life. This book will help you: Understand how hardiness is assessed to evaluate and improve your response to stress Unlock your new potential made possible by a better understanding of hardiness Examine real-life examples and case studies of psychological hardiness Increase your engagement in the surrounding world Capitalize on opportunities for your personal growth Hardiness: Making Stress Work for You to Achieve Your Life Goals can help you move toward becoming healthier, more self-actualized, and increasingly satisfied with your life and future.
Introduction xiii Chapter 1 Stress: What’s All the Fuss? 1 Stress: It’s Unavoidable 4 Your Body’s Response to Stress 6 Hardiness Can Make a Big Difference in How You Cope with Stress 9 Introducing the Three Cs 10 Chapter 2 Commitment: Why Pursuing Purpose in Life Matters 15 What is the Theory Behind Commitment? 16 What We Can Learn About Commitment from Prisoners of War 17 Surviving Post-traumatic Stress: Hardiness-Commitment Versus Short-Term Pleasures 18 Increasing Commitment in Your Life 20 Victor Frankl: Purpose, Commitment, and Meaning 21 The Role of Commitment in Success: Jim Carrey 23 When Commitment Leads to Calling: The Success Factor for Musicians 25 Chapter 3 Building Commitment 29 Take Time to Think About What is Important and Interesting to You 29 Are You Plagued by the Work/Balance Conundrum? 31 Increase Your Skills and Competence in an Area That is Important to You 32 Take Pride in Your Past Successes and Achievements 34 Remember the Good Things in Your Life, and Count Your Blessings 36 Spend Time with Family, Friends, and People You Care About 38 Pay Attention to What’s Going On in the World Around You 39 Try Out New Things 41 Chapter 4 The Role of Hardiness-Challenge 45 A Tale of Two Accountants 46 How Challenge Prepares You for Change 47 Understanding Your Mindset 48 Expanding the Mindset Concept Beyond Abilities 50 Why Traditional Coping Methods Don’t Always Work 52 Examining the “Work of Worrying” Theory 54 Stress Mindset Versus Hardiness-Challenge 57 How Can We Change Mindsets? 58 Physiological Differences as a Result of Your Mindset 60 Hardiness-Challenge and Madonna 61 Chapter 5 Building a Challenge Mindset 63 Changes are Always an Opportunity to Learn and Get Better 64 Do Not Live Every Day by a Rigid Schedule 69 Be Willing to Change Your Plans to Meet Changing Conditions 70 Whenever You Fail at Something, Ask: What Can I Learn from This? 71 Try Out New Things, Take Reasonable Risks 73 Imagine Future Positive Outcomes 75 Do Not Dwell on Past Disappointments: Learn, Forgive, and Look Ahead 78 Chapter 6 Understanding Hardiness-Control 81 Taking Control When Your Body Can’t: Michael J. Fox 82 Managing Your Internal Drives 83 Planning an Orderly Future 84 Control: Too Much or Too Little 85 Can Mental Health Problems Be Related to Control Issues? 87 Can Higher Control Have Benefits at Work? 89 How Control Can Make You More Effective at Work 90 How Can You Start to Improve Your Control? 91 Chapter 7 Getting Yourself More in Control 93 Focus Your Time and Energy on Things You Can Control or Influence 93 Work on Tasks That are Within Your Capabilities, Moderately Difficult but Not Overwhelming 95 For Difficult Jobs, Break Them Up into Manageable Pieces So You Can See the Progress 97 Plan Ahead and Gather Up the Right Tools and Resources for the Task 99 Ask for Help When You Need It 101 Recognize Your Successes 103 When You Just Cannot Solve a Problem, Turn Your Attention to Other Things You Can Control 105 Chapter 8 How Hardiness Works to Protect Health and Performance 107 The Hardy Stress Response: Appraising the Situation 108 The Hardy Stress Response: Reacting to Stress 111 Positively Adapting to Stress 112 Stress and the Heart: The Role of Hardiness 114 Stress and the Immune System 117 Putting Hardiness to Work for You 118 Chapter 9 Hardiness at Work 121 Driving a Bus is No Walk in the Park 121 Does Hardiness Influence Your Career Choice? 126 Hardiness Scores of Healthcare Professionals 131 What Do We Know About Hardiness and Work Satisfaction? 132 Challenges Versus Hindrances at Work 134 Practicing Hardiness in the Legal Profession 135 Putting Your Hardiness to Work 144 Chapter 10 What We Can Learn from Hardiness in High-Stakes Performance Careers 147 Playing Out Hardiness as a Musical Director 148 Secrets of Long-Term Success as an Entertainer 154 Looking at Hardiness in Young Performing Musicians 159 Hardiness in Sports 160 Winning the US Tennis Open 167 What You Can Learn from Increasing Hardiness Levels in Competitive Swimmers 174 Chapter 11 The Role of Hardiness in First Responders 179 Hardiness and Policing 179 One Way That Firefighters Cope with Stress 182 Hardiness and Homicide Police Investigator Mark Mendelson 184 Can Hardiness Help in the Selection of Police Officers? 189 Some Things We Can Learn from First Responders 191 Chapter 12 The Hardy Leader 193 World’s 50 Greatest Leaders 195 Coaching Hardiness 196 Coaching Techniques to Build Hardiness 197 Chapter 13 Hardiness at the US Military Academy—West Point 201 Welcome to West Point 202 Becoming Leaders 203 Women at West Point 205 Who Drops Out? Hardiness and the Ability to Persist 206 Portrait of a Hardy Cadet 209 Beyond West Point 210 Making Yourself a Hardy Leader 211 Chapter 14 Hardiness and Your Health 213 Hardiness and Heart Disease 214 Hardiness and Diabetes 215 Hardiness and the Immune System 216 Hardiness and Cancer 217 Hardiness and Arthritis 218 Health, Hardiness, and Social Support 219 Hardiness and Sleep 220 Hardiness and Health Habits 222 Using the Three Cs of Hardiness to Stay Healthy 223 Chapter 15 Moving from Life Stress to Life Success 227 From Tragic Loss to Uplifting the Lives of Others 228 Transcending One’s Circumstances 231 From Tragedy to the World Stage 235 New Life in a New Country: Struggles and Achievements 239 Physical Fitness, Hardiness, and the Stress of a Child’s Life-Threatening Illness 242 Conclusion 246 References 247 Acknowledgments 262 About the Authors 263 Index 264
STEVEN J. STEIN, PHD, is a clinical psychologist and the Founder and Executive Chair of Multi-Health Systems (MHS), a leading behavior analytics firm. His work on human performance has been featured in top media outlets worldwide. He teaches at the Directors College of Canada. PAUL T. BARTONE, PHD, is a Visiting Research Fellow at the National Defense University's Institute for National Security Policy. During his U.S. Army career, Colonel Bartone served as the Army's senior research psychologist and deployed worldwide. He also taught leadership at West Point and at the National Defense University. Bartone has been studying hardiness, health, and performance for nearly forty years.
As life in the digital era becomes more chaotic and fast paced, there is a surplus of books and media that promise to help us reduce our levels of stress. We are told that if we just schedule our time right, focus on the right things, or stand up to the right people, our stress can magically melt away, leaving us with nothing but joy. Enticing as these ideas sometimes are, most of us can see right through them. The truth is, stress is a part of life. We are biologically hardwired to cope with stress—and if we can cope well, stress can become our trusted ally in the quest for a meaningful life. Hardiness looks into the minds of people who respond well to stressful situations. These resilient individuals have the power to achieve their relationship and career goals and to quickly recover from unforeseen setbacks. Over decades of research, authors Steven J. Stein and Paul T. Bartone have identified the three personality features that such people have in common—the "three Cs" of hardiness—commitment, control, and challenge. When we understand and work to develop these traits in ourselves, we unlock our own potential for growth and turn stress into a force for good in our lives. Across occupations and social classes, the hardiness mindset is linked to better health, performance, and success. Hardiness includes numerous, real-world examples from artists, athletes, first responders, soldiers, and others who have demonstrated that the three Cs can propel us toward our goals. This book also reviews a large body of evidence on the connection between resilient responses to stress and physical health—heart disease, diabetes, and cancer tend to shy away from the hardiest individuals. Ultimately, Hardiness is about how we can turn our stressors into success factors. This book shows that, regardless of our life circumstances, we all have the capacity to transform losses and setbacks into lessons and opportunities that will motivate us to keep thriving. Because the uplifting message of this book is based on strong evidence from decades of rigorous psychological research, we would be foolish to ignore its conclusions. Visit hardinessmindset.com to learn more.
PRAISE FOR HARDINESS "Hardiness is the gift that keeps on giving. Steve and Paul have done a masterful job summarizing and integrating almost fifty years of research into one, easy-to-read, simple-to-apply manual on how to construct a life well-lived." —SCOTT A. SNOOK, PHD, MBA Class of 1958, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, Harvard Business School "I'm rushing out to buy a large stash of this book so I can give it away to everyone important to me—my kids, my friends, and the business leaders I coach. Steve Stein and Paul Bartone have created a gift for anyone who encounters stress in their life." —ALLEN MOORE, PHD, Global Lead for Executive Coaching, Korn Ferry "This book is essential reading for executives wanting to improve the resilience of their people and themselves. Hardiness is full of highly practical tips and techniques on how to do just that!" —PEDRO ANGULO, Head of Leadership Development, AIB Bank (Allied Irish Banks) "Steven Stein and Paul Bartone have brought the topic (of resilience) into focus and provided insights to help leaders understand and promote a culture of resiliency with the goal of improved productivity, health, and the bottom line. It is a must-read!" —MAJOR GENERAL RANDY MANNER, US Army, Retired, Executive Coach "As a retired U.S. Navy SEAL and now a Team and Leader Development Consultant, Hardiness: Making Stress Work for You to Achieve Your Life Goals was an excellent read. Stein and Bartone do an excellent job using data and research to correlate the hardiness components of commitment, control, and challenge to years of experience, education, and assessments. Hardiness and its components may be the linchpin development specialists have been looking for to obtain a competitive advantage. I look forward to using Hardiness to bring about clarity for my future clients." —DR. CHRIS AUGER, LCDR (ret) U.S. Navy SEAL "Stress is an unavoidable part of life, and your health, success, and happiness depend on your ability to manage, not avoid it. With convincing evidence, practical tools, and real-life examples, Dr. Stein and Dr. Bartone show how building a hardier mindset helps overcome the most difficult circumstances and leads to higher performance." —MICHAEL KATCHEN, Cofounder and CEO of Wealthsimple, a leading financial services innovator operating in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K.
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