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How to replenish your emotional bandwidth

"The state of the workplace is now described as VUCA: volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous," psychologist Dr. Karen Doll said.

MAINE, USA — Dr. Karen Doll is a licensed psychologist and professional coach. Over the last year and a half, she's heard from a lot of company leaders just how uncertain and complex workplaces have become. 

Between the pandemic and all of the information overload that comes with it, Doll said people are living in unstable times, which generates a lot of fear. She said it's important to build up your psychological fitness in this accelerating work and life pace.

"The state of the workplace now is described as VUCA-volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous," Doll said. "We have old ways of operating in a new world that is incomplete and insufficient. We are on our heels and we need to upgrade our operating systems."

She said while the word "unprecedented" is overused, it's true that we are living in unprecedented times. So much so that a new acronym has been created to describe the changes: BANI.

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B = Brittle: We are susceptible to catastrophe at any time.

A = Anxious: Anxiety is one of the most present symptoms today.

N = Nonlinear: Events seem disconnected and disproportionate, making long-term planning a challenge.

I = Incomprehensible: Unprecedented times that aren’t making sense.

So how do we adapt to an accelerating work and life pace? Doll said it comes down to psychological fitness.

"Focusing on what we CAN control, what is in our sphere of influence, accepting what is, and letting go of resisting what we don’t like."

Part of that acceptance means that while you may not like a project that was given to you or a circumstance you are in, if you can't control it, complaining about it won't change it. 

Instead, try some breathing exercises, and focus on what you can fix. 

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