You know the path ahead will be difficult and maybe precarious. That probably doesn’t worry you much because you and your teammates have overcome tough problems before.

What is bothersome though, is the uncertainty. That’s often what keeps us up at night.  How big will this challenge get? How long will the difficulties last? There’s a lot of change coming… is everyone up to it? Are you?

These worrisome thoughts have run through my whirling mind while climbing high mountains around the globe. I’ve spent many cold hours staring at the tent ceiling while wondering how I and my team would deal with the uncertainties ahead. The night before we summited Mount Everest, this pile of nagging thoughts seemed bigger than the mountain itself.

As a keynote speaker on resilience, I’ve spoken to medical groups, hospitals, and hospital associations that are facing big changes and challenges.  It seems like the health care profession is on a long expedition up an uncertain mountain.  I understand. My wife is an RN and I’ve been trained as a wilderness first responder.

Jim and teammates at 23,500 feet on Mount Everest

When talking with medical professionals and administrators at conferences, the look in their eyes and the concern in their voices sometimes reminds me of climbers at 26,000 feet. “We don’t know how much farther we have to go.” “I’m not sure if I can hang in there.”

For those doubt-filled moments, here are several tips to Spark Resilience in your hospital teammates:

  1. Stay optimistic because courage is contagious.
  2. Build confidence by recalling tough challenges you’ve already overcome.
  3. Connect with the commitment, passion, and professionalism that got you this far.

Whether you’re climbing toward your hospital’s future, or toward a high mountain top, resilience will help you overcome change, challenge, and uncertainty.