With six months gone and six months left in 2020, many people are faced with challenges that can easily lead to pain, despair, doubt and more. There is a real crisis in the world.
A recent message from my 20-year-old daughter, who is still living in the United States for university, brought it very close to home. She expressed to me how stressed she felt about what was going on in the world. It seriously made me think about what she and others can do to cope with the effects of this pandemic.
Here are three ways you can get through the rest of 2020. These three areas have been personally helpful with staying in a positive frame of mind during the recent lockdown.
1: Perspective – think long-term
I love this quote by Max Lucado: “It all works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the end.” This current crisis will not last forever. It may be several more weeks, several more months, or even years – we do not know. However, here’s what we do know for sure: it will end. This, too, shall pass. Your action is to become future-focused. Shift your focus from short-term to long-term. Ask yourself, “What do I want my life, career or business to be like, look like or feel like when this all ends? What do I want things to be like one, two, five years from now?” Once you get that clarity, focus on taking steps to reach those goals. Now is a perfect time of year to produce a new dream or vision board for your life, business or career. It’s also an ideal time to evaluate your current motivation or movement toward your initial goals and dreams. Over the three months of lockdown, I was excited to see the many people post on social media their certificates from all the things they learned and up-skilled during this time. It is a perfect example of shifting perspective and thinking long-term.
2: Resources – focus on what you have
In this step, shift your focus to what you do have and away from what you don’t have. If we are not careful, it is easy to let our minds wander and stay focused on what this pandemic has taken away. Do not shift into scarcity thinking. It is the exact opposite of possibility thinking, that leads to greater creativity. If we are going to survive and thrive during these times, we must focus on the resources we still have, not what is lost or gone away, or what we may lose. I think of the morning I spent time on the beach immediately before it was closed. I walked on the sands and watched the sun rise. I looked around and took in the beautiful vast ocean, the unlimited grains of sand, the abundance in the trees and it was a quick reminder of how much abundance and wealth is still in this world. One of my favorite things to listen to is a meditation found on Youtube by Bob Proctor called “Abundance”. After listening to that meditation for three years, I am often reminded, even when it may seem limited at times, how much we still have in this world. Your action is to ask yourself, “What are three things I am grateful for right now?” On that day, when my freedom was being taken away, I felt immensely grateful for the sunrise, the unlimited ocean and the trees’ beauty. Find something. You may need to dig deeper than others, but we all have resources we can focus on and be grateful for. Look at the abundance side of things.
3: Resilience – stay the course
In this step, shift your focus from the risk of failing to the opportunity to rise. Personal trainers will tell you that the only way to develop strength is to build your resistance to weight that is bearing down on your muscles. It is the very same with the circumstances of life. With the uncertainty of the economy, it is easy to focus on what could go wrong, or what may not work. However, when something doesn’t work, be flexible and willing to pivot. Be especially aware of limiting beliefs or thoughts that tell you, “Nothing is working,” or “I don’t have what it takes.” Turn them into positive thoughts and use them to keep rising up. When you fall, keep getting back up. It is the essence of resilience. If you don’t quit, you cannot fail. A good question to ask yourself here is, “why”. Why do I need to stay the course? Why is being resilient so important? What is at stake if I don’t? It is one of my go-to questions when I need to keep myself focused on rising up repeatedly.
An activity called “personal resources inventory” that I have led teams through sounds something like this: Take an inventory to help you along this year. Write down the single-biggest crisis or challenge you’ve navigated before in your life. It may be a personal crisis, a crisis in your family, your business, your health, etc. Whatever it is, please write it down. In retrospect, ask yourself, “What were the three biggest resources that enabled me to get through it?” Now, looking at the current crisis, ask yourself, “What are the three most significant resources that I have at my disposal now?”
In closing, this quote by Dr. Myles Munroe in his 1998 book “Seasons of Change”, is a sobering one: “One of the greatest tragedies in life is that only a small percentage of the world’s population confront change effectively. Many are victims of change. Some dread change, while others refuse to accept it. This is a formula for frustration and depression… You really can learn to embrace change with a positive attitude. As you view change from the proper perspective, you’ll find tremendous opportunities for growth. Those new possibilities may hold an exciting destiny for you…”
As we live through the second half of this rapidly changing year, keep these three shifts in mind: perspective, resources and resilience.
If you would like to book a 60 to 90-minute team rally and training session around these three shifts, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Keshelle Davis works with people who want to start, grow and lead in business. This ranges from the startup entrepreneur to the corporate organization with a full team. She is former executive director of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, a Bahamas Icon Award Winner for Commerce and the founder of the Training Authority. Email her at email@example.com.