Surviving and Thriving: Moving Forward after Unexpected Events
Updated: Jun 30
The corona virus turned the world upside down. 9/11 changed our life forever. There will always be unexpected disruptive events in our life, some of the events will be minor and a nuisance to deal with. Other events will have a lasting input.It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it that counts.Here are a few strategies that will motivate you to start moving forward with purpose during the new normal.
Surviving Strategies include:
Taking care of yourself. No one cares more about your health and well-being than you do. If you get sick, you are no good to your family, friends and colleagues. We know that eating a well-balanced diet and exercise is good for our body and our soul. As Nike states, just do it!
Creating a safe haven. Most American citizens take our safety for granted. We live in a free world and have access to professionals who keep us safe on a daily basis, police officers, military, healthcare workers and many others. When a disruptive event removes our safety net, anxiety and worry skyrocket. When our leaders suggest that we do something during a crisis, like shelter in place and use social distancing, keep calm and do it. Stay safe.
Placing family first. Prioritize those who you love and hold dear. Most of us work to live. We work to provide for our loved ones. Yes, I love my work, but I love my family more. If you are a parent or have living parents, it’s easy to ignore your self-care and focus on the needs of your family. Creating balance is critical to being able to move forward, you need down time for yourself to de-stress, recharge, and re-energize.
Asking for help. Having a group of people on your side makes moving forward after difficult events easier. I was never one to ask for help, then I had a baby and realized that I couldn’t do everything by myself and I didn’t know enough to handle everything by myself. There were people in my life who were willing to lend a hand, I just had to swallow my pride and ask. If you lose your job and have no money to buy food, find your local food bank and get some groceries. If you are overwhelmed at work and your favorite co-worker was let go, develop some new relationships. Speak up and ASK.
Lend a helping hand. People react to change differently and I like to think that people do the best they can with what they have. If you are in a position to offer help to another person, please do so. Show kindness. That could be at work and at home. Volunteer your time and expertise to help others get moving in the right direction. When a person loses a loved one, they grieve. Grief can immobilize a person from moving forward. If you know someone who is grieving, reach out to them, listen to them, do something nice for them! If one of your co-workers is struggling, offer to help.
Have an attitude of gratitude. We have so much to be thankful for. Our country, our ability to make choices, our friends and families, the opportunities before us. When a crisis occurs, there will always be people on the front line. The firemen who run into burning buildings, the emergency room nurse who is examining her 50th patient, the police officers in riot gear, the soldiers who are ready to die for our freedom. Stop and thank them.
Learn. We don’t even know what we don’t know, yet. When a disruptive, unexpected event occurs, there is a good chance that we will have to adjust our thinking and behaving and learn something new. Have a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. A growth mindset shows that you are open to learning and embracing the new normal. After the Twin Towers went down on 9/11, our airports changed forever. Airport screening became the new normal. An entire workforce with new equipment and procedures at our airports became expected. We will also learn from making mistakes. That’s fine, as long as we don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Embrace the facts. When a crisis occurs, it seems as if everyone has an opinion, a comment, a thought and their own perspective. Today’s media and our leaders often fuel the chaos by communicating information that is not timely and/or accurate. During every disruptive event, there are subject matter experts who understand the situation and rely on data to make decisions and there are others who pretend to know what is going on. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, relies on data and scientific evidence when communicating during the corona crisis. Dr. Fauci often looked uncomfortable standing behind President Trump listening to his unscientific boasting.Misinformation is common during disruption. Rely on data and factual information prior to making decisions.
Imagine and Innovate Human beings are truly extraordinary because they have imaginations and are able to innovate to solve problems and overcome obstacles. During the corona outbreak, distilleries quickly produced hand sanitizer. Seamstresses recycled material to make masks. College dormitories transformed to makeshift hospitals. Traditional teaching became virtual almost immediately. Being able to tap into your imagination and consider different options is a gift.
Embrace the Future State. Life as you once knew it is over. It’s your choice to embrace what the future looks like or to spend precious time and energy resisting. Use your judgement to make the best decision possible in the moment.
I will be offering a free webinar, Surviving and Thriving, shortly. Let me know if you would like an invitation. Be safe!