People are happy to put 2020 behind them, but what’s ahead for them in the new year and beyond?
As we think about our current mindset, it’s important to think about how we leverage it during this time of crisis so we can create momentum and sustain it over a long period of time as we come out the other side. While it seems interminable today—like this crisis will never end—there is an opportunity for us to put our minds in a place that will allow us to maximize potential and success.
During my lifetime, I’ve experienced countless difficult challenges. The one thing that’s certain is change and with that comes adversity and challenge. Think of the challenges that you’ve already overcome in light of what we’re facing right now. There was SARS, MERS, the bird flu, swine flu, the technology bubble bursting, the 2008 global recession, and now here we are at the beginning of 2021 with a pandemic that is omnipresent. This is a transnational crisis that knows no borders that continues to change and evolve.
This feels different. In all those other instances, we still had the freedom to move around. We still had the ability to go do the things we normally do in the course of our everyday life. In the crisis we’re in we continue to be constrained. We’ve been asked to shelter in place, stay home, stay off the street, avoid social interaction, social contact, and that is unprecedented.
Here are three steps to move forward during a crisis:
STEP 1 – UNDERSTAND THE CRISIS
The first step in learning and understanding a crisis is to dimensionalize it, conceptualize it, and put our arms around it. There are a lot of emotions around a crisis – fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, insecurity, and self-doubt. All of those things weigh on us in different ways and at different times as we look at a crisis. We have to look at each of those and have a plan on how best to internalize and how to successfully mitigate those challenges.
STEP 2 – SHARE YOUR FEELINGS
The second step is that, with vulnerability, transparency, and honesty, we must share our emotions with the people who are closest to us because they are often experiencing the same things we are and have the same fears we do. It’s difficult for everyone in the environment of this crisis because of the threat to our status quo, what we’ve built, and who we are. Make sure to be open in relationships with colleagues, friends, and family members so that we all truly understand what we’re going through. This second step in crisis is putting your mind in a place to go forward. Know your emotions, know that they’re real, and be honest in sharing them.
We have to do our best when it matters most, and it matters most right now. As leaders we are expected to be strong, to do well, and to be our best, so we have to step up to those challenges. As we think about where we want to go, we must put our mind in that place. Even though we’re in a difficult state, we can visualize and begin to see that there are opportunities for us further down the road. Our vision becomes clearer as we begin to get mental clarity about where we’re headed.
STEP 3 – REFOCUS ON WHAT WILL BE
The third step is to begin to refocus the mind and shift the mindset from ‘what is’ to ‘what will be’ and begin to focus on that in a dramatic way. Author, Booker T. Washington, once said, “men and women should be judged not so much by what they’ve accomplished, but rather by what obstacles they’ve overcome in that accomplishment.” We are currently in the midst of overcoming that obstacle. We’ve seen throughout our lives that change is inevitable. Our mindset is at a thought-provoking inflection point right now and we do have a choice. A choice to emerge from the crisis empowered to overcome the next one. Crisis creates opportunity.
For more principles such as clarity of vision to enhance your life, visit warrenrustand.com or read The Leader Within Us, Mindset, Principles, and Tools for a Life By Design.