Who would think that a virus could reshape the entire world and with the speed at which it has happened? It has changed the way we work, the way we live, the way we play, the way we interact with our loved ones, and even our entire economy. One of the harshest things about this virus, and the crisis it has contributed to, is how unfair it is. One person gets mild symptoms, while the next person is out flat for three weeks. Some don’t personally know anyone who has been infected, while others have had to deal with the death of a loved one, a friend, or a colleague. Some are making money off of this crisis (due to luck, not pandemic scenario planning), while many others will go bankrupt. What an incredibly confusing time.
At TIGNUM, we have seen and heard the impact of this confusion. We have seen the impact of the media constantly playing stories of tragedy, and occasionally of hope, and we have seen how important mindset is during these huge challenges.
At a time like this, with each of us dealing with a different set of challenges, we really strive to avoid providing the same old cliche advice. In fact, we want to stay away from advice altogether, and instead share 3 key mindset coaching tips we’ve developed from our experience.
Realize that the pain of today is almost always temporary. Pain, exhaustion, despair, and feeling overwhelmed are all messengers to the brain. They are telling the brain that there is a problem, but they don’t inherently create any solutions. They are basically saying, “This sucks.” And they are correct. But if we embrace the suck, accept the discomfort as a part of our growth and strengthening, and ask ourselves, “What are my current choices/options?”, we can quickly regain control of our situation and move forward.
Forgive your brain for being so dramatic and then teach it how to become better. The brain will constantly be drawn to negative situations, unknown threats, and worst-case scenarios in a crisis because it wants to help you survive. At one point in our evolution, this was probably very useful. But in today’s world, with so much information yet so little intelligence (deep understanding of the information and what to do with it), this survival skill gets overwhelmed. This causes emotional fatigue, which then puts the brain further into survival mode. To combat this, you have to both commit ruthlessly to your recovery strategies (especially emotional recovery), as well as constantly reframe your inner dialogue. In a crisis, accept nothing for its face value - not even your own inner dialogue. Constantly challenge your thoughts of despair and shift them toward more solution-oriented, proactive, and positive thinking.
Shift your frame of reference on stress. If you see stress as the ultimate conqueror, your frame of reference will be, “That which doesn’t kill me, only makes me weaker.” This thinking is horribly flawed because it not only assumes that tomorrow will be worse than today, it also ignores everything we know about the way the human being adapts to stress. Human beings are designed (or evolved) to undergo a stressor, to physiologically respond, to get a recovery break to reset and grow, and then to get stronger. This super compensation model works from all types of stress. Our muscles get stronger from overloading them with weight. Our brain gets smarter when it’s challenged by creating new neural pathways through brain plasticity. Our emotional brain gets overwhelmed, processes what we are feeling during recovery, and becomes more resilient by developing a new perspective (“this is tough, but not compared to…..”). The fact is that stress (or crisis) will make you stronger if you use it to grow your Performance Mindset and if you make sure to get the recovery needed to adapt.
As this crisis evolves, we want to encourage you to let go of perfect. There is no perfect when you are in uncharted territory. Instead, commit to learning, learning, and more learning. Be vulnerable and courageous enough to just try to be a little better tomorrow than you were today. Try to give energy to someone who needs it, and constantly create a fresh perspective. This crisis will pass, and we will all be stronger for having gone through it as best as we could.
P.S. TIGNUM is delivering an array of virtual sessions to help our clients Rule Their Impact. If we can help you, your teams, or your company in any way, please reach out to Pauliina Valpas at [firstname.lastname@example.org](mailto:email@example.com?subject=Crisis Support for Teams). Mental Agility, Performance Resilience, Adaptability, Self-Observation, and Energy Multiplication are the Critical Impact Predictors in this rapidly evolving world, and TIGNUM is here to help you develop them.