My friend and teacher, Susan Skjei, wrote an Op-Ed in the Boulder Daily Camera on working with fear and uncertainty in a crisis or the science of calming an anxious brain.
“The last few weeks have been tumultuous. The novel coronavirus has injected uncertainty into markets, into all business transactions and into the way we live our lives. Many people, including ourselves and our employees, may be experiencing fear. Instead of being productive we may find ourselves compulsively watching the news, staring into space or having dire thoughts about the future. In addition, many people have lost their jobs or are working from home and may be feeling isolated. How can we understand our fear and learn to work with it?”
This article by Bryan Robinson in Forbes touches at the heart of what I’ve been feeling. Your COVID-19 response can be personally transformative. The message: self-reflection and mindfulness are a positive response to trauma. Use this kick in the pants to change.
“COVID-19 struck fast and hard when the whole world was unprepared for it. Seismic events of this nature challenge our faith and hope, making us feel scared and helpless, even wanting to give up in some cases. But the pandemic also can be a time to dig deeper into our inner resources and harness the adversity to fuel our resilience. But how do we do that?”
“Studies of trauma survivors show that adversity, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, can actually have benefits called posttraumatic growth (PTG)”… Read the rest and share
I’ve seen this image around the web a lot in the past few days. Radiating from the question of the day “Who do I want to be during COVID-19?” are three bands: the Fear Zone, the Learning Zone, and the Growth Zone. I want to be in the Growth Zone.
Those in the Fear Zone are afraid and self-focused. Their basest instincts have taken over. They’re the people who forward you every sort of alarming message or news item accurate or not. They hoard toilet paper.
Those in Learning Zone do what they can to stay out of the Fear Zone. They are less reactive to the news, but remain defined by the crisis. I’d guess that those in the Fear Zone and those in the Learning Zone comprise close to equal parts of a large majority.
The Growth Zone is a different place. The relatively few here are using the current situation as a jumping off point: a reason, a catalyst, a unique opportunity, to transform. They are consciously extending themselves beyond their current situation and worldview. They are taking time to learn, reflect, help others, be present, reset, and find new challenges even amid this crisis.
The common crisis we are facing offers a great opportunity for new connections. Don’t be judgmental. Ratchet up the compassion and care in a time of crisis.
Amy Gallo in Harvard Business Review states: “I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it very easy to be judgmental these days. Late last week, a coworker told me on Slack that she was going to be offline for a bit while she greeted her babysitter, who was showing up any minute. My immediate thought was, “That’s not social distancing.” For a split second I was mad at her. How could she let another person into her house at this time? Why isn’t she doing her part to flatten the curve? My feelings soon morphed into guilt and then into sadness and grief. I didn’t want to be annoyed with my coworker. So why was I?” … Read the rest and share
Ruminators rejoice. Stop worrying about what others think of you, your comments, your work. Generally, they think a lot less about you than you think they do.
“A study co-authored by Alice Moon, Wharton professor of operations, information and decisions, finds that when people perform tasks in front of others, they tend to believe they are being judged harshly on their performance. But in reality, actors are much harder on themselves than the observers who are watching them.”
“All that worry and stress can lead to what Moon calls the “overblown implications effect.” When people are so preoccupied with the judgment of others, they tend to believe that that judgment is far worse than it is.”… Read the rest and share