First and foremost, wherever you are and whoever you are, I hope you are healthy and safe while reading this. Every one of us have been affected by COVID-19 and every one of us will be living a different life when this is all said and done. There is no going back to our “normal” after this.
But I also wanted to send out my thoughts and condolences to anyone who has been severely impacted by this virus, whether it’s personally through contact and contraction, or from a business and livelihood standpoint. I’m sending you my thoughts.
Point being: There’s no selling this thing short anymore.
I wanted to put something together that can hopefully help you get through this time of hardship. As a kid who’s been blessed with several privileges growing up from fantastic parents, grandparents, and support – this becomes one of the most trying times of all our lives.
Just think about that for a second, the next generations will be reading about this in their history books.
With that said, I also grew up with a low self-esteem. I didn’t like to be watched doing activities or playing sports, nor did I have courage to go much outside of my comfort zone (including the strength room at my high school). I’m also an introvert, a mix of an emotional/analytical. Somewhere between a wallflower and a guy who needs to know all the facts before making a decision.
Why is this important?
Because I spent A LOT of my time listening and searching for things to help build my confidence and boost my self-esteem, improving my overall mindset. Now I can share some of those things with you.
Doubling back on what I said in the beginning of this blog post, we are not going to be able to go back to what we deemed “normal” before this happened.
Thought leader and author, John C Maxwell says there’s two choices we have through adversity:
1) You can struggle through and go into “crisis” mode, or
2) You can take advantage and lead.
When it comes to leading, I like to think leading by example. You may not think you have anyone to lead, but I’m telling you, someone is ALWAYS watching you. Adopt a 𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘦-𝘮𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘭 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘴𝘦𝘵 in this situation and beyond. Take a step back and watch how many people you influence.
Your family, friends, and others will take notice.
There’s an old story out there about two trees that a boy and his father plant and aim to grow. After several months, the trees are starting to become saplings and the boys asks his dad which one will grow faster?
The dad replies, “The one we feed and water the most.”
If you feed your fears at this time, by scouring your social media pages, hitting refresh every 30 seconds to see the updates on the news, you can rest assured that you’ll be adopting panic, fear, and anxiety, thus pandemonium will exist.
But if you feed your faith, your belief and your confidence, you will be fulfilling and nurturing your growth and your ability to get things done through this time of crisis. You’ll be much less anxious and experience much less panic as well.
So, which tree will you feed and water the most?
Wayne Dyer, a motivational speaker and author, says, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
In other words, how you view things is how you do things. If we can change or adapt your perspective, we can change the actions you take.
Controlling the controllables is a personal mantra of mine. My coaches Alwyn & Rachel Cosgrove have this mantra as well, and are really making sure we’re focusing on that mantra. It’s an important mindset/mantra to adopt as well because an overwhelming majority of stress and anxiety that people go through are from them spending too much time and energy trying to change the things that are out of their control.
There are some things in life that you have ZERO control over, other things in life that you have SOME control over, and finally things in life that you have FULL control over. Make a list of what that looks like for you.
Right now, we have ZERO control over the COVID-19 on earth, nor the executive orders put in place. You have SOME control on what you need to do in order to get through this, like going to the grocery store, how to work from home, etc. You have FULL control over the decisions you make, your attitude, and how you’ll use your time at home.
There are people and things in life that need your attention, that deserve your attention. Focus on them. Don’t react, but reflect, and take pro-action from what you learn during reflection.
The executive director of the La Crosse (WI) Chamber of Commerce has been masterful at getting out information and adapting on the fly during this outbreak. She’s sending out daily and often times multiple emails per day to keep us informed as well as how to manage our businesses and selves. She said something yesterday that I stopped me in my tracks:
𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘥𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦.
One of the reasons you may be treading in turmoil is because your life is being thrown into daily change, and you may not like that (𝘞𝘩𝘰 𝘛𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘮𝘺 𝘊𝘩𝘦𝘦𝘴𝘦?, anyone?). It leaves you feeling like you don’t have control, throwing you off your routine and demolishing your structure. Remember, the controlling the controllables here!
Getting back to becoming the master of daily change. How fitting for our time, right? You may have to say this aloud once, twice, or fifteen times. Vicki asks you to chant it, and I agree. It’ll stick and be more powerful. It becomes reality.
Crisis and adversity are part of life. It can be tragic, heart-breaking stuff, but it always 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘴 us. What we do with this experience will define us. Times like these will test us, but we will always come out stronger.
Here’s an analogy for you:
In order to build muscle, the muscle has to be stressed, or taken through adversity. The regeneration of that muscle will result in a new, stronger muscle. However, over time, the same adversity (stimulus) won’t cause adaptation. We need to introduce the muscle to more stress which may be new stress or stress with added intensity or pressure. The recovery of that stress is what makes the muscle adapt, becoming stronger yet.
Adversity does the same thing to you and your mind.
There will be failure, heartache, tragedy, and sorrow, but as John C Maxwell says, each of those also comes with a seed of greater benefit.
Adversity will make us stronger. Your perspective on this entire thing can make this whole situation 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘦 for you, or 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 for you. That’s your 𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘪𝘤𝘦.
What I posted above may feel completely wrong to you, and that’s OK. Just remember how you impact and influence others. Do you want them to feel like you do? Do you want to feel like you do? If it’s a no, embrace a different mindset. We will get through this.
I’ll leave you with this, as it was posted by Alwyn yesterday:
“Never regret a day in your life: good days give happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories.” – Sukhraj Dillon
There may be some out there that believe we have to go through this. Maybe, but I know one thing, when this is all said and done, we’ll be stronger than ever because we’re in this together.
-Coach Jordan, Founder of Unity Fitness