Crisis after crisis: From an economic recession; to the Covid19 Pandemic; to a new and spiralling global crisis! The mere mention of those terms can send a “fight or flight” signal to the brain. How do you prepare for such a crisis? By definition, crises are mostly unpredictable by nature. Not only that, but some come consecutively in pairs and threes – similar to what we are experiencing globally these days. Just recently in the Middle East, we were all already feeling the economic crunch at work and at home, when – to add insult to injury – the coronavirus showed up like a wild fire to make matters worse.
Against this bleak background, millions worldwide had to put up with either a salary cut, unpaid leave, or to be made redundant. Those things alone can invite unwanted anxiety into our lives. Being surrounded with a flood of contradicting news and media bits of uncertainty, only adds to that. Yes, we can find a small degree of consolation in that many all over the world are experiencing similar stress – but that is not a lasting coping mechanism.
As an executive coach, I find that sharing the following 3 Steps with my clients quite useful in helping them ride out such storms to eventually emerge stronger and more determined:
- GIVE YOURSELF THE SPACE TO GRIEVE
By now, you may have realised that this is not a fluff piece written to simply give you sunshine rays and rainbows of fake positivity. It’s ok if you give yourself a break and to grieve a little. Allow yourself to wallow in the blues, albeit for a limited time. Just be careful not to let those less-than-positive emotions completely overtake you. After all, you have things to do and places to go. Getting it out of your system will help you get ready for the next step in your life journey.
- LIVING A LIFE vs. MAKING A LIVING
Of course, your job (or career) is important, but it is not what defines you. We as humans are Naturally Creative, Resourceful, and Whole. Losing your job doesn’t mean you have no worth, are broken or in need of fixing. You are much more than your job! Jobs come and go and so does money. What makes you, YOU, is your multiple dimensions of creativity and resourcefulness – other than what helps you make a living. That is not enough. Living a life is also important, if not more so.
- FIND THE GIFT IN IT
Naturally, it is important to have security. When we lose it, we tend to allow the impact of that loss to overwhelm us. We often get so caught up with the details of a problem beyond our control, that we forget to see the opportunities that present themselves in times like these.
You may well know the adage: “For every door that closes, another opens;” or “Everything happens for a reason;” or even the Chinese philosophical principle, “Yin & Yang (dark-light).” The list goes on. The common message in all those sayings is “there is an upside to every downside.” It is up to you to choose to cry about it or decide to shake it off with a smile and take a step towards seeking the next job, a degree, or start on that dream project you never got around to doing. Whatever the next step is for you, don’t take too long to go for it. Who knows, this crisis may have the hidden gem you’ve been waiting for!