And now we’re closing out 2008 while facing a season of extreme uncertainty in our financial world.
A new season is upon us and it is a challenging time, fearful for many. As human beings it is our nature to avoid pain, but without anything to push against, we build no muscle. In this regard, fear can be a valuable ally.
By conquering crisis, we can find that hero within. If you think back to those times when you conquered challenges and what you learned from them, you will recognize that you had an opportunity to sculpt your soul. You experienced a cycle of growth.
This new season feels like winter doesn’t it? The days are dark and it seems this time in our lives will last forever, frozen in time. But don’t forget that life has cycles, just like the seasons. After winter comes spring, a time of growth and renewal.
Crisis isn’t new. We’ve come through other troubled times such as The Great Depression and two World Wars. Other seasons. Other times.
We can’t necessarily control these events, but we can control what they mean to us. We can decide what we will do with it, what perspective we will take. We can participate in our own rescue.
There are 5 steps you can take to deal with a crisis.
Make a decision The word decision means to cut off from. When you can find meaning in the experience you make the decision to not let the external world hold you hostage. When you get to that point where you say “Enough!”, that is the point where you take back your power.
Loss in the external world can’t take away your internal world. You can rebuild that by focusing on what you can do to find a sense of purpose. What can you do to contribute to a sense of connection in your world? How do you do that?
Be resourceful Fear is always there, so face it. When it brings us to a point of anger and overwhelm it is a call to action. Something is telling us that THIS is not good enough for us and it is time for a change. There are two ways to be resourceful.
1. Get physical. Fear is physical. So is faith, courage and empowerment. We use our body in a specific way in each of these states. When you are in a state of fear your brain is being held hostage. You can’t deal with fear in your mind. Emotion is created by motion.
Do a workout. Take a power walk. Do something to take yourself out of the state of hiding. Exercise changes physiology and again, emotion is created by motion. When you change your physiology you can change your mind in a heartbeat. Don’t do it once! Make it a ritual during this crisis. Attack the crisis. Will you think about fear? Or faith? What are you feeding your mind?
2. Feed your mind with what will strengthen you. We are what we consume mentally. Whatever we focus on continuously we feel. Eventually we hit a tipping point, the emotional storm. Your brain becomes frozen.
Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. Focus on moments you remember that brought you excitement, joy, comfort and a sense of accomplishment. What we do is shaped by what we feel. It can change in a moment. Don’t let fear dominate you; it will cause you to freeze. Too much pain is the power of crisis; it causes you to do something. What can you do?
Create a vision Get clear about what is important to you. What is it you value? If you don’t know, think about what you desire the least. Get revved up about that and use that energy to turn it around to focus on what you do want.
Expand on your vision by finding an example of someone you admire who has been successful. Know that when someone succeeds consistently they’re not lucky, they’ve simply found a pattern that works.
Find a proven plan Success leaves clues. Model somebody who has made it through a crisis. How did they handle it? What steps did they take. What resources did they use? Because crisis has been done before, there is a pathway to power. Other people have found their way through it.
Take action Success is a matter of good judgment, which comes from experience. And guess what? Experience comes from bad judgment. A first plan usually fails, but the quicker you get to that stage the quicker you get your feedback and can move on to the next stage. If you don’t get off the fence you won’t get anywhere.
You don’t have to do this alone. Find a partner, someone who has knowledge or skills that complement yours. Keep each other accountable for the steps you are taking. Two heads are better than one.
Decisions control our life. This crisis will make us look for tools and we will become more resourceful. What we do is shaped by what we feel, and emotion is created by motion.
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Do you recall a time in your life when you went through a crisis? How did you support yourself?
Looking back, were you able to see how it changed the course of your life in a positive way?
What do you choose to see for yourself in the new year; the new season in your life?
Note: Credit for this post goes to one of my favourite life coaches, Anthony Robbins. I have transcribed this information from a recent 50-minute audio clip that is part of a series he has created called Learn How To Turn Crisis Into Opportunity. When you click this link on his website you will be prompted to leave your email address and you will be sent his FREE audio programs that include an interview with billionaire Sir John Templeton.
I highly recommend listening to Tony’s audio programs. His enthusiasm is contagious. Let’s spread it around!
Visit his website for more information. And as Tony says, “Live your life with passion!”
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Photo Credit: Londa Elle