Resist or Flow?
It seemed like a good idea when they waded into the water with two pieces of wood. Now too dark to walk back, they peered at their campfire just across the lake. Even though they couldn’t swim, my brothers decided to hold onto the wood and float the short distance to the camp site. My older brother, a teenager at the time, held the wood away from his body, struggling until he began to tire and sink. He started going under.
He had a split-second decision: Am I going panic and drown? Or do I want to live? Choosing the latter, he had the thought “Get on your back and float.” He could see light from the campfire. He floated, kicking toward the fire until our dad grabbed him and pulled him ashore. Not drowning came down to a choice – to resist or flow with a new way. Once he headed in the right direction, our dad was waiting, read to help as he got close.
What are you choosing with COVID-19? This pandemic has caught us in a tidal wave of change, forcing us to do things differently overnight. The old ways of doing things, like the sailboat pictured, don’t work against this. We are being pushed way out of our comfort zones, surrounded by many things we have no control over. What choices are we making?
To begin, we can choose to have compassion for us all. This is an unprecedented situation with no road map and conflicting and confusing information. Let’s remember to give each other and ourselves some slack.
One option is to allow ourselves to sink into the depths of negative and fearful thoughts. Being human, most of us have at least dipped a toe in that water, feeding anxiety and wondering endlessly how we’ll deal with this or that unknown. There are many things we don’t know, and that can be nerve-wracking, especially for those who like control (my hand is raised!) We can go into analysis paralysis, thinking we must figure it all out before we can make a move. It’s all too easy to drown our problem-solving skills and creativity when swimming in a pool of negativity.
Another option is to make a choice to deal with COVID-19 constructively and begin moving in the right direction. Some will argue you need a detailed plan and clear goals to begin. I disagree. Be willing to flow with new ways and learn. You must move- even if baby steps- toward growing from the experience, choosing to use what you learn constructively instead of resisting what is.
Clarity will come as we ask more questions: What have you wanted to learn about? What do you enjoy? Who have you been wanting to reach out to? If you have some time freed up, how do you want to use it? Answers make it easier to set goals and take more action steps.
Opening to new ways includes being open to the resources, tools and people available to you right now. You may be pleasantly surprised at the help available if you look for it.
Being willing to flow also means living in the present moment, being aware of your surroundings and opportunities, and appreciating the simple things in your life. Gratitude has been proven to create more positive attitudes and outcomes.
Finally, if you are a leader, this time calls for strong leadership more than ever. Take the lead in providing guidance to your teams who may be working from home, home schooling their kids, and dealing with constant uncertainty. Take this opportunity to become a more transparent and effective manager of people undergoing enormous change.
Speaking of resources and tools, learn more about managing effectively in these times and how you can engage and support your teams by registering for this FREE Webinar, “Needed More Now Than Ever – Unlock Management Potential.”
Attendees completing the webinar above will receive a free Everything DiSC Management Profile, compliments of Jill Hickman Companies and a complementary phone consultation from Amy Hart, an Authorized Partner of Jill Hickman Companies. One per company.