Two emotions have been widespread during this pandemic–fear and uncertainty. Both emotions, experienced over extended periods of time, breed self-doubt, isolation, overwhelm, and lack of meaning/purpose. However, depending on how you think about it, the pandemic can also be a wellspring of opportunity and growth. Much depends on how you handle the fear and anxiety. 

Let me share an example from my own life.

My Greatest Fear

As a little boy, my worst fear was my mother dying.  The fear of not having my hero, my rock,and anchor was more than I could bear.  When I was  six, I remember telling my mom that if she were to die, I would crawl in the casket with her.

A number of years ago, my fear came true and my mom passed away after a valiant fight with breast cancer.  Although I didn’t climb in her casket, her death was extremely difficult for me. But through it, I made some valuable resolves that have framed my life for the better:

  1. I will treasure the memories I have of my mom, 
  2. I will not take the preciousness of life for granted, 
  3. I will live in my mom’s honor by serving someone everyday, 
  4. I will laugh and share a smile with someone everyday, 
  5. I will keep my connection with God,
  6. I will live in empathy for others,
  7. I will judge less and give others the benefit of the doubt more,
  8. I will validate and encourage others,
  9. I will make it a priority to keep closer to family and friends; and
  10. I will keep a balance between work and home.

Come Out On Top

Life can be difficult and feel so uncertain at times.  As you read this, I’m sure there is something that weighs on your heart.

Regardless of the situation you are in, you can always direct your thinking.  At times this feels impossible, but it’s still true. You can experience the death of a loved one, divorce, health issues, addiction, job loss, financial difficulties, loneliness, natural disasters, or even a pandemic and your thinking can help you come out on top.  

Here’s a tool to help you reframe challenging situations regardless of  what they are.  I use this with overwhelmed leaders to help them see opportunities for personal growth. This exercise helps–especially in a pandemic.

The “10 Good Things” Exercise

  1. Identify what has been your biggest fear during the pandemic?
  2. List ten things that you have learned or resolved to do differently that will guide your life in a positive direction.
  3. Connect with your list daily until it becomes a habit to live from these lessons/resolves.

Today’s Invitation

Follow the 3 steps above and identify “10 Good Things” that have come from the pandemic as a leader.  Then do this with your team.  This tool helps you to see that we can direct our thinking to create the results we want as opposed to allowing our thoughts to run us.

Call me at 801-391-9743 for virtual assistance with keynotes, “Leadership Team” training, and group 0r 1:1 coaching to help you and your team control the only thing you can control–yourself.

Keep looking up and looking forward,

Doug Nielsen

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