In the middle of uncertainty, doubt, and fear, WHO are you becoming?
I thought the pandemic would be nearly over by now. I thought wearing masks, social distancing, the summer’s hot sun, people being outside, and the length of time that we have been fighting coronavirus, that we would be mostly done with it by now. Kids should be going back to school, fall sports should be starting, and the pandemic should be almost gone. Well, some of that is happening but it certainly does not feel like we are done with battling the virus.
Am I going to meet this new reality with continued positive persistence? Or am I going to get more frustrated, upset, and angry about it all? Am I going to choose to complain? Complaining is easier.
Another question that I have been challenging myself with is who am I becoming during this pandemic? Am I learning, growing, and changing, or have I just consumed a lot of videos, posts, and podcasts? I do not have a good answer to the question of ‘who I am becoming’. Maybe it is because learning 1% per day is difficult to see. Or, maybe it is because I am not really learning, changing, and growing. I know I could be more intentional.
When you think about your own life, what have you been focusing on? Surviving the pandemic? Just getting through it. Winston Churchill once said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste”. I think that applies to your professional and personal life. So, how do you take advantage of this global crisis in such a way that you become a better person, as a spouse, parent, friend, team member, and leader?
What is your plan? What will you do differently such that your ability to help others around you become the best version of themselves? Are you developing more influence with your team members and peers? Have you found ways to connect with people more deeply? Are you more aware of your negative emotions, habits, and triggers? Have you found a way to use your prefrontal cortex more often and limit how many times the amygdala hijacks you? Are you growing your emotional intelligence or losing your ability to be more self-aware and to manage yourself and your emotions more?
Do you have a plan? As the old saying goes; if you have no plan, you plan to fail. Just hanging on until this pandemic is over does not work. Hanging on does not create more motivation and inspiration. Survival, by its very nature, is just that. To survive means to ‘get by’ – I do not want to do this any longer.
Why not use this pandemic as a platform for yourself to learn to transform your mindsets, skills, and abilities? Why not double down on your learning, growth, and development?
One way to do that is to recognize the difference between your comfort zone, learning zone, and fear zone. If you stay in the comfort and fear zones, you do not learn well – confirmation bias tends to take over and you only look for ways to support your way of seeing the world. When we are stuck in confirmation bias, we look for those who we can be in righteous agreement with. The information that we seek is the information that we already have. Meaningful learning and making new connections are nearly impossible when we allow our brains to be stuck in this mode.
The learning zone, on the other hand, is a place where we let go of our need for comfort and confirmation. In the learning zone, we spend more time assessing who we are and how others perceive us. We look deeply at our mindsets and biases. We intentionally become uncomfortable and challenge what we see and think. We recognize that just because we thought it, does not mean it is the truth. There is always another way to think about something. And in the learning zone, we experience intellectual transformation because we allow ourselves to be open to seeing things and experiencing things differently than we have before.
I am calling myself out of my comfort zone and to let go of my fears so that I can experience personal growth and transformation. I am calling myself out to not just survive through this pandemic but to thrive and transform who I am as a person, spouse, father, friend, and leader. Join me in taking a bold step forward and not allow the pandemic to dictate how much or how little we will learn, grow, and change. It is a personal decision and requires a little courage. Being courageous will bring great energy to your life and to all those that you could influence. Choose growth and learning – intentionally transform who you are today so that you can become extraordinary tomorrow!
All the best!