A global pandemic has broken out and it’s changing all our lives – maybe forever.
Not only are many getting sick and fighting for their lives, the rest of us are living in isolation while the stock market crashes and some of us aren’t sure if our jobs will still be our jobs in a week or a month.
This type of drastic, rapid change is unsettling to say the least.
Difficult times are one of life’s guarantees. For some, it will create despair and helplessness. For others, it’s a time to invest in themselves, their families, and their relationships to come out of the dark time a great deal stronger than they were when it started.
Here are 4 tips on what you can do to thrive during uncertain times:
There's a fine line between knowing yourself and creating limiting identities or beliefs.
In the coaching world and the corporate HR world there is a lot of hype around personality types, enneagrams, introversion/extroversion, and other tools used to put people in neatly ordered boxes.
These tests can be useful for us individuals because it helps us feel understood, can point us in the right direction for our current skill set, and even point out our weaknesses and limitations so we can improve.
Managers and executives like these tests because they help them put people into boxes and order us appropriately so that we flourish under their leadership.
So on the surface everyone wins with these tools.
Like everything, there is a downside and these tests often become a problem for people. It becomes a problem because when you put people into behavioral boxes, they tend to accept their new confines and their growth becomes stifled.
For those that don’t watch sports, Adam Vinatieri is a 46 year old kicker in the NFL who is widely regarded as the greatest kicker to ever play the game. Much to my town of Indianapolis’ chagrin, the last two games he has missed a career worst number of kicks. Out of 8 kicks, most of them being routine kicks, he has only made 3. That would be bad for a struggling high school kicker, let alone the best to ever play the game.
Most people think that Vinatieri hit some age wall where he suddenly can’t make a routine chip shot - as if his leg deteriorated to the point of being inaccurate from short distances overnight. As such, many think it’s time for him to retire.
In reality, if you go grab Vinatieri when he is 60, I bet he’ll be able to kick 10 extra points in a row without the kind of problems he is having now. It’s not his age. It’s just a typical slump. Slumps happen to everyone, but when you are a baseball player or a kicker in the NFL, your slumps are obvious, measurable and compounding.
The real question is - why do slumps happen and how on Earth do we make them stop?
Having a clear vision for your life and a plan to get there are essential for the life of your dreams. After all, it’s really difficult to hit the target if you don’t know where or what the target is and you’re blindfolded.
That being said, some people love planning and others don’t. So while there are tons of commerical planners and planning systems on the market that will help you detail every moment of your day in support of your larger goals, there’s not a lot for people who value variety and uncertainty highly in their lives.
Something I like to do for people who are scared of intense structure is to create a much looser, free-flowing structure that STILL supports what you want in the bigger picture - a planning system for people who are excited by the prospect of uncertainty and variety - people who genuinely don’t want to know what tomorrow may bring.
It’s super simple and it will help move your life forward while also keeping your days fresh and filled with enough variety so that you don’t get bored.
What is the role of stress in your life? Do you have too much of it? Do you manage it well? Do you avoid it all together?
Stress, left unmanaged and misunderstood, is both a silent killer of the body and the spirit. Stress, in the proper amounts and combined with the appropriate rest, is also the source of all your mental and physical growth.
Spending time with my 3 month old baby Francis is like getting to a watch a growth machine. A baby’s life is rapid growth and a constant cycle of physical and mental stress and rest leading to extreme amounts of growth from a blob to a functioning human being.
Watching him struggle with basic tasks like raising his head and rolling over and even just moving his arms and legs reminds me that stress isn’t something to be avoided, but something to embrace.
Master stress in your life by doing two things.
There’s a scene in the classic comedy Zoolander where the main character’s life has fallen apart. He has had a singular focus his entire life - on his modeling career - and he feels that modeling career slipping away from him. He then sees his reflection and in a puddle and contemplates out loud “Who am I?” As a kid I watched this movie a ton with my friends and my brothers and now this question has become a jokingly serious mantra around my house.
Something I am constantly doing in my own life, and encouraging my clients to do, is evaluating and re-evaluating my values and goals. This is doubly true when I am at a crossroads or transition in your life as the lack of clarity will cause you much more stress in your moments of decision.
Almost everyone at some point in their life had a co-worker or a boss who was difficult to get along with (or just downright hateable). At its core, a professional relationship between two people isn’t really different than a friendship or a romantic relationship with someone - other than the fact that it feels forced because you both need to be there for other reasons like having to pay your bills. And when we recognize this, we have tremendous opportunity to grow in our professional lives by treating these office problems as the interpersonal problems they truly are.
Your life coach.
The Andrew Warner Podcast: