“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter defeats, so you may know who you are, what you rise from, how you still can come out of it.” Maya Angelou
We are all experiencing hard and difficult times. Our routines and daily ways of doing things have all been disrupted. Our sense of “normal” is gone, and we struggle to find a new path forward. Some of us have lost jobs and income, others have seen loved ones sick and struggling, and still, others have been overwhelmed by anxiety and fears. None of us are alone at this moment in this pandemic.
This pandemic is just a moment. Understanding and recognizing what is happening around us is the first step to leaning into this moment and dealing with our fears and thoughts. So many times, we want to numb ourselves to what is happening, but if we numb ourselves, we are missing out on experiencing life and opportunities that may be just around the corner. Here are three things I have been thinking about during these last several weeks:
- Things are hard. Growth and development never come when things are easy. The athlete will tell you his speed, strength, and endurance would never have increased unless he was pushed into doing hard and, sometimes, painful training. The airplane takes off in a headwind. There is a difference between pain and suffering. Pain is part of the growth process, but suffering is optional. It comes down to our mindset and what we tell ourselves. We can work through the pain, but sometimes we choose to make ourselves miserable. What are you choosing?
- Anxiety. We are all raw right now. We have raw emotions and are on edge about so many things. I wish anxiety was not part of life, but it is, and we need to see it and recognize it in our lives. When we become paralyzed by our anxiety and fears, we stop functioning, and things wash over us. Knowing what triggers your stress and what those emotions look like is the first step to being able to function successfully. Lean into your anxiety.
- Growth Mindset. Stop and look around. Some people are making it through this and are doing some extraordinary things. Slow down and observe their words and mindset–they are thinking differently than the herd. This is an opportunity to develop new ways of doing things, to try without worrying about failure. The growth mindset continues to look for ways to develop.
Finally, the growth mindset is continuously learning. Lessons are happening all around us, and the person with the growth mindset is learning and taking it all in. They are students of life and never stop learning. What are you learning through this moment?
We are getting through this moment. No, it was not something we wanted, and it is hard, but we are making it. Stop and think about what triggers make you fearful and what you are learning at this moment. How are you growing?
Better, Stronger, Together