We’re still under the effects of one of the worst economical crisis in the history of the world and many of us are still feeling the effects. Maybe you lost your job or maybe your personal partnership faded away. Whatever the case, we’re swimming on an agitated ocean. Another crisis, being it profession or personal, may hit any time.
Without further ado, here’s a list of possible approaches to help you raise again after you got hit by the hurricane.
You can/t control something if you’re not accepting it. You simply don’t have handles for it. Denial is one of the most common answers to crisis and, unfortunately, one of the most toxic. As simple and dumb as it may seem, just accepting that you’re going through a crisis will clear a lot of the fog around. Just accept that things didn’t go like planned and see how you can move on.
Believe it or not, we’re doing the same mistakes over and over again. We may change some of the actors and circumstances, but, generally speaking, we’re repetitive in our mistakes. So, the first thing to do when hitting a crisis is to look back in your own history: have you been there before? Why? What did you do to escape it? How is the current crisis different form the last similar one?
But since we’re creative individuals, we can also make new mistakes. In that case, your personal experience may not help. Luckily, chances that other people have been exposed to the same disaster that you’re going through right now are really high. So, try to find out how other people dealed with that. Read on, listen, ask questions, be curious. It will help.
It’s not like running away, but more like trying to understand what you’re going through in a different way. A new “thinking hat” or the famous thinking “outside of the box”. It’s not always possible, but having this option somewhere in your bag can help. Just try to say to yourself something like “It’s obvious that my current thinking brought me here, let’s just try something else”.
Reach out. Ask. Be open and honest about your situation. You’ll be surprised how many reliable persons are out there, just waiting to be pitched. Many times our crisis are erupting exactly because we try to do too much on our own, without interacting with other people. We’re social animals and not asking for help goes against our nature. Forget pride. During crisis, pride is the first thing you should throw away.
One of the most painful things during a crisis is the pressure. We have to do things (or respond to various stimuli) very fast. A strategy that seemed to work for me was to try to buy some time. Postpone responses for as long as you can. The crisis time window is usually very narrow. Eventually, things will be back on track, one way or another.
Nothing is set in stone. Yes, you may have lost something (your job, your house, your relationship) but that doesn’t mean you can’t react to that. Always negotiate. You have this right and you should use it. If your culture banishes negotiation for being “ungentlemanly’ just look around and evaluate. Is your crisis a ”gentlemanly“ situation? I thought so…
The worst thing you can do when an arsonist is putting your house on fire is to chase the guy and leave your house burning. That’s a buddhist proverb, by the way. Subsequently, during a crisis you should always try to minimize the damage as fast as you can, in order to keep yourself functional. Trying to eliminate the cause of the crisis while you’re still under its effects is useless.
Or just throw away anything that is useless. During a crisis, it’s vital that you move fast. Being slim takes a new meaning. Responding fast to stimulus, moving on with lightening speed may make the difference between death and survival. More often than not, crisis are arising specifically because we get too attached to habits, contexts or persons who are no longer good for us.
This may seem strange and passive, but many times, at the end of a personal crisis, I realized that winning or losing was merely a question of how many vital resources I had. Rationalize food, for instance, if you’re lost in the woods. Stop spending money foolishly, if you’re fired. Whatever it takes so that your resources will not dry faster than you need them.
By far my favorite approach. Just take a sheet of paper and write down everything that may go wrong. And I mean everything. Write the worst that may happen to you. If you do this the right way, being totally honest, that is, something incredible will happen: your panic will dissolve. We fear the unknown more than anything else. If you know what to expect, everything will look manageable again.
Not the easiest option, but, sometimes, the only one we really have. Sometimes, crisis are entering our lives because we need to grow, we need to leave the old behind and embrace the new. We’re designed to evolve and improve but, somehow, we decided not to. At this moment, the only way we can become more than we are right now, is to go through a crisis. Surrender to it and go with the flow.
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