No one ever expected that in March 2020 all our lives would be changed forever. We never could have imagined what we have experienced over the past few months. COVID-19 came out of nowhere and shook the world in a way that we have not seen before in our lifetimes.
This pandemic has killed people, shut down businesses, left people unemployed, stranded people in foreign countries, and put countries in financial recessions. How do we cope with the changes that are taking place beyond our control?
Here is a ten step strategy on how to make the most of the worst situations:
When things do not work out as planned, you have got to have the flexibility to adapt to new situations. While it can be disappointing, and even devastating, to accept what has happened, you cannot dwell on it too long. You have to adjust your plans and move forward in new ways. This brings us to the next point…
For as long as you remain fixed on what could have been or what should have been, you will remain stuck. In order to move forward, you have to accept the losses and changes. This does not mean you are not allowed to be hurt by it, or that you are not allowed to mourn what you have lost. It simply means that after a reasonable amount of time, you have to make the decision to accept it, and to try your best to move on. This is where the next point comes in…
Change is difficult to accept, especially when you want something really badly and cannot have it. This is where the challenge comes in for you to adjust your attitude. You will not overcome the adversity if you do not change your mindset from pessimism to optimism. At some point (hopefully sooner rather than later), you have to move from the belief of being defeated to the belief of being in control. And this leads to the next point…
- Taking Charge
Of course, there is a lot that you cannot control with this virus, and the impact it is having on the world, but you have the power to control what is happening inside you and within your reach. This is where you have got to look for new opportunities and ways to create a new reality for yourself. And you guessed it, this takes us to the point…
In every moment of your life, you have opportunity. All you need to do is recognise it. Once you find the opportunity, it becomes easier to let go of the past, and to move forward with new enthusiasm. Each person’s situation and opportunities are different. You have to figure out your own. You can do this by asking yourself these questions:
- What do I have available?
- What can I create?
- What can I change?
- How do I want my future to look?
- What are my strengths, talents and interests?
- What are the needs of others around me?
- How can I help others?
- How can I make a difference to my family, society and the world?
- What do I need to effect the changes I want to make?
As you find answers to these questions, the ideas will become clearer to you, on how you can change your situation. Then, we move to the next point…
Once you have a new defined goal, you will notice a new sense of excitement filling you. Feed this ambition with hard work. Start the new plan to achieve whatever goal you have set for yourself, whether is a personal milestone, a career objective or family/community project. Work at it consistently, create a routine, use your resources, build on it and keep focused on the end product. The hardest part is getting started, and once you have got that down, it becomes easier. It is also important to ignore the critics and nay-sayers during this time. People will always come along to knock you down, but you have got to keep going with your vision. Then you just have to remember our next point…
Nothing ever happens instantly or as quickly as you want it to happen. And during this volatile time of COVID-19, there are bound to be unexpected delays and setbacks. You have to exercise patience if you want to reach your destination. Waiting does not mean stagnating or stopping. While you wait, you continue to work on your project, in whatever way it needs attention. You must continue to pour yourself into it with ambition, passion, love and nurture. During this time, you might find your attitude changing again. As you begin to reach your goal, you could be filled with excitement and joy, or you may begin to experience exhaustion and frustration if the project takes too long. So here comes our next point…
During the times of adversity, pain, disappoints, change and new beginnings, you cannot neglect yourself and your needs. You have to remember that this is not an ordinary situation; it is normal that stress and fear would affect you during this pandemic. Remember to look after yourself and do not beat yourself up for your shortcomings during this uncertain time. Indulge where you can, in ways that are affordable and healthy. Use all tools available to help you cope: exercise, nutrition, family support, rest, faith, therapy, entertainment and leisure. The health of your mind, body and soul are reliant on these basic needs being fulfilled. And if you commit to them, you will notice our next point taking place…
- Goals Accomplished
As you feed your new project, and yourself in the process, you will begin to see things taking shape. Over time, you will begin to enjoy the fruits of your labour. You will feel flooded with a sense of pride, satisfaction and accomplishment as your plan materialises into something real. And then finally, you will reach our last point…
You can look back on your journey, from where you began with all the hardship and pain, to the place where you stand now. As you look yourself in the mirror, you can admire a new and different person, who has learnt new skills and grown through new experiences. Not only have you overcome challenges, but you have actually turned adversity into opportunity, which has lasting impact on your life and those around you. You can stand tall in a new arena knowing that you are capable of achieving anything.
I hope that these tips have inspired you to climb out of the lockdown slump, and into a new area of personal growth and achievement, in your life of endless possibilities.