It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. Charles Darwin, English naturalist, geologist and biologist
As an eight-year-old who suddenly found herself without a mother, I adapted. I got to know and love my dad, learned to accept my motherless status, became independent and resourceful.
Like my early days as a motherless child, I was miserable during the first few weeks after my life was hijacked by COVID-19. I told myself, however, that because I had learned resilience and adaptability at an early age and beyond, I had the tools to adapt. I had faith that I would rebound and I did.
Do I love staying at home, not seeing my kids and grands, not going to church, lunching with friends or eating food cooked by others? No! Have I adapted to my new-normal and found interesting and creative ways to “do” life? Yes! My early days of learning adaptability are serving me.
Affirmation: I know how to adapt to change.
Coaching questions: How are you adapting to the new-normal? How are your past life experiences serving you during this time? What have you learned?
In a recent Medium post, Todd Brison wrote this about creativity endeavors, “This is your space. You have complete dominion. Hope is found here. Peace is found here. Silence, too. Acts of creation cannot heal a broken past. They cannot repair a world of despair. They cannot guarantee future hope. However, they can provide shelter in a storm.”
My research and personal experience tells me that what Brison writes is true. In fact, Step Four in MOM’S GONE, NOW WHAT? is “Stir Up Your Creativity.” Generally, people don’t become more creative in spite of tragedy, they turn to creativity because of tragedy. They use creative endeavors to calm the anxiety related to uncertainty brought on by loss…and, there is no doubt, we are experiencing a heightened sense of loss right now. Paint, knit, cook, garden, learn a language, color…stir up your special creativity to bring you calm as you shelter in the storm.
Affirmation: I find comfort in creativity.
Coaching question: How will you tap into your creativity?
Risk: A situation that exposes you to danger, potential for uncontrolled loss of something you value, and intentional interaction with uncertainty. Google
If feels like all of these definitions apply to the world in which we live right now. While risk may be in the context of risking your life, it can also mean risking the danger of living in fear. Both concepts are worth exploring as we evaluate our choices in how much risk of exposure we are willing to experience in this new world of COVID-19.
How you evaluate risk is very personal. As you look at the facts and talk to those you trust, consider your personal vulnerability and the risk-factor of others in your circle. I’ve found that there are no black and white choices. I’m basing my decisions on science and statistics. However, I will have to make choices that may feel somewhat risky as I come out of my cocoon. You will too. In the end, trust your common sense and intuition.
Affirmation: I trust science, my common sense and intuition.
Coaching questions: How vulnerable are you and those in your inner circle to the negative affectsof contracting COVID-19? On what will you base your decision on how to approach this new world? No matter what you decide, what are the risks?
No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected. Julius Caesar
The Covid-19 pandemic and all that it means for our daily lives is something most of us never expected to experience. If you have a history of handling sudden or drastic change, you may have learned resiliency and, therefore, have the ability to quickly adapt to difficult conditions. If not, you’re learning now.
Jamais Cascio, author and futurist, says, “Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.” This crisis is an opportunity to embrace resilience and learn how to thrive in the wake of extreme change.
Affirmation: I can handle the unexpected.
Coaching questions: How are you handling the unexpected life conditions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic? How is it helping you develop greater resilience for the surprises life will bring in the future?