The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of fear, and it is having a trickle-down effect that has been unlike anything seen since WWII. The COVID-19 pandemic is real. The panic is real. As we all know, the panic is triggering yet more panic. Some of the consequences we cannot prevent, such as social distancing, distance learning and so forth. This in turn is leading to business and economic downturns at all levels.
Our continued reaction to give into our fear and make decisions only based in fear creates more fear. It creates it more in ourselves so that the way we talk, act and even the words we use and tone of voice projects fear to others, who then in turn believe the fear (because they feel it, too) and thus project it yet on to others. And our fear, which is good in that it motivates us to take appropriate action, then begins to lead to even more long-term negative consequences.
The fear and COVID-19 are both happening in tandem. We need to control our emotional reactions and beliefs resulting from them, just as the CDC and other physical health experts are telling us what to do to control COVID-19. I see folks taking great measures to lower the risk of COVID-19 happening to them and their loved ones. But I also see a LOT of doomsday thinking, some of which is getting worse. Not better. This especially impacts those most vulnerable: your children, the elderly in your family, those who are already dealing with fragile health conditions, and those more susceptible to anxiety.
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There are going to be long term effects to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s the deal:
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein
I suggest that this be our key mantra as we all muddle through this.
So what does this mean? As a psychologist and huge believer in developing critical thinking skills, I know that when we are in a place of ongoing and recurring fear and panic we immediately put blinders on our eyes and ears so that we hunker down into a rut of feeling and thinking that is circular, and is based in feeling the victim of a situation. Again, some fear is healthy: it is after all causing a very extroverted American culture to actually step back and settle down (or in)! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would see this in our country and around the world.
And, everything else we do focuses on one question:
How do I elevate my own thinking so that I can contribute really innovative and useful ideas to increase my own well-being and that of my family, my employees, and my community? IMHO, this may be the greatest opportunity of COVID-19: to expand my brilliance (brilliant ideas are there!!) and reduce suffering.
In my next blogs I will introduce just how fast- and often subtle- our brain can be in moving to the worst case scenarios, which only reinforces and builds on already existing problems. Case in point: fears from politicians ranging from embarrassment, denial and arrogance have prevented scientists from being able to share research and information fast and globally. This has been a big issue for scientists for decades. Maybe after this the United Nations will make it formal that politics should not supersede science sharing critical and factual information.
I suggest that each of us listen to Einstein and choose one or two ways we can “elevate our attitudes and actions” so that we can gain a higher perspective on ourselves and our situation. I promise that by doing so, brilliant ideas and innovations will emerge that you never thought possible. I guarantee that coming from a higher perspective and from the best part of you will have an immense positive impact on everyone around you. It will.
Since a human being cannot solve all the problems of the world, I also suggest that we each pick 1-3 areas where we intend to make a positive difference. I’ve chosen three.
- I am very concerned for those hard hit financially, and will address my business experience to individuals and companies on how to strategize and take action in times of massive change.
- I also have lived with and managed ongoingly a (self-disclosure) life-threatening genetic illness most of my life; perhaps the perspective I have had to develop will be of assistance to others who fear germs and illness.
- Finally, I see this as a real opportunity to teach young people that there is something beyond fear, scarcity and negativity, especially children who are watching and learning from us grown-ups. They need to see that in the toughest of times, the good in people prevails over the not so good. Indeed, the children need to see the not so good in people (and in ourselves; we are human and not perfect) AND know that the good prevails. In my next blog I will give a great example of how we want to behave in front of our younger population at this time so that they can begin building a foundation of optimism and willingness, which is the lifeblood for building a great life, family and world.
CONTACT US: [email protected] ~ (310) 892-0210
The above is all IMHO. Please do respond and dialogue! I will jump in and respond at times and continue to write more psychological and business-based blogs with the focus on practical and real-time solutions.