My big wish for you, my friend, is that you never, EVER have to experience times of crisis again in your life.
Sadly, I know that wish probably won’t come true.
You and I both know that in our wild world of work and life, a crisis can initiate from the outside at a moment’s notice: an environmental disaster, economy crash, or a worldwide health crisis.
Or your next crisis might just impact a smaller group of people: your profession, your company, your department, or your family.
No matter what’s happening, it’s the perfect time to remember that you only control three things, ever. They are:
- Everything you do
- Everything you say, and
- Everything you think.
Trust me—that’s a lot. In fact, it’s all you need.
But during our times of crisis, it’s easy to slip into a constant refrain of worry, criticism, or negativity. We follow the noise of the media, political leaders, our neighbors and even friends.
Those words create worlds. Here’s the secret I want you to know: YOU, my friend, get to choose which world you want to live in. So why would you choose the worrisome, critical, or negative one?
You have the power to change your words, which changes your world.
As a professional coach and mentor to leaders and high-performing professionals all over the world, I’ve worked with hundreds of people to manage through their personal and professional crises.
One thing I’ve learned is that the first step to change the direction of the problem is to change the direction of your thoughts and words.
That’s why I’ve listed some common things we say to ourselves in times of crisis, with alternative words we can try on for size.
Maybe the words I’ve offered here aren’t a perfect fit for you. Try it out, and make your own adjustments . The goal is to move you away from the thought that’s not helping you . . . and moving toward one that makes you feel better.
Because when we feel better, we do better.
That’s not naive.
That’s called taking control, and you’ve got this.
Important note: if you’re struggling with more than just a crappy short-term crisis, don’t hesitate to reach to the experts for help. You can text the Crisis Text Line in the US by texting HOME to 741741 (it’s available in Canada, the UK and Ireland, too, so check the website for details.) The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available at 800-273-8255. They can help you directly or help you learn how to help someone you love. We need you.
What to Say to Yourself In Times of Crisis
|Instead of . . .
|Say this instead . .
|Everything's so out og control.
|I can't control my external circumstances, but I can control what I do, say and think.
|I'm feeling lost and overwhelmed.
|It's natural for to be overwhelmed when many things are changing. Let me think for a moment . . . what's the one small thing I can do to help?
|Our leaders don't know what they're doing.
|A lot of people are focused on fixing this problem, so I'll focus on what I can do right now.
|I can't absorb all the new news each day.
|I don't need to hear all the news, all the time. I just need to focus on now--I'll hear what I need to hear when I need it.
|There are too many distractions and I can't focus.
|Let me get clear on what's most important, and what's not. If I need to say no more often or set clearer boundaries, I can do that, too.
|I'm noticing I'm in an anxious state of mind, but there I things I can do to change my state of mind.
|I'm exhausted, but everyone needs me.
|I can give myself a break. I definitely need my rest. Other people will understand, so I'll ask --or tell them--what I need.
|When will I be back to normal?
|There's never been any "normal," so I'll look forward to figuring out new ways of working and living.
|I'm worried I'm going to lose my job.
|The energy I spend worrying isn't changing anything, so I'll do my best to be visible and useful at work, and in the meantime, build my network and plan financially ahead for if my job would end.
|I'm angry and worried about what's happening.
|Worry's not winning me anything, and my anger doesn't help me either. Let me get into action connecting with more family and friends and making sure my immediate needs are met .Then, I can focus on a long-term plan for what's next.
|Everybody seems to be doing X. Maybe I need to do that too . . .
|I can do X if it's the right thing for me and my values. Let me take a minute and decide if it is or not. If it's not, then I don't need to think about it again.
Need more help changing your thoughts?
You’re not alone–the battle of the brain is real. As an experienced, professional coach, I’m trained to help you see the thoughts and assumptions that are getting in your way, and finding real alternatives and strategies to get you back on track.
An initial chat with me is fast, free, completely confidential and judgement free. We all need a little mental tune-up from time to time, so why not get started now?
Spots fill up fast, though, so schedule yours now and start getting the support you deserve.