Although the world might seem full of uncertainty right now, we can be sure about one thing – life isn’t going back to the way it was any time soon.
Perhaps you’ve become stuck in a pattern of reactivity, of waiting and watching the news to see the latest developments in the current pandemic crisis and how they might impact you. This feeling of being constantly alert and under siege is completely understandable, but it isn’t optimal — not for your well-being or your success.
Instead of feeling helpless and at the mercy of external events, why not make a change?
Why not pledge to yourself that you’re going to take control of everything within your power? That you’ll learn to recognize the things that you can’t control and let them go as best as you can? That you’ll proactively adopt the right mindset for success in what many people are calling the new normal?
If you want to position yourself for success in the world in which we now live, I challenge you to consider these mindset tips and apply them to your life wherever possible. You might just be amazed at the results that they’ll produce.
Be Cautious, Not Paranoid
The mental health implications of the current pandemic won’t be fully understood until far into the future. However, every professional in the field agrees that this is a uniquely stressful event that is likely to take a toll on even the most resilient person.
As someone striving for success in order to achieve your goals, you need to be proactive about guarding your stress levels.
Stress and anxiety are thieves of success. They damage your chances of getting what you want out of life in numerous ways.
Let’s consider the psychological impact of stress during the pandemic. We only have a finite amount of energy which includes our mental energy. Any cognitive effort that you exert worrying about the pandemic is effort that you could have applied to achieving a meaningful goal, like working on a creative project that impacts lives.
Of course, the negative impacts of worry aren’t just cognitive. Your body enters a state of fight or flight. During such a state, it’s difficult or even impossible to tap into the energy that you need to produce creative work.
Given the undeniable mental and physical impact of worry and paranoia, what are some ways you can proactively take charge of your mindset to remain as grounded and productive as possible?
- Take sensible precautions. A great way to lessen your mental load is by taking sensible precautions. Practice social distancing. Make hand hygiene as automatic as breathing. Keep a healthy diet and lifestyle. The key is to have a defined set of precautions and make them an integral part of your daily routine. By doing this, you move from a place of reactive worry to one of proactive prevention. This not only keeps you physically safe but sends your subconscious the message that things are under control.
- Practice self-care. It’s easy to become burdened by worry during our current situation. Especially if you have vulnerable loved ones, or staff who are relying on you. However, the old adage of putting your oxygen mask on first applies here. You can’t be there for anyone else if you’re not there for yourself. Take the time to meditate, to exercise, and to work on your creative goals. By staying strong, you set an example to others that it’s possible to thrive during times of difficulty.
- Fill your time with joy. You may well be working from home more than you’re used to. You might find you have a lot more time available to you than before. If that’s the case, it’s vital to fill your hours with joyful or meaningful activities. Try and set measurable goals for yourself in the areas that matter. Also, give yourself a limited amount of time each day to do something purely for the sake of joy. Your mental health will benefit as will your reserves of creative energy.
Above all else, realize that worrying more will not keep you or anyone around you even slightly safer.
Stress is your psychological and physiological enemy. Defeat it at all costs.
When One Window Closes, Another Opens
It’s easy to focus on all the things we’ve lost due to the pandemic such as plans that have been canceled and opportunities that have been lost.
It’s a lot harder—but a lot more beneficial—to try and think in terms of opportunity rather than loss.
We live in a society that encourages people to complain. Even in the easiest of times, positivity is often in short supply, and these are far from the easiest of times!
Thankfully, if you’re aware that you’re focusing more on what you’ve lost rather than what you might gain, you’ve already won most of the battle. You’re now in a position to make a positive adjustment.
But how, exactly?
- Seek remote substitutes. The pandemic hasn’t fundamentally changed the things that people do, or the core needs that drive them. Instead, it’s forced people to adopt remote ways of achieving these needs, even if they aren’t quite as satisfying. Try and focus on remote substitutes for what you did before the pandemic. For example, if you taught, could you teach via Zoom? If you hosted events, could you switch them to a virtual summit? In many cases, you’ll be able to reach and impact a larger number of people. Isn’t that worth focusing on?
- Consider changing preferences. In life in general and business in particular, making smart adjustments to changing circumstances is often the best way to succeed. How can you adjust to the current changes to our way of life? For example, could you hire people who are experienced in remote work? Could you pass on reduced overheads through less need for a physical office to either your team or your customers? It’s often possible to find genuine areas of win/win even during the toughest times.
- Look to others. You don’t have to figure this all out on your own. Seek out best practices from within your field to determine how to adjust to the new normal. What are other players in your industry doing? What are your customers or clients telling you that they need? What’s working and not working in your local community? Seek out inspiration for others and be sure to pay it forward by offering inspiration in turn.
While everyone will have to make adjustments in light of the current world situation, not everyone will make helpful ones.
Why not pledge to be proactive and focus on how you can offer the most value to those you serve, even if the way you do it might have to look a little different for a while?
Strictly Control Your Information Intake
Humans aren’t designed for the continuous onslaught of bad news that an average day consists of.
Think about how people consumed news even a couple of decades ago. People might have read a daily paper and watched an evening news bulletin.
Nowadays, things are very different. Your average person is bombarded by social media notifications throughout the day. Shocking and polarizing news stories get engagement and are promoted accordingly.
None of this is natural. None of this is healthy.
To succeed in the new normal, you need to fiercely control the information that you consume, the amount of it that you consume, and the places that you source it from.
Here are some tips.
- Limit social media. While it’s not all bad, it’s no secret that social media is designed to be addictive. It’s also been proven to harm mental health. Consider taking proactive control over your social media use by disabling notifications, limiting the time you spend on apps, and doing an audit of who you follow to only focus on positive and useful accounts.
- Ration news consumption. Many people who wouldn’t normally watch rolling news find themselves doing so during the pandemic. For existing news junkies, it’s even worse! The truth is that we don’t need to constantly follow the news. Doing so diverts precious resources such as time and mental energy away from the activities that will bring us closer to our goals. Give yourself a set time each day, such as 20 minutes, to consume news from a quality, reputable source, and strictly adhere to the rule you’ve set yourself.
- Choose value and inspiration. It’s easy to feel like the world is ending! Often, perception becomes reality. Instead of focusing on doom and gloom, make a proactive decision to focus on hope and inspiration. Spend time with positive people. Consume inspirational and useful content. Engage in positive activities such as journaling. We are more easily influenced than we might like to imagine. Make sure that your influences are moving you in a helpful and positive direction.
None of the advice that I’ve shared here is intended to minimize the seriousness of what we’re all going through.
It’s not about living in denial.
Instead, it’s about being proactive and positive.
Not a single speck of good can come from focusing on worry and the challenges that we’re going through.
However, a whole world of good can come from adopting a positive, can-do mindset and meeting each day with a sense of energy and possibility.
The new normal is here, whether we want it to be or not.
The only question is what will you make of it? You deserve nothing but the best, so go and get it, starting with your mindset!