In a world that has been dramatically impacted by an invisible force, it’s worth considering the value of something like the global pandemic that the world has been navigating.
Almost immediately after the shutdowns and quarantines were announced, I started to get messages, emails, and calls from people asking for my perspective on it. I don’t have much to say on the biology and physical health aspect of the pandemic, but I do have some thoughts that will help with your mindset.
We live in a world that is fixated on ‘staying positive’ in the face of challenge and difficulty. For many people, 2020 has been a difficult year to do that in. Despite the advice to focus on staying positive, many people are struggling to deal with the challenges that a global pandemic has created.
So, instead of giving you tips on how to stay positive, I want to provide you with something that has helped me in the midst of many of life’s challenges and setbacks.
Even the challenges and setbacks serve a purpose.
Consider this question:
If difficulties and setbacks served no purpose, why would they exist?
It's hard to answer that question. The truth is that everything serves a purpose and has value. If you see something as "bad", "challenging," or "difficult," then you're not allowing yourself to see how it is valuable.
While the pandemic is causing plenty of challenges for many people, the truth is that it is providing just as much value. Here are three ways it's giving value to your mindset and psychology.
You're forced to re-evaluate your priorities.
When you're not able to focus on the daily activities and work that usually occupies your time, you're forced to evaluate what you were doing. It's a little like going on a vacation or holiday.
You experience enough of an interruption to your daily habits which causes you to do a fair valuation of what you were prioritising. Maybe you were so focused on earning an income that you forgot about your physical health. Or perhaps you realise that you want to be spending more time with your family and have been forgetting about that part of your life in your daily anxiety about paying bills and keeping up with the Joneses.
Because of the economic shutdown, you may have had a reduction or complete ending of your income source. That can be stressful, especially if you weren't managing your money and just trying to out-earn your expenses. Being faced with less income, you have to look at where you have unnecessary spending. It's common for people to prioritise spending their money to make them feel good instead of investing in things and experiences that bring genuine value to their lives.
A re-evaluation takes on many forms. Financial, physical, social, and familial relationships may even be a re-evaluation of your relationship with your spiritual beliefs. Regardless, a re-evaluation of your priorities is helpful at any stage.
You're having to question your career path or vocation.
Because of the stand-downs, redundancies, and in some cases, job terminations, many people have had to confront their career choices. This is scary because it may be your only source of income. So, not having an immediate income to support your living expenses can make it hard to reassess your career or business choices.
When a pandemic forces you into having to seriously consider your job, especially when many people are doing the same, it can be a prime opportunity for you to pivot towards a new career path. Maybe there's a job that you've always dreamed of doing, or a business you've been inspired to start but have not had the time to focus on because your day job was tiring you out every day. Or maybe you're considering leaving the industry you've been a part of for a long time but you haven't been able to justify leaving.
The pandemic and the economic shutdowns may feel like you're being forced into a situation you don't want to have to deal with, but it can also be the prime opportunity you've been looking for to pivot.
Adapt, pivot, and progress forward. Who knows, you may end up looking back at 2020 as the catalyst for the dream career or business opportunity that you wouldn't have taken action on without this pandemic.
You're having to confront the things you've been avoiding.
Not being able to tend to your day-job, errands, and regular social life puts you in a situation where you're left with the things you usually avoid dealing with.
Think of having that difficult conversation that you keep putting off, speaking to that professional about that thing you don't want to deal with, or making a final decision about that opportunity you've been putting on the back-burner.
People tend to think that delaying it might eventually make it go away. Life doesn't work that way. The problems you've been avoiding dealing with pre-pandemic are here for you to address in the midst of a pandemic. And if you don't deal with them, they'll be waiting for you post-pandemic.
The only difference is that you probably have more available time now to deal with the things you've been avoiding because everyone else is dealing with the same situation. You can only avoid your challenges for so long before they catch up with you.
At some point, you're going to have to face the things you keep procrastinating on. If that means working with a mindset coach, or a relationship coach, or a therapeutic professional then maybe this is the best time to start.
It's your choice. It always has been.
Like all things in life, you can view the circumstances as an obstacle or setback, or you can find the opportunity and gift in the experience. It's ultimately about what you do with the circumstances that determine the outcome.
Allow yourself to make the most of this rare moment in your life. You're the only one who can decide to make the most of it. And if you find that you're struggling to do that, consider working with a mindset coach who knows how to turn any obstacle into an opportunity.