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Chin Up And Pivot: Living Through Loss, Grief and Uncertainty

Chin Up And Pivot: Living Through Loss, Grief and Uncertainty

Rachana Nadella-Somayajula

Strategies for Crisis Management:

We literally didn’t see it coming. Yet, here we are continuing to live in the midst of a pandemic with no end in sight. So, you ask, what beauty can come out of this? 

OK, let’s get down to the basics of crisis management to help us here.

STEP 1: Embrace Reality

First step is to embrace reality just as the way it is. Our new normal is full of uncertainty and adapting each moment as it unfolds. Yes, but it’s been months of many “firsts” and it’s been exhausting, right? 

Let’s look at this way. Change is hard, but aren’t we adapting fast? Gathering small joys wherever we can find them? We’re learning to cut our own hair, we’re Zoom calling friends and family to eat dinner virtually, and are pandemic parenting in our own style. 

See that? Humans are already built with a “Do It” attitude which is our inherent resilience. We must simply rediscover this inner strength each time we lose it to tough obstacles on the road to our mission.

It’s our will to live with a purpose, and it’s a responsibility we give ourselves that makes us grow stronger, confident and free to lead. There’s courage in creative problem solving and perseverance. 

Don’t know how to start looking for meaning and purpose? These two ways can help you instantly to find meaning in our mundane existence:

1. Growing (Learn)

2. Giving (Contribute)

So, bottom line. Just relax and do your best with what you have now. If you had a choice between Worry or Work, what would you rather choose anyway?

STEP 2: Redefine Success

Let’s redefine what it means to win, meet a goal or an expectation.

Few problems in real life have solutions that are set in stone. And nightmare scenarios like Covid don’t come with a playbook. But, there are ways we can adapt a problem solving mindset.

Here are some ways to empower ourselves to become failure proof.

1. First understand that we’re not in control of every situation that find ourselves in.

2. Failure doesn’t reside where we’ve lost the battle, instead it’s in the moment when we’ve given up.

3. Kintsugi, the art of repairing broken vessels, reminds us that there’s beauty in restoring shattered pieces. The repaired piece is stronger than ever before.

4. Let’s not forget how we got here. We learnt languages, learnt how to walk and ride a bike. We’ve had so many failures that literally define the landscape of our childhood.

5. We can reframe the way we tell ourselves the story of our uncertainty and loss. “There must be a lesson here. Its giving me an opportunity to reset my goals and priorities.”

6. Finally, win big with small joys each day. Look for the positive in every outcome. And move with courage. 

Simply put, think solutions, not problems. And that’s the problem-solving mindset.

STEP 3: Win Daily.

When every plan seems to be tossed out of the window, for now, just attempt to win on a day to day basis.

Some of the best things in life are full of uncertainty. Getting married, having a baby, moving to a new city, starting a new business etc. When we’re uncertain of our next move our self-confidence takes a hit. Add to that our current circumstances, and it’s easy to feel desperate and frustrated.

Wish we were all-weather winners, where wellbeing was our dominant emotion of the day. But reality is often the opposite, where situations outside of our control often dictate how we feel.

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Here’s something we can all do though. The fact is we cannot control anything that happens on the outside, so why not adapt our inside to our situation? Adapting ourselves means, less blaming and lesser excuses for not getting things done. 

Bottom line. Why not build enough momentum with small wins, so we can have enough to move on with our day?

Practical Tips To Thrive: 

In the end, we will prevail. Not so sure still? 

OK, let’s revisit history. We’ve survived famines, wars and pandemics before and have lived to tell. How else can we explain our predisposition to the spirit of human resilience? 

Now you ask, “That’s all good, but, how about my daily life, when I can’t seem to derive motivation to carry on?”

Here’s how we can build strength and sustain it. Here’s how you can chin up and pivot in a new direction each day!

1. Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins that calm the nervous system. 

2. Pick role models who’ve put themselves back together after a loss. 

3. Develop patience. In the of instant downloads and instant everything, the one who has the ability to delay gratification will survive the longest. 

4. How you feel about your situation is your choice. Attitude matters. 

5. At the end of the day, you can be a fault finder or a hope finder. Choose well!

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