March 15, 2020
When in fear … you can … Retreat, Respond or Initiate
Great leaders… Retreat to think of solutions and make positive decisions, they Respond with enthusiasm to stir up hope and they Initiate by acting on those decisions while encouraging themselves and others around them.
I hope you are safe, secure, and vigilant for yourself, your family and the world around you.
Everyone has an answer… a solution … a directive on what and how to get through all you are and will be going through … so, in light of the current Covid-19 presence ALL over the world, I want to push out some perspective on this “challenge!” or “opportunity!”
First, with no hype or hoopla!
In this time of challenge, fear, and uncertainty for many...I will be putting together a series of thoughts to God willing, lessen your stress and offer up some advice and actions to support you in any way possible both personally and professionally.
In my work and certification as a Mental Toughness Coach with what is known now as “The Human Potential Institute, in Lake Nona, FL. I found that in times, most especially like these, that it's our mental toughness that will enable us to endure challenges we are faced with thus allowing us to think and act more “pro-actively” vs. reactively.
Here is some of what I learned:
- Mental Toughness is an acquired capacity to respond to the forces of life in the most appropriate and functionally intelligent way possible.
- Toughness is mental, physical and emotional.
- Toughness training acknowledges the central importance of mind-body connections.
- Thoughts, feelings, health, happiness, and performance are all intimately interconnected and part of the same mosaic of life.
- When our external world is out of our control…we must look at what we can control…our inner world!
- And when our inner world is on a solid footing, we’ll begin to better handle the outer world.
- With empowering beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and emotions… we have placed ourselves squarely “in control” of the external forces and as beings with a brain, we all have a tremendous capacity to beat the odds that may be against us.
So, can we minimize or eliminate the impact of these external forces because we are mentally tough?
Yes, we can! We did it with some of the greatest sports athletes, corporate leaders, all the way to SWAT Teams and the military in Quantico, VA. With the work we did with these folks, they were able to perform under pressure at peak levels while under some of the most stressful experiences.
When I was born… the doctor looked at me and slapped my mother! … 'really, Mike?' Well, not that bad but I imagined it was pretty darn close!
I was born with a physical deformity. My right hand is not like most others. As I started to become more aware of my physical challenge, mostly in my early teens, I began to have the thoughts; I was worthless, the world would reject me, I would never amount to much let alone be able to have or be in love with someone other than my dog.
Even though my parents and family were supportive and encouraging… it certainly lessened the blow, but in ‘my mind’… it was still a be.atch.
‘I have what I have, and it is what it is, and no support or encouragement would change that reality’ … so I (thought).
Fear … real or unreal?
FEAR the 4-letter word that most personal growth experts talk about in their writings and speeches will say that the FEAR is NOT real…it’s perceived because we can control our ‘reaction and meaning’ of FEAR.
Our perceptions…our thoughts… our meanings… we all have them about fear.
My fear (perception) was that I’ll never amount to anything: real or unreal?
Unreal… Why? Because I (learned) to change my perception by putting in a (new meaning) of what the reality was.
The reality: (I can’t control it) … I’m missing part of a hand...it’s real!
The original meaning: I’ll never amount to anything and nobody would love me.
The new meaning with the same reality:
‘I will be a force to change lives and be the light of encouragement and education for others. I will be loved because I have something great to give. The greatest 2 days of my life was the day I was born and the day I figured out why.”
So, why this story?
Listen, what we are “ALL” faced with around the world (Covid-19) is real and not imagined. Can I be real here? This is BITCH…
However, through the lens of our perception about this reality, we have a choice; while you must vigilant for yourself…can you be the force of strength, encouragement, and support for your families and others or be the victim to the virus?
What meaning are you giving this?
Short of you saying that I’m glad this virus is here… you MUST challenge your most inner fears because there is more than the virus…
There is a spurt of…
Both personally and professionally.
Like myself, when the shit hits the fan either you turn it on high or you turn it away. As a result of this (Covid-19), you will learn new things…you will develop the inner strengths, character to help you now and the future.
You will learn how to pivot in your business and that of your customers and bring forth at a more rapid pace of creativity and innovations and so, so many other benefits.
At the end as in the beginning, you have the capacity to overcome obstacles. You'll have the capacity to win big. You have the capacity to handle more then you may think.
Who can we serve and support? Most of my readers and listeners are small to medium size businesses. You may take a hit; large or small, but it does NOT mean you give in or give up.
You will learn new ways to adapt and adjust. Because I was missing some digits (fingers)…when I played baseball at school and with my friends, I had to adapt and adjust how I was going to hold my bat to be able to hit the ball and how to catch and throw a ball differently there my friends.
Now, did I give up because of these obstacles? Sometimes I wanted to because it was hard and embarrassing. But playing with my buds and my desire to figure it out was more powerful than the obstacle.
You will in your businesses…
You will: Build stronger relationships because you showed up for people with a call, an IM, a letter, an email or a text to see how you can help if needed or you paid this email forward. 😊
You will: Build better skills; to get more clients; to better solve your client’s problems; to better collaborate and profit with partners and vendors; to be a better presenter using video and audio platforms…why? Because you had more opportunity to build your skills with some downtime by reading more, listening to audiobooks, watching videos. For as much as we are preparing for a shutdown…we must prepare for a grand re-opening as well.
You will: Innovate your marketing systems, sales processes and priorities for greater results and profitability for your own business and that of your clients.
You will: Be an innovative and powerful leader for your teams and the world communities as a whole. As a result, you will be branded as the person, the business that will always be there for others in both good and bad times.
You will be, have and do all of these things because of this darn Covid-19. And to be clear with all of this…YOU don’t have to have a deformity like me or Covid-19 to win big…BUT it just might be a good push in the right direction.
A couple of final thoughts…
: I’m here if you need to speak or need a word or 20 of encouragement. It will be good for both of us. I may not know you...but I believe in you!
: I’m here if you have a team of people and they need, and you want to get them on a zoom call for words of encouragement and possibilities.
: Reach out to your clients in any way possible … begin today! They need you more than ever! They need assurance and encouragement.
: Please pay this forward. Even if you have a couple of fingers … with today’s technologies, we can and must spread these hopeful words of encouragement to as many people as we can with the push of a few buttons.
I will leave you for the moment with the words of one of the greatest personal development minds of our time, Napoleon Hill who said…
“In every adversity, there is a seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.”
Be blessed, be encouraged, be at peace knowing this to shall pass and YOU WILL be stronger as a result.
Now, make today your best day ever,
p.s. Please pay this forward to your family, friends, and colleagues. You may just inspire one person to be more hopeful. Thx. Mike