Posted by Howe Q. Wallace on Wednesday, March 25th, 2020
Here’s what we do under stress.
We have a “higher event awareness.” That means we will tend to evaluate events out of context. We take a “good report” and make it “better news” than it really is. We also take a “bad report” and make it “worse news” than it is. In this journey, there will be good news and bad news. Let’s ratchet back our reactions either way. Seek to put news in perspective.
When under stress, have a “higher tendency to filter” news. Our thirst for good news can cause us to close our minds to the negative facts and reports we receive. Conversely, a negative perspective will cause you to receive bad reports and believe a doomsday perspective rather than perceive the positive developments the news might be highlighting.
Maybe an easier way to think about it:
If you are a “glass half-empty” person, stress will cause you to react as if the glass is near empty.
If you are a “glass half-full” person, you will see the glass as fuller than it is.
So, what do you derive from this?
Be self-aware. You know which way you tend to lean. Know that the stress will alter your reality. Try to counter your emotions by choosing an alternative, moderate perspective. You need to moderate the things you think and say to yourself. It’s almost always closer to the truth.
Learn. Read. Communicate. Ask questions. Be purposeful in seeking opinions and facts that counter your mindset. We all need a broader perspective.
Build community. A diverse community. One that helps us to adapt and to innovate. We are smarter together. We are stronger together.
I have trouble determining what exactly will happen. How far will the illness spread? How will the economy react? How long will the trial last? What can our government do to help? What will they do?
With so many unknowns, it’s futile to wring our hands in despair or to assume this will pass without impact.
What’s important is to stay in the game, rely on your team, act responsibly today with the facts in front of us. Then, do it again tomorrow.