Who to be in crisis

Road winding before you

The arrival of COVID-19 has seen our world become an uncertain, complex place. 

Overnight our life stressors changed. All our schedules, planning and budgeting flew out the window when Corona blew into town. 

The origins and consequences of the pandemic are complicated to understand and often unclear. We are all wondering what the future holds. Even the experts and analysts don’t agree and might even give contradictory outlooks, opinions and advice. This makes a road forward for us as individuals particularly ambiguous.

The sudden arrival of COVID-19 has shifted our world view. 

In the midst of change, confusion and unstable emotions many of us have been asking “what should I do?”.  We’re all looking for a plan of action. 

There are no clear villains as we are essentially dealing with a natural phenomenon. We don’t have someone to blame or to rail against. Even the enemies we thought we’d be facing this year have changed. 

In the late 80s the US military also found themselves in a changing world. Their old enemy was no longer and they were facing a world without the Cold War. It was at this time that they coined the acronym VUCA.

VUCA describes a situation that is marked by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. This acronym is now frequently used in business to build strategies and may inform our behaviour moving forward.

Everyone will agree that everyday life has its challenges and comes with unexpected difficulties and even tragedies, but none of this seems to provide a roadmap for our future. Now that Covid-19 has joined our story, Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity have definitely become part of our everyday lives.

In this state of complete uncertainty, perhaps we should replace that popular question we ask ourselves “what should we do?” with who shall I be?”.

This means that we have to dig deep into our own personal values and find the grit to acknowledge that there is simply no way of knowing anything for certain. This means a level of courageous acceptance of a situation one would normally avoid or rage against.

An uncertain situation like this, that is totally novel and totally unpredictable, opens us up to seeing our own fragility and vulnerability in full colour. 

Being vulnerable is never pleasant and feels unsafe and scary. So, no surprise that most of us feel anxious. However, being able to acknowledge our vulnerability and still carry on is evidence of a very special kind of strength and courage.

To be able to step forward and say: “Here I am, flaws and all” is to occupy the full truth of who you are and nevertheless keep on. This reminds me of Martin Luther, the father of the Christian Reformation in Europe, who in a very hostile situation called upon his inner convictions and said: “Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.”. It was that attitude that set off a significant historical shift in western world view.

We have to dig deep into our most hidden and avoided recesses to find our full truth and identity, to rediscover lost and neglected values and ideals, as well as our human irregularity and flaws, and package them all as part of our armour going forward into the unknown.

You are all you have, you may as well bring all of you with into this unknown future. 

It’s easy to get lost when change is forced on us. Let’s chat and get you back on track! Call now.

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