We are currently experiencing situations in which uncertainty and ambiguity determine our everyday life. We don’t know what will happen to our business, our health and our society. It is unclear whether we will get our lives back to the way we were used to. All this “does” something to us. With our colleagues, friends, with my loved ones and of course with ourselves. Everyone reacts differently.
How to resist
Luckily, I am one of those people who can handle crises and difficult phases in life quite well. I have a good resilience, as this inner strength is scientifically called. This was not always the case. Over the years it has grown in me and I have grown on it. It has given me the strength to lead an internationally operating team, to pass my Master of Wine “on the side” and to overcome a life-threatening illness during this time.The insights that helped me to gain and strengthen this strength are briefly summarized below, before I go into more detail in the next few posts.
Accepting instead of accepting
For me, it is essential first of all to accept a crisis or a difficult situation. This sounds banal and yet it is so difficult. In our everyday world, we believe that we can control everything. And we can hardly stand the feeling of being “at the mercy of others” like in the Corona crisis. But there is no human right that we should always and at all times be well. There is also no right to get our “old” life back. There are turning points in life that mark a “before” and an “after”. Full stop. Whoever accepts his situation, his diagnosis as a matter of fact lays the foundation for changing things. At least I have never succeeded in doing so by refusal, nor by panic.
Getting out of the victim role
Get out of the victim role and actively drive change. That was the crucial lesson I’ve learned for myself. We are not victims of circumstances. We make ourselves victims. Brooding is poison. Circling around questions like “why did it hit me?” Because at least in this lifetime, there is no answer. That’s why it’s better to look ahead. Even in the current crisis. Restaurant owners switching to delivery service or supporting aid projects, winegrowers organising online tastings – to name just a few examples of how to at least give the crisis a bit of a head start.
Start with yourself
During my Masters of Wine studies I met extremely talented people who didn’t make it, mainly because they constantly questioned the system instead of working harder on themselves. Start with yourself. To blame only external factors, the unfair rules, the bad examiners or others for a failure is also human, but it obscures the real causes of some failures – the understanding that I myself also messed up or didn’t take full advantage of opportunities. And only when I have understood this, I can do better next time.
Focus on the solution
When insecurity, fear and other negative thoughts dominate me, it can all too easily happen that I lose sight of the essential. To the answers of basic questions: Where do I want to go, what do I want to change in my situation and how could I succeed? Keeping the focus on this, recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities, is crucial. And whenever I have succeeded in doing so, I have been able to change the situation for the better.
Listening to the experts
It is important to seek expert advice if necessary. Not everything can be managed alone. But for almost everything there are people who are extremely well versed in this field and whose expertise should be used. Doctors, mentors, coaches and of course private experts have helped me incredibly during my career and in life: to focus, to develop perspectives, to find approaches and solutions. In the end, however, there was one thing they could never do: make the final decision for me. I always had to make that decision myself and take the necessary steps. After all, it was about my personal health, success and future.
Trust in your own strengths
Crises hurt me, made me insecure, but they always made me stronger. This may sound banal. But when I look back, the most painful situations were those that helped me to develop the skills to handle even more difficult moments. And I’ve learned not to be afraid of making the wrong decisions. In my opinion, there simply are no such things. Every decision I have made in life has opened and closed doors. And they’ve all been good, even if it’s taken me a while to realize it.
As a result of this, a trust in my own strength has developed. I have achieved so much in the past that I am not afraid for the future. Somehow it will succeed. Even if I do not know how. This also applies to this crisis – even if everyone is different and experiences this crisis differently.
To be continued.