Today we are going to talk about “Stretching During A Crisis.” No, I am not talking about a literal stretch like a pose in Yoga. I am talking about stretching yourself, your mindset and your actions.
We are going to explore five  stretches you can understand, explore, question, and implement in your life and your business. Let’s go!
Stretch One – GROWTH STRETCH
During this time of shelter in place, you are able to yourself, is there something better I can be doing right now? When we are in a “crisis” we are forced off the “normal freeway of life and business” and onto a “detour.” When we continue to long and pine for our previous normal – this is an indication that our growth in every area has come to a halt.
What we need and should want to do is to start a massive growth campaign and begin to stretch our thinking and evaluate our previous business as usual tactics. This detour takes us out of our comfort zone. Use this time to learn, sharpen your skills, talk and interact with new people. Get together a group of like people in your field and start talking and solving your problems, banter around new solutions, create a war board of ideas and see what might work for you and your business or in your life. Turn off the negativity and turn on your brain.
Stretch Two – CREATIVE STRETCH
One of the greatest people you can have in your life is an “ideators.” This is a person who is highly creative, is always thinking out of the box and just has lots of ideas. When you interact with a person like this, you will begin to see that there is always more than one answer to whatever you are struggling with, be it money, solutions, challenges, people or whatever. Creative people will always offer ways which are definitely out of your comfort zone.
Did you know, if you have ZERO MARGIN [AKA White Space] in your life you actually block your creative ability to come up with new ideas and solutions? For decades, I have hammered away on clients to incorporate margin/white space into their calendars and there is a resistance there. Why? Because it is a detour. It is outside their comfort zone. For some reason here in the US we believe if we are not giving our lives 24/7, we are working hard enough. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
When we entered this crisis of this unseen virus, this negated our excuses for margin in our lives. Now we have nothing but white space! What are you doing in this stretch?
Stretch Three – INTENTIONAL STRETCH
Intentional living is the bridge between “good intentions” and “good actions.” What does that mean, you ask? Just what it says! We long for the old normal. How many times have you thought or said out loud: “I am going to ____________?” Then you become distracted, you opt for another Netflix binge, go to the refrigerator, or lose yourself on social media and before you know it, that “I am going to __________,” is long gone!
In order to be intentional, one must actually do something, not just say they are going to do it.
Recently I learned this about “automatic people” who are not intentional.
- Automatic people love easy
- Automatic people will not initiate
- Automatic people lack focus
- Automatic people miss opportunities
- Automatic people never change
- Automatic people are not curious
- Automatic people will not stretch
- Automatic people lack energy
- Automatic people do not think
- Automatic people are complacent
Do you see yourself in this list anywhere? Take yourself out of “automatic” and put yourself into “INTENTIONAL!”
Stretch Four – THINKING STRETCH
When was the last time you sat down and took a topic and thought about it? May I just challenge you to sit down now and make a list of all the things weighing on your mind at this moment today, right now. Keep writing until you are drained in your brain and you cannot think of another topic. Are you exhausted? Most likely, YES. This is normal and I can assure you, your body can feel it and so can your heart. I bet if I put a blood pressure cuff on you, your blood pressure would be elevated. How about some deep breathing to slow things down for a couple of minutes?
Did you know that when you are actively engaged in “shared thinking” you will experience “Better Thinking”?
Did you know that when you actively have “sustained thinking” you will achieve “deeper thinking”?
What do the above two questions imply to you? Let me help you here. When you talk with others you will get a better result, rather than thinking alone on any topic. No, I am not talking about going to a therapist or hiring an advisor. Get with people who are experiencing the same thing and see what they have done, where their thinking has taken them and a collaborative effort with create new and sustained new ideas. As you interact with others your own thinking will improve.
Your mindset must be one of “Reframing” whatever is on that long list you wrote earlier. You see when we sit in a scarcity and negative mindset your mind will be trapped in a downward spiral. You will attract what you are and what you think. You do not have to deny that you are in a crisis, that is the reality, but you must reframe the crisis in context of what you can do to stay positive.
You will be measured by the way you think.
Stretch Five – PERSPECTIVE STRETCH
Your current perspective will either lift you up to soar or it will keep you in quicksand. The choice is of course yours and yours along. If you stay with negative people and listen to negativity, and watch and drink negativity and discourse all day every day since all of this started, guess what? You will be a negative person who no one will want to be with or interact with. Have you noticed a definite falling away of people in your life and business lately? Check your perspective.
To “soar above” the negativity of today, we must begin to think and act differently. We need to look at life as not having a finish line. It seems we here in the US have this ingrained in us. Get to the finish line first! Then what? Even a mountain climber can only stay on the summit so long and then he must come down.
If you are thinking this: “How long will it take to get back to normal?” This is “finish line thinking.” You are goal focused.
If you are thinking this: “How far can I go during this crisis?” This is “no finish line thinking with growth development.” There is so much more you can do when you are in this mindset! You will begin to see this: “everything I do is so much bigger than I am.” You will never stop growing and learning and your bucket list will never be finished.
Questions to ponder
As promised, here are the questions I challenge you to ask yourself.
1 – How am I growing during this Coronavirus Quarantine?
2 – Who am I in a creative conversation with to stretch me during this Coronavirus Quarantine?
3 – What are my intentional good actions that are stretching me during this Coronavirus Quarantine?
4 – How am I thinking big to stretch myself during this Coronavirus Quarantine?
5 – What am I doing to change and rethink my perspective from deadlines, goals, and time to how far can I go during this Coronavirus Quarantine?
I’d like to hear from you!
Janice Bastani Coaching offers customized solutions for you and your team to resource and equips you to be a “Great Leader.” When you are ready, we are here to help, send an email to begin the process: email@example.com .
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