Change is incredibly difficult. A little change brings discomfort. A lot of change brings fear. There is a very thin line between discomfort and fear. The more you are willing to face and conquer your fears, the further out you push that line and the more change you’ll bring about as you venture further into your Courage Zone,
Right now we’re all way out of our comfort zones.
There are three steps to change and five emotional stages. When I present my Who Dares Wins concepts to individuals and organizations, I usually cover the three steps first, but for COVID-19, I think its more appropriate to talk about the emotions, because underneath our fear, these five stages are playing a role.
Change requires going through Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s five emotional stages.
DENIAL: there is no problem or need to change.
There are still many people in denial about the realities of COVID-19. As I mentioned yesterday, this is a two headed dragon: the virus itself and fear of it; and fear of the uncertainty of the effect on society. So many people simply don’t want to believe the reality of the situation. If you’re reading this, you are most likely not in denial, because one key symptom of denial is not wanting to learn anything that contradicts our world view. If you know people still in denial that you care about, you can’t confront them directly, because they’ve built their greatest defenses around their greatest weaknesses. Try to get them to see the reality of COVID-19 in a way that goes to one of their strengths. For example, a loving grandparent might be open to a story about how its affecting schools and children.
ANGER: It’s not fair.
No, it’s not. Why is this being visited upon us? It doesn’t matter. It’s a reality. Being angry at China, the president, the disease, the lockdown, the unfairness of all of it is a waste of energy and misdirects us. We have to focus.
BARGAINING: maybe if I can change some small things it will make a big difference.
“Okay, I’ve locked down. I’m just going to sit here and wait it out.” That’s a base level of change, but it’s not effective long term. What can you be accomplishing now for not just getting through this pandemic, but coming out the other end a better person? Not just that, but how am I going to be prepared to face the new world that will come out of this? While many of us missed the opportunity to be properly prepared for this event, we need to make sure we will be prepared for any future emergency, not just a pandemic. We can take this time to do an Area Study and see what other possible threats are in our area. Just think—there are people in the Nashville area who lost their homes to a tornado while this was developing! Do your Area Study. Start thinking long term survival. I’ll post more about that; things you can do. Also, though, here is a free slideshow on how to do an Area Study and it’s covered in more detail in The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Once more, if you’re in a difficult financial situation, email me and I’ll send you a free pdf of the book. I’d ask those that do purchase the book, to please leave a review as they are important. email@example.com
Another thing to do is help others. Get out of ourselves. There are a myriad of ways we can all contribute to our communities. Small gestures and actions often make great differences.
DEPRESSION: There’s too much to change. I’m overwhelmed.
We all cycle through this every day. I wake up in the middle of the night worried about my son and grandsons. About the future. About my wife. The other day Cool Gus was sick and I was already starting to grieve; of course he get better but he is an old dog. There’s a phrase used in recovery that you need not only for the long term picture of COVID-19, but for these bouts of depression: This too shall pass. This morning the sun is shining for the first time in a week. I’m taking joy in that. I’m also adjusting my newly purchased solar panel, figuring out best angles to mount it. ACTION is a key to getting out of depression! Do something constructive.
ACCEPTANCE: I will do it. Which does lead to real change.
Acceptance is not easy. Because it means we are in a different place. Most of what we do in life is habit. We are learning new habits every day. We will come out of this differently.
Let’s make sure we come out of this as better human beings. Treating each other with more respect. This is a pandemic; a horrible thing. But we can make the best of it. We can become better!
PLEASE! Take this virus seriously.
BTW: A lot of this is Who Dares Wins: Special Operations Strategies for Success which I use in consulting with individuals and businesses.
The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.
The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)
Once more, the NY Times has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19, Coronavirus. Click HERE to go to it. Also, The Economist has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19 and it does a very good job drilling down on various aspects.