This is an unprecedented time in our economic, personal and societal history. In a short period, we’ve been catapulted into a state of fury and fear of the unknown. This new situation causes us all to panic to varying degrees, but with an underlying determination to ensure our business survival.
Today I met with some business colleagues who were all discussing the impact of this business downturn on their businesses, and they all agreed that times were tough. Really tough. The stories they told brought tears to my eyes.
It made me realise that we are all in this together. One of my colleagues said something that hit home; she said, “We are all going to get emotional at some point during this disaster – we just need to accept that it will happen, and affect people at different times”.
She was speaking from experience, having been through the Equine Flu virus outbreak back in 2007 that hit Australia and devastated the horse racing industry. The virus spread quickly throughout the country, and many horses got very sick and lost their lives.
She was a business owner during this virus epidemic, and she spoke to us about how she had survived. She had also figured out a way to help her business and others survive the crisis.
So what does that mean for us now?
I asked myself, “Aveline, how can you learn from the lessons she has shared about going through a previous epidemic and surviving and thriving?”
I noticed a couple of things:
Firstly, I was still sitting there in a state of fear. I had a base level of anxiety and, even though I knew it wasn’t helpful, the fear was there. After the fruitful exchange with my colleagues, I also realised that I wasn’t going to help my business evolve and move forward if I didn’t step out of the fear.
The fear was like a wall. A big mountainous mental block was preventing me from moving on.
My colleague suddenly spoke to my inner consciousness with the words; “Our amygdala in the brain wants to stay small and to contract. It doesn’t want to step outside of its comfort zone. And as long as we stay in that space, we won’t grow”.
The choice was mine.
Secondly, I saw a way through the block if I could accept the fear and the unwanted thoughts and let those sit off to the side. Once I’d done that, I could see a new path in front of me, quite different from the one I saw this morning.
It was different. New. Almost unknown.
I knew that the choice was entirely mine and that I could only create that new future if I let go of the fear and allowed the innovative thoughts to come through.
The biggest challenge we face as business owners is; do we respond with reactive fear-based energy? Or do we choose our thoughts and stay in a place of strength and conscious awareness?
What I have learnt is that these two states are much easier to achieve when things are going well. When we have our base safely established, and our world is fine without any risk or threat to our security or survival.
However when we are in a situation like we are right now, one of a worldwide pandemic that is affecting us all on many different levels, it is so much harder to get hold of our conscious thoughts and willingly put ourselves in a positive position.
When our amygdala starts doing its job and keeps us in our comfort zone, as it reacts to the fear and threats it perceives, it’s even harder to move on and grow.
We face this test individually as humans and parents, friends, colleagues and neighbours and as business owners charged with the desire to ensure our business’s survival.
I have one image that is in my mind right now that is keeping me moving forward; it’s one that highlights the relatively short period that these pandemic shutdowns last for, relative to our overall lives. It’s quick, and in a manner of weeks, it will be all over.
The painful part is in the eye of the storm. When we’re in the middle of it – it feels like it’s going on forever. We have the opportunity of a lifetime to transform ourselves (and our mindset), step outside of our comfort zones and look at how we can evolve and survive.
History and the successful evolution of businesses over time has shown us that it’s at this time that we have the most significant opportunity for growth.
So as we grip onto the sides of the bubble in the eye of our current storm, the question for us all sits in the air:
- Will we freeze and stand still in our business, gripped with fear?
- Or will we pivot and take control of our conscious awareness and the opportunity to evolve and let go of the fear so we can move forward to the new path ahead?
That is truly up to us to individually decide. I know which one I am choosing.
To your success,
If you need to speak with an expert on how your business can survive the pandemic, contact us now