Updated: Jul 24
In times of pandemic and with most of our normality returning, we invite you to reflect on how you are dealing with this moment. Affect or Effect? Words so similar but the simple change of a letter can greatly transform our perspective. Are you feeling the effects more or are you actually affected?
The question refers to a perspective of how you see your situation in this pandemic. If you feel that the pandemic has only had an effect on your life or business you may consider that it is more solid than the threat that surrounds you. After all, you have not allowed yourself to be transformed even though you have suffered the effects.
However, if the pandemic, in addition to its effects, has in fact affected your life or your business in various ways, then your ability to respond may have been compromised.
But can we choose between being affected or just feeling the effects of adversity? I challenge you to think so!
"When the circumstance is good, we must enjoy it; when it is not favourable, we must transform it and when it cannot be transformed, we must transform ourselves." Viktor Emil Frankl.
According to this thought people can avoid the harmful effects of an event that are devastating and deeply affect their lives or business. All of this can be linked to our mental model or mindset. But what is this all about?
The idea of achieving success through our mindset comes from a philosophy developed by psychologist Carol S. Dweck of Stanford University in the United States. She considers that our mindset shows our optimistic or pessimistic way of looking at various situations in life and how to behave in front of them. So after many decades of research, she concluded that there are two distinct mindsets: the fixed and the progressive.
Fixed mental activity makes individuals believe that if they are not born with certain abilities they naturally cannot develop them either. This way of thinking prevents the person from acquiring new knowledge because he considers himself to be at a higher level of difficulty than his ability. Individuals with this mentality show more negative thoughts and their ability to react tends to be more stagnant and unmotivated. At work, people of this profile usually resist performing different activities and learning new concepts and always need the opinion of others. They fear dealing with big responsibilities because they feel insecure about succeeding.
The second type of mentality is called progressive or growth. Unlike the fixed mentality, people of this kind of thinking believe that their talents and abilities can be developed by being patient, hard working and dedicated. An individual with this mindset has the facility to turn difficulties into opportunities. They are more confident about making mistakes because they believe it is possible to learn from failure. Professionals with this profile are born leaders and are more destined to success, as they seek to overcome limitations and increase their knowledge.
Of course, the ideal would be to be living in a wonderful setting and not have to deal with anything negative around you. However if this is not the situation, especially in this pandemic, there are 4 reflections that can help to see invisible opportunities in the challenges.
1 - Be positive
"A pessimist sees difficulty at every opportunity; an optimist sees an opportunity at every difficulty" Sir Winston Churchill.
Positivity is fundamental in our life, trying to look at the good side of things encourages us, even in the face of adversity. To feel fear is natural, human, but we cannot paralyze, the best is to move forward in spite of this feeling. However hard the effects may be, we cannot let them transform us or determine us.
2 - Make choices (laugh or cry)
"Even if everything seems to fall apart, it is up to me to decide to laugh or cry, to go or stay, to give up or fight; because I have discovered, on the uncertain path of life, that the most important thing is to decide." Cora Coralina
The optimist is tireless in seeking solutions to get well and overcome. Sometimes it is necessary to decide to be well. It is not always easy but this attitude can be developed and improved. In simple verses the Brazilian poet Cora Coralina summarized the dimension of us in the face of our choices and that we can use them to improve our world.
3 - Resignify your experiences
"The same Rock that blocks the path may work as a step." Osho
Creativity can be understood as the art of using the unfavorable to your advantage. To give new meaning to an experience that has already happened, we must change how we perceive or deal with an event. By adjusting our emotions to the new focus we will feel more confidence.
4 - Self-knowledge (learn more about yourself)
"He who knows others is wise, he who knows himself is enlightened."
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Seeking self-knowledge is essential for a better life. We must also be open and willing to change the way we think. New points of view can be bridges that take us beyond where we are today.
The decision about how we conduct our destiny is ours, so try to stay positive. Quitting is easier than persisting. Try to be flexible but don't give up your dreams. No event has the power to change who we are. Nothing is as powerful as the power we have inside us. Look at yourself with compassion and everything around you with gratitude.