The current corona crisis has dramatically changed our lives within a few weeks. Our normal live has disappeared. This leads to massive uncertainty for many people.
However, since security is a fundamental basic need of us humans – it comes second in Maslow’s pyramid of needs after physiological needs (breathing, sleeping, eating, etc.) – the question arises: “How do I deal with it? “
There are two different strategies for dealing with uncertainty:
- I try to eliminate possibility – that is, to replace it with security
- I accept that there is uncertainty and try to find a way to reduce the burden on me
At first sight, the first alternative seems very attractive. Of course, it would be nice to get rid of this paralyzing feeling and feel safe again. A first step in this direction would be to go to the cause or trigger of the insecurity.
If we take the current corona crisis as an example, disillusionment quickly sets in. No one can predict what will happen next. No expert can say for sure: “In 2 months everything will be back to normal”. Even less do we know how long it will take for the economy to make a sustained recovery from this crisis. And indeed, not the effects on our very personal situation are apparent. So we can see that this strategy will not help us in this situation.
The second strategy looks completely different: I don’t even try to get rid of the uncertainty but accept it as a factor outside my sphere of influence. Instead, I concentrate on the question: “How can I reduce my burden of risk?
The focus on your resources is beneficial here. Make yourself aware of your strengths – especially now. Nobody can take your strengths away from you, and you can always rely on them. The next step could be to consider how you can use these strengths in the current situation. Creativity is needed here. Maybe you need a completely new approach?
Probably this is not the first difficult situation in your life either. Being aware that you have already mastered difficult phases in the past is also very helpful to remain confident. Even if the “how” is not clear yet – somehow you will be able to cope with this situation – because you have done so in the past.
Sure, the current situation involves many risks. But are there also opportunities? Just one example: If we now realize that virtual collaboration can work, how will this affect future business travel and thus CO2 emissions? How could a functioning home office affect traffic in our cities?
Of course, we are still a long way from that – I am only interested in giving examples of opportunities. Opportunities that inspire confidence. Confidence and trust in one’s strengths and resources do not lead to uncertainty disappearing. At the same time, I am convinced that they are essential elements in reducing personal stress – and thus a possible way to deal with it better.