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This is the best time...

If you are like a lot of people around the world, life might seem pretty hard right now.

Many of us are fatigued by being in lockdown or not being able to live or work like we used to back in 2019.  Business wise things seem to be all over the place.  And there's a lot of fear about climate change, vaccinations or when the next big variant will break through and cause more havoc.

So if you are feeling uncertain about how things are going, I want to share with you a helpful tip from the book Useful Belief by Chris Helder. 

Imagine you have had the worst year of your life and someone tells you "Hey, cheer up.  Try and be more positive."  You'd probably want to scream or want to punch them (or both!

When we are feeling really negative it doesn’t help to be told to smile and be positive.  What we need is a useful belief to get ourselves out of the hole we find ourselves in.  A belief that changes how we view the world and ourselves - empowering us to find a solution to our current predicament.
A good question to ask yourself if you're feeling really anxious or down right now is "What is the most useful strategy to move me out of this moment and into a better place?  What can I believe that will help me out of here?"
A useful belief changes our approach to business.  We have so many tasks, priorities and deadlines that we need a way to filter out the noise and focus on what is important.
A useful belief can help us sort out what we can and can’t control, so we’re not wasting time or headspace on things that don’t matter.
For friends and colleagues who aren't coping, we can acknowledge where they are and help them find a strategy to change their thinking.  A good question is "Things are pretty tough for you right now.  What is the most useful baby step you can take to move you from ground zero to one?"
Being positive doesn’t give us results. What does help us is to acknowledge where we are at and what we need right now to improve.

Another technique is to challenge our beliefs and mindsets about the reality we find ourselves in.  For many people, the world seems pretty terrible right now. 

But since the Great Depression, there have been lots of documented cases and research into the well known fact that more millionaires are made during recessions and depressions than at any other time. 

So while we can buy into the belief that things are really bad, what If we focused on having a useful belief about the economy?  

Chris Helder recommends saying:  "This is the best time in the history of the world to be in your industry/company/job."

Imagine if a team member said that to you in your next strategy meeting!  It's a useful belief that can set the foundation for some great conversations and questions.  Shifting our mindset to look at things differently.

If we think this every time we despair about our career prospects, it can help to bring more ease into our lives and see potential solutions.

Truth can be a party-pooper when it gets in the way of exploring new opportunities.  It’s better to have a useful belief or question about the present, so we can see the opportunities. Otherwise, if we are fearful and upset about what's going on, we miss the chance to change and improve our lives.  And we can waste a lot of time fretting about the future.
My useful belief about COVID is that it's here to help us transform our lives - both work and personal.  It's a perfect reset button - to remove some of the old systems and ways of being that are no longer working.  So maybe the reset is taking longer than we expected, but I still believe that things will be better than they were before.  In the end, it doesn't matter if it's true or not.  What matters is that it stops me from worrying and I sleep at night.
So the next time you find yourself feeling miserable or anxious, check in with yourself and ask "What's the most useful thing I can do for myself at this time?"   And your response might surprise you.