It started with not being able to buy toilet paper. Then diet coke. Then chicken. Now COVID -19 has you working from home and taking your business online. You’re practicing social distancing and you’re not sure what plans to put in place because there is plenty of confusion, complexity and uncertainty at this moment. Less than two weeks ago, you were wondering - why toilet paper hoarding? It was a fear signature move in action from the unconscious due to security and safety concerns. Every person, client and business will express fear in their actions when uncertainty is present.
The uncertainty of this moment brings out fear in people. You may not feel it as fear but it is. It will show up in so many other ways personally and professionally. This virus puts us on heightened alert and our adrenalin revs up. It can show up as anxiety, poor decision making or being paralyzed in your thinking. All of us will be affected in some way as business owners revise plans, events get canceled and business slows down. This situation may bring up fears from prior circumstances and contribute directly to what you are experiencing now.
Every person, organization, corporation has a fear response to situations like we face with a virus now called a pandemic. It may not look like fear to you. It may show up later. It may be recognized a year from now. It may not show up for you personally. It may show up with your clients. It may recycle old patterns that no longer work for you. It is currently showing up in all our communities because it’s hard to buy toilet paper.
There are four fear signatures and some of you have a combination of two or more when stress occurs.
1. Fight - There may be more arguments, pettiness, rolling of eyes or defensiveness. It can make others look like the enemy.
2. Flee - Emotional withdrawal, not responding to normal situations. When speaking, you roll your eyes upward. You may say some version of “i’m out of here.”
3. Freeze - The inability to make decisions or take appropriate actions. You may startle easier.
4. Faint - Making this situation all about you or lowering of your energy and not being able to get the simplest things done. You may feel stupid suddenly.
5. Combination - You may freeze for a moment, feel strong emotions and then withdraw. That is a typical combination fear response.
Fear shows up in your body first then travels to your mind for your thoughts to take over.
The first thing to do - Breathe. Smile. Do a pattern interrupt. It’s the pattern interrupt that’s important. It’s in that moment, that we can shift, change perspective or decide to continue forward. A pattern interrupt for the fear signature fight is to relax your shoulders and move them until the tension melts away. If the tendency is for you to flee, then take the sumo position (like the sumo wrestlers) and anchor yourself in that position. Do you have a tendency to freeze? Wiggle your fingers and toes then loosen your body. Are you a fainter? Take your arm and hold it out in front of you and give a welcome gesture.
These are small movements but are powerful for a quick reset for yourself.
Fear unchecked turns to anxiety.
Fear is not truth.
Turn fear into resources.
What’s being asked of you right now as business owners in this time of uncertainty, is to lead.
Turn your leadership into a resource so fear melts…..
Lead you first - Have a protocol for taking care of your health and energy and ways to combat fear and anxiety.
Lead your family - Manage and lead the emotional tone of your family.
Lead your clients - Call them and with certainty discuss a plan for now and a plan when the virus passes and business gears up. Give them more time. They are looking to you for your leadership. Give it to them.
Lead your business - Show up. Regroup. Your business will talk to you. Listen. You need to be able to show the value you bring to your clients. Messaging is key right now to your community. Reposition and pivot if necessary.
Lead your team - Take care of them and they will take care of you.
Here you are…. witnessing what’s going on in the world today…. changing daily - Ooze. Sumo. Wiggle. Welcome. You’ll be glad you did.
LoriAnne Reeves, CEO, The CEO Entrepreneur |Leaders in Motion| Speaker |eWN Premier Success Coach |Sales & Business Strategist |Masters in Psychology |Certified Leadership Consultant |Author| LoriAnne@LoriAnneReeves.com