5 ways you can choose to shift up…and not down
No matter what’s going on in your life right now, you have a choice.
A choice to shift up, or shift down, in terms of how you respond
The first time I understood this was when I read Viktor’s Frankl’s ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ in which he details his personal account of surviving one of the worst experiences imaginable in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.
This is an incredible example of what it means to shift up – versus down – not only to survive, but eventually thrive when he was ultimately re-united with loved ones to bring his transformative teachings to the world.
And his message is this;
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
This suggests that no matter what you may be dealing with, your greatest source of power lies in your ability to respond from a place of courage – versus fear.
Or in other words, you can choose to take a bigger picture view of the situation at-hand i.e. courage, or you can choose to take a smaller one i.e. fear.
Both are totally understandable, but only one will help you to feel better and make something ‘more’ from the experience, as opposed to less.
And here’s how it works…
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, we all need our physiological needs to be met first i.e. food, water, air, shelter, sleep etc.
Once these are in place, we can then start thinking about security in terms of things like employment, resources, health, & property.
And only then do we move on to other things like love & connection i.e. family, friends, community, as well as our self-esteem in terms of creating things such as mastery, status, recognition & freedom.
Obviously, recent world events have hit most people right at the security level, as we all grapple with dramatic business closures, falling employment levels, restricted contact with one another, and the evident health crisis.
So once we feel threatened at the security level, we can do one of two things;
- We can either shift down & focus on our physiological needs i.e. frantic panic buying & stockpiling food & supplies (like toilet paper!)
- Or we can CHOOSE to shift up by reaching out to connect with all those we care about while simultaneously reframing the value you want to create as chances are you may need to re-think that right now
So, here are 5 practical suggestions for how you can choose to shift up (and not down);
- CHOOSE YOUR RESPONSE
It can be helpful recognise that we are ALL going through one the world’s great challenge moments together, which means our best bet is to survive it together! This is a wake-up call and a reminder that YOU have all the power you need to choose how you’re going to respond. Victim mentality suggests that something is happening to you, and while that might be true on some level, the larger truth is that you can also decide how you’re going to engage with it. And that means you can either invest in the general sense of panic that’s sweeping the world OR you can focus on what you need to know and then start asking some of the bigger questions around ‘how can I adapt so I can show up in new ways and serve?’
- REACH OUT & CONNECT
Now is the perfect time to reach out and connect with friends, family and the broader community so you can engage with the idea that ‘we can get through this together’. Because we can, and self-isolating doesn’t have to mean a lack of connection. It just means we need to be a bit more resourceful right now and find more creative ways to stay in touch. And it’s already happening; school classrooms are moving online, businesses are finding new ways to connect with their customers, and people are discovering more innovative ways to share their gifts with the world. So finding ways to connect is ‘everything’ right now and will make all the difference in the world, not only to others…but also to you!
- FOCUS ON YOUR HEALTH
There’s never been a better time to focus on your health! That means staying across the facts and practising social distancing, as well as all of the other great health tips and advice out there. But it’s also a great time to work on your personal health and wellbeing which often falls by the wayside when life gets busy and we’re living ‘business as usual’. So get outside (if you still can) and go for a walk, or join a virtual gym, or a yoga class, or maybe it’s time to take up that meditation practice. And how about boosting your immune system by preparing some nourishing, healthy meals and deciding to cut back on the more unhealthy sugars and processed foods
- SHARE YOUR VALUE
When we feel under-threat, it can be easy to prioritise what we can get – versus what we can give. So now is also a great time to ask yourself, what truly matters to me in all this and what do I want to share with the world? Maybe there’s something you’ve been thinking about doing or putting off for a while. Or perhaps now is the perfect opportunity to re-wire your business, or re-align your job, or career, in some way so that it makes much more sense in terms of what’s meaningful in your life right now. The point is that while it can be tempting to hunker down and play small, what if instead you decided that now was the time to shift up and play ‘big’?
- TAP INTO YOUR PURPOSE
Tapping into your own unique sense of purpose is one of the most powerful ways to re-align with what truly matters…to you. That’s because your purpose will not only direct you towards what will allow you to make the greatest difference in your own life, it will also likely benefit all those around you. It will also help you to capture those things you’re naturally best at, as these are ultimately one and the same. And this means that when things start to stabilise again – and they will – you will have re-defined your current scenario to become even more of who you want to be, so you can use this as an opportunity to live in a much more powerful way
And as ever, if you’d like to know more about how to become clear on your purpose so you can re-align whatever it is that you’re facing right now and use it to shift up – and not down – then please reach out to me directly either by return email or just follow the links below.
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