This post is about developing your character when things are bad.
It’s tempting to think that self growth is best achieved when things are stable and life is predictable and calm.
However, a quote that I like says it best-
“Pressure creates diamonds. Fire refines gold”.
Oftentimes, times like these (filled with panic and unpredictability), are the most defining times in our lives.
They shine light on our weak areas and give us no option but to grow.
Let’s talk about 6 areas of self growth to develop in times of crisis.
6 High Priority Areas of Personal Growth
(In Times of Crisis)
1. Intentional Positivity
“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.”
“When the negative thoughts come—and they will; they come to all of us—it’s not enough to just not dwell on it…. You’ve got to replace it with a positive thought.”
When I go to my local lab to draw blood, I have to sit in front of a poster that I love.
It says “proactive people carry their own weather with them”.
Though the quote is about proactivity, it speaks to me of positivity.
Carrying your own weather with you means that you carry your own internal positivity to any situation.
You don’t have to let the external “weather” (or situation) determine whether your attitude will be negative or positive.
At all times and in all circumstances, you can choose to be positive.
I’ve come to learn that it takes a lot of retraining for our minds to choose positivity but I promise you (from experience), it can be done.
…become a part of the email family to work on your mindset every week…
Read more on my post: How To Be More Positive (Even When You’re A Natural Pessimist).
2. Unwavering Integrity
“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”Brene Brown
“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.”H. Jackson Brown
“Integrity is doing the right thing, when no one is watching.”C.S. Lewis
It’s easy to have integrity when you’ve got the money, the time, the resources and the emotional and mental stability that you need to get through the day easily.
But, there come times (like this one) when resources are short and life isn’t being fair. Learn to hold on to your integrity anyway.
There will come times when people act irrational and selfish and you want to give them a taste of their own medicine.
Be respectful anyways.
There come times like this when you feel like you should compromise your values so that you can get ahead but think about how you will feel about yourself afterwards.
How will the people most important to you, like your children, see you after you compromise those values?
The right choice may not be the easy choice right now, but be truthful, loyal, responsible and fair ANYWAYS.
“Survival is for those who are flexible; they are smart enough to adapt and they never give up!”
Noha Alaa El-Din, Norina Luciano
In this current pandemic, there are a lot of things going differently than planned.
Flights and trips are being cancelled.
School schedules are being changed left and right.
Work expectations are changing…by the hour sometimes!
Regular routines have gone right out the window.
For many, these changes will cause stress and anxiety.
Take this as your opportunity to develop your ability to adapt.
Learn how to “be okay” when your plans are different than you originally intended.
Learn to pivot from the problem to a solution-based mindset quickly. Embrace the fact that “change isn’t always bad” and automatically ask yourself “whats another way to achieve this goal”?
“Serenity isn’t freedom from the storm, but peace within the storm.”
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” The Serenity Prayer
Serenity is “the state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled”.
It’s a bit different from the word “peaceful” because while peaceful indicates that there is peace and tranquility AROUND you, serenity is the state of being calm and having peace INSIDE you.
So you can see, even when everything around you is in chaos, it is a skill to maintain a sense of serenity.
I can’t tell you what would work for you but the 2 big ways that I maintain my serenity are by believing that God has this all under control and by knowing the difference in what I can change vs. what I can’t change.
“It’s when you’re acting selflessly that you are at your bravest.”
“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.”
“It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.”
In times like these, it is natural for us to “look out for #1” (aka ourselves).
However, it takes a really big person to look beyond themselves, to look beyond their immediate family and look for people to help in the larger community and society at large.
These are the people that we call our everyday heros.
In this time of crisis, I encourage you share with your neighbors or take the time to talk to people who are scared or anxious (even when you’d rather do something else.
Something as simple as a few encouraging words (“keep up the good work” or “we couldn’t do this without you”) inspires people and gives them strength to press on.
“Tolerance and patience should not be read as signs of weakness, they are signs of strength.” – Anonymous
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” – Leo Tolstoy
“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Patience is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset”.
Being an impatient person is nothing to brag about. Rather, it’s something to work on. And in times like these, you may have no choice but to increase your capacity to wait.
Just remember that patience is not just about waiting, it’s about waiting, with a good and hopeful attitude.
Finally, developing patience comes from a place of humility.
It’s important to realize that your problems and concerns aren’t the only ones that matter in the grand scheme of things. When you internalize this, it may help you to be more tolerant.
If my mother has taught me anything, it’s that life is designed for continuous personal development.
Things are far from great right now but we have only this one life to live.
It’s important that we make the most of any and every situation, including the difficult ones. Whenever you can, make sure that you identify and focus on these vital areas of personal growth so that you can be the best version of yourself.