Fostering Growth in a Time of Uncertainty 

Organizations rely on their people to drive growth and it begins with small decisions made each day by these individuals. The decision to prepare, to prioritize wiselyand work collaboratively gives these organization the best chance to win. At UDig, we understand fostering the right decisions starts with a healthy mindset. Our leaders have been emphasizing strategies to maintain a mindset to survive and thrive and put our clients in the best situations to succeed.  

The right mindset can lead individuals to make the right choices, engage in thoughtful communication, and work with purposeful intent to drastically improve the results of an organization’s mission. Maintaining the right mindset in the age of Coronavirus is daunting but the strategies in this article traverse industry and profession to offer some actionable ideas.  

What is the right mindset?  

Speak to your friends about striving for wealth at your own risk. Happiness is the ubiquitous symbol of enlightened ambition amongst professionals, but there’s a problem with this idea. If happiness is to be the singularly valid emotion than doesn’t that make anything deemed unhappy invalid? This notion can make so much of the broad human experience feel like failing.   

If solving a problem means first admitting the problem exists, then let’s admit the pandemic is a problem. This is a challenging time and the negative emotions we feel are valid. Furthermore, it will take a greater effort of ourselves in these challenging times to personally and professionally thrive. 

We can’t control the world around us, but we can control our outlookso why not view this challenge as an opportunity for growth. It won’t be easy, the Coronavirus has fostered isolation, economic uncertainty and risks to ourselves and loved ones. If this was a physical feat we’d know it to be difficult. We’ve seen the athlete stress the body routinely for growth, but we don’t seek out emotional stressors the same way. In life, emotional stressors either happen to us or they don’t 

Our country’s not accustomed to seeing fear, frustration, and discomfort at such a pervasive scale. The challenges from this pandemic can make us feel like an emotional couch potato: unfit and easily worn down. The following are some exercises, a mental workout plan of sorts, to develop an overall stronger and healthier emotional state.   

Exercise 1: Complete your Thoughts

Social distancing has given us plenty of time to practice thinking, hasn’t it? We can think a thought like, “I just made a mistake on this budget,” while we see clutter in the living room and our brains will blame the clutter for the budget mistake without even consulting us. This immediate sort of response is helpful when we’re in danger. If a baseball’s thrown at our head we should duck even before connecting all the dots. Unfortunately, this immediate response sometimes causes confusion. For example, we might’ve been overestimating the impact a few dishes have on our ability to forecast a budget. To prevent confusion, taking the time to complete a thought lets us evaluate and separate the valid from the invalid and helps us stay in the best mindset to make wise decisions.  

Exercise 2: Compliment Others 

Compliments are powerful gifts we can give others but despite an affordable price they are often withheld. Maybe we’re afraid to look weak or think complimenting a peer might be presumptuous. Notice this line of thinking manifests more when offering compliments than when receiving them. On the contrary, we rarely hold others to the same scrutiny whenever praise is lavished upon us. We take compliments with open arms and now is the time to show generositycompassion and acknowledge our colleague’s efforts amid the challenges we’re facing.   

Exercise 3: Show your Passion 

We’re drawn to passionate people because of their passion. When one is authentically excited it’s easy to subscribe to that energy and invest ourselves readily. There’s enough cynicism and irony in the world. Pithy one-liners over Slack might be clever but an unabashed attempt to make a weekly meeting or a new application feature the best it can be is extraordinary and inspiring.  

Exercise 4: Max Out on Gratitude 

If this article didn’t feel enough like a self-help book already let’s review a quote from Tony Robbins, “You can’t be angry and grateful simultaneously. You can’t be fearful and grateful simultaneously. So, gratitude is the solution to both anger and fear. One way to get into a gracious mindset is to try and pulse gratitude:  

  1. Think of something for which you’re grateful (e.g., your home, your family, or this blog post).  
  2. Experience how that gratitude feels viscerally, both in the mind and body. 
  3. Work to feel that emotion as real apossible for 5-10 seconds. Repeat for 10 repetitions.  

Health and safety, food and shelter, loved ones to care for and those who care for us are all worthy of gratitude. When we’re feeling gracious we set ourselves up for a healthy mindset.    

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve
-Napoleon Hill 

In sports, there’s talk of being clutch. Michael Jordan was clutch because of all the winning shots he took in the final moments of a gameIs there such a thing as being clutch? It seems unfair to base future expectations so heavily on singular events, but all we have to go on is this moment.  

It’s said people will judge us by our actions rather than our intentions. This too seems unfair, but when it comes time to make progress with customers, colleagues, and vendors, all we have is this moment, and we’re leveraging these practices at UDig to make the most of our moment.