You Will Get Through This
- Steve Williamson, Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
- Monday, March 21, 2022
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Tags: #positivity #tenacity #perseverance #opinion
It is said that positivity is a choice. The things that happen to us in our daily lives are mostly out of our control. Some are the result of decisions we've made recently or further back in the past. That heartburn we feel after eating something a bit too spicy for lunch is an example.
But many events, such as the weather or traffic on the way into work or the stock market dropping a day too early or rising a day too late are beyond our influence. Even the existence of a deadly virus is outside our sphere of influence — it's not our fault.
Beyond our initial gut reaction — which is largely determined by our psychometric and emotional hardwiring — how we choose to respond to these events is a choice.
Positivity is a choice.
If your tea cup is half full or half empty, you can always get another cup of tea. The tea and the cup are what they are, but your perspective on the matter is what you can control.
Sometimes positivity is about tenacity. If you fall down seven times but are determined to stand up eight, you will eventually reach your goals. It is this determination that helps you persevere and come out the other side victorious in spite of the bad stuff that happens during your day.
Never underestimate someone who refuses to give up.
In March of 2020, the world got turned upside down. This historical turning point began a series of radical changes and disruptions and "new normals" (ugh) that were inconvenient at best and downright deadly to the other extreme. Many things we took for granted either went away or changed in substantive — and likely permanent — ways.
Prior to spring of 2020, we thought we knew all the answers, and then suddenly all the questions changed.
Take hiring, for instance. In the Great Recession that began in 2008, the negotiating position in the job market was very much in the employer's favor. Companies that were hiring had their choice of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of top candidates. Managing the flood of applicants became an issue, and tools like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) became popular.
Companies wanted the best candidate but applicants wanted any job they could find.
Things eventually turned around and the balance between employer and candidate shifted back toward a more even state.
In Q1 of 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the hiring imbalance got real bad, real quick. Employees were suddenly let go and entire organizations shut their doors, some permanently. Many folks could not work for the sake of public safety (the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few).
This was a situation that was beyond our control. All we had left was figuring out how to emotionally and mentally deal with it. All we had left was choosing our perspective of the events. This was a huge struggle for many, and it still is.
Health officials and medical researchers got knocked down but they didn't give up. They tenaciously and relentlessly tackled the problem knowing they would not stop until they were first able to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 virus on the world population, and hopefully find a way to stop it altogether.
Virologists and drug companies and government researchers took existing vaccine methodologies that were well established and safe and found ways to tweak them just enough to find vaccines that would tackle the new strain of Covid-19 (which is a variation of a type of virus that we've known about and been able to treat for a long time). They did so with a speed and unprecedented level of safety that is astounding.
These amazing medical professionals took a serious challenge and tenaciously moved forward, refusing to give up. Today, the vaccines they developed have proven to be incredibly safe while also saving millions of lives. To put it another way, at the time of this writing, the data has shown that those who don't have the vaccine are 97x more likely to die from Covid-19 than those who get the vaccine. That's a huge difference, and it represents the positivity and perseverance of the people in the medical science community at large, and anti-virus researchers in particular.
The pandemic's huge disruption has caused tremendous changes in everyone's individual lives. Educating our children while keeping them safe from infection has been a huge challenge. Those fortunate to be able to work from home have still faced big disruptions from the crazy schedule changes, lack of childcare, and impacts on their living arrangements. Many people don't have the emotional hardwiring to do well when working in isolation and they have struggled a great deal because of it (others have thrived; it all depends on how you are hardwired).
Many more have jobs that required them to work on-site; working from home is not an option. They have been exposed to a public that can silently carry a virus that may sicken or even kill them. Yet still they keep showing up to do their job.
Hardship is a complex and fickle beast. It is not evenly distributed, nor is it consistent in the damage it can inflict. For some, hardship is just a vague concept, one they never experience directly except in the abstract. Their shelter from hardship is by virtue of where they are born or even the color of their skin.
Sadly, the converse can be quite cruel — undue and undeserved hardship heaped upon those unlucky enough to be born on the wrong side of an imaginary line on the map or with the wrong ethnicity or even the wrong gender. None of these things are within their control. It's not their fault yet they pay a hefty price.
Still, there are many who take the situations in which they find themselves, circumstances entirely beyond their control (how do you choose your place of birth or the color of your skin?) and choose a perspective that is positive and hopeful.
Positivity is not a Pollyanna denial of reality, nor is it a willful naïveté. A person can be very open-eyed and realistic about a difficult situation, fully aware of the challenges facing them, yet choose to hold a positive attitude about it. It is a form of bravery, and bravery is not the absence of fear, it is pressing ahead in spite of it.
Positivity is saying, "I know it will be hard, but I'm going to get through it no matter what.”
Everyone has struggles. I do, and so do you. It is easy to feel helpless at times because many of these struggles are beyond your control. You didn't bring them about and you have no course of action to make them go away.
What you can do, however, is remind yourself of one simple fact. No matter how hard things may seem, or how many times life seems to knock you down or get in the way of your dreams, you will get through this.
Go to eRep.com/core-values-index/ to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.
Innovator/Banker - Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
Steve has a career in information technology, software development, and project management spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (ruckerworks.com), and when he isn't writing he is an aspiring multi-instrumentalist and composer, a virtual pilot in a home-built flight simulator, and a cyclist.
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