Avoiding "SpeedFit" Syndrome
Change Doesn't Come with a Permission Slip

Start Something

In times of great upheaval and negativity, there's a tendency to conserve. It's a natural human tendency to withdraw and "hunker down" when the outside world feels like it's on the attack. We're pulled into thinking small, focused on saving what we have rather than on thinking big and using downturns as an opportunity to make things happen

But this is a mistake. When we move into scarcity mode, we become competitive, not collaborative. We hoard information and ideas rather than sharing them freely. We stop learning because learning requires risks and the possibility of making mistakes and it feels like we can't afford mistakes when everything around us is falling down.

In bad times, we get stuck in doing things that "worked"  even when it's clear that they no longer do.   We're looking for any port in the storm, rather than finding a way to use the storm to take us some place better. We are reacting, using instincts and intuition that come from our animal brains and our need to just survive. We are not initiating, which requires us calm our fears and to be thoughtful and imaginative. We become victims of circumstances rather than actors in our own lives.

We have another choice, though. We can use bad times to do things differently, to start new habits and find new ideas, to get creative about where and how we want to move forward. In adversity, we can find new strengths within and new opportunities in the world around us.

We can see upheaval as a time to stop . . . or as a time to start. It can be a time to hoard or a time to share. It's up to us.

What can you start today? How can you share?


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Nonprofits are known for great resilience -- particularly arts nonprofits. Rarely do they have the resources they could use but they must still deliver an artistic product that moves audiences and compells them to keep coming and supporting the work, and telling their friends. When a theatre I worked at (Olney Theatre Center) had major roof issues before a season started, they turned that advertisity into a opportunity to mobilize donors, galvanize press interest, and show strong, creative leadership. Adversity can offer unusual windows for creativity.

Nice, inspiring and thought-provoking post. I realize that I do 'hunker down' when things are tough and should look for opportunities to try something new. Thanks!

Couldn't agree more. Now is the time to venture out and look for new ways to do the old. Get creative! When the stars align again some day, all the hard work now will pay of then.

Thanks for the reminder!

I should confess that this was partially advice I'm reminding myself to take. :-)

What a wonderful piece to read and contemplate amidst the doom and gloom many others are all too willing to share! Thanks, Michele!

Michelle, posted about this myself just the other day, after joining Jay Cross in addressing the issue. Absolutely, invest internally during a downturn to be better prepared to capitalize when the pendulum swings back.


we're in sync again. I began 'Give a Damn Day' last month. On the first of each month I'll commit to doing something to make a difference, and move myself out of my innate conservatism/stasis/status quo. I'm on the green trail at the moment.

Give a Damn Day on the first of each month. Yesterday's post http://katefoy.com/?p=500


The comments to this entry are closed.