Winning the War in a Crisis

The Power of Positive Thinking for Your Career

My brain is on overload, and I must be careful with how I am negatively internalizing the Covid-19 crisis.

I just read a quote from Lou Holtz that has put things in perspective for me.  He said: “I’ve never lived through a negative situation without getting something very positive out of it.”

Bam – right upside my head is how these words hit me.

In this time of crisis, it has been easy to focus on the negatives. As a business owner, I am concerned about the future; I’m concerned about the health and financial well-being of my employees; I am concerned about the security of our customers and the tens of thousands of families they support; I am concerned about our country.

I’ve been working on cash management, working feverishly on financial projections, working to provide support to my people, working to use the right words to inspire and comfort, working to show cautious optimism, but yet, I feel like I’m failing miserably. I am completely exhausted.

The quote above worked wonders on my psyche. I’ve lived through many tough times in my life, and Coach Holtz is right! In every bad situation that I’ve experienced, I have always been better off on the other side of it. This will be no exception!

I have been too focused on negative things outside of my control, which is wreaking havoc on the cortisol levels in my brain – I’m in fight or flight mode all the time because I feel like I am in danger. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have such an efficient defensive mechanism as it is how the human species has survived.  However, this stress hormone running at elevated levels is known by scientists to be public health enemy number one; it’s simply not good and interferes with learning and memory, lower immune function, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease—do I have to go any further?

More importantly, I’ve learned that situations like this can continually trigger cortisol in the brain with a snap, which means negative thoughts come more easily than positive thoughts. Based on this, I am focused on two activities that will positively impact me.

1) Since I now realize where I have been for several days, I am making a conscious decision to think a positive thought every time a negative one enters my brain. This activity will help me to produce dopamine, which is a feel-good chemical and will help to counteract the fight or flight mode.

2) To further increase my levels of dopamine output, I am increasing the level of my efforts of giving gratitude as I know this is will significantly combat my negative thoughts. To focus on the things in my life that make life worth living will lead to me getting more of these things – I know this to be true as this activity alone brought me through some very tough times.

Remember, your mind is powerful and controls every aspect of your life.

But who ultimately controls your mind? 

You do!