Facing the Challenge: Are You Stepping Out Stronger?
You have all been through a major emotional storm in the last year or two. Some of you have lost loved ones, some have lost your job, changed careers, some have become instant Homeschooled Moms and the list goes on and on. None of you were prepared for what happened. But, how did it change your story? Are you stepping out stronger than before?
With the pandemic that we have been dealing with, you have heard many different messages, many different voices. So, how do you know what to believe? How can you step out stronger?
Many people panicked, especially at the beginning of the outbreak which led to hoarding of toilet paper, water and basic food items.
As I made my way through Costco on one of those unexpected early days of the onset of this virus, I saw the faces filled with panic and fear. These voices were loud. There were no smiles. No one stopped to talk to the person next to them. Everyone was just pushing their cart to keep going. Every person to himself.
Then as I listened to several leaders on-line, I heard a completely different voice. One leader said, “We’ve been through crises before and came out on top and we will get through this one, too. We will show you HOW to pivot in a time of crises.” Everyone listened closely.
Another leader said we have been through several significant crises in the last 40 years, and this too shall pass. They were able to re-organize and quickly pivot into providing a safe and secure environment for their team of leaders so they could serve thousands of others who were not prepared.
A third influential leader generously offered a program for FREE that he normally charges $3,000 for and trained for a solid 30 days.
These leaders influenced millions of lives in thirty days, some of whose lives will be changed forever.
When you react out of fear and panic, you are functioning from a place of weakness. There is seldom any good that comes from this. Oh, you may have come home with the toilet paper and extra food and water but because of your greed, how many people were left without the basic food and water supplies. And did you even consider anyone else?
When you respond from a place of strength, you are stepping out to see what you can give, and how you can help others. You may be familiar with the phrase, “You will reap what you sow.” There can only be good that comes from serving others.
Which voice will you LISTEN to? It is the voice of fear and panic that leads to greed and selfishness? Or is it the voice of generosity that leads to more influence, more impact and more service. It is all part of your story.
Secondly, Choose Wisely
Right after college, I applied to Intern for an organization similar to a Big/Little Sister Program.
Much to my surprise a month later, I discovered my year-long intern program turned into one month as I was asked to be Director of the program. This meant co-ordinating a Big & Little sister program with 75 volunteers, planning activities, small group studies, and directing 8-week summer camps on an Island … and I was only 21 years old.
What do you do when crises hits? You listen closely and choose wisely.
After much consideration, I stepped into my courage and believed that with building an effective team I could do this.
During our 8-day camping trip, I would take a handful of girls and leaders on a 3-day canoe trip teaching them to cook outdoors on reflector ovens and live with the bare necessities. All of the girls were “run-aways” and placed in a girl’s boarding home so working with them was no easy task.
One day as we were making our last mile back to the main camp, the dark grey clouds rolled in. The next thing we knew we were amid a huge storm. It took every bit of energy to keep our canoe right-side up and my canoe partner, one of the young girls, was furious and refused to paddle. As I gripped my paddle one more time, my hands began to blister, and I yelled, “Lula, put the oar in the water and start paddling.” She could clearly see we were not moving forward and we could not make it without her help.
Finally, angry as she was, she submitted. What would normally be a half-hour smooth sailing canoe trip had become a few hours of struggle through heavy waves and wind. When we, along with the other canoers arrived at shore, we were exhausted.
I expected the girls would be furious with me for making them paddle. I was prepared for the negative talk and bickering during dinner but much to my surprise, these girls were ecstatic.
They had had a HUGE breakthrough.
They had been angry but for the first time in their life, they couldn’t run. While they resisted, it didn’t last.
They had a choice. Either they listened to their leader and followed the instructions. Or we would find ourselves washed up on another Island, without any food, and have to wait hours for the storm to pass.
The girls, after much resistance, changed their mindsets, followed the instructions of their leader and experienced victory. What they learned could have taken months for us to teach them and it wouldn’t have had half the impact this experience had.
Don’t waste the storm.
Thirdly, look intently.
Look intently, at what worked and what didn’t work. What changes did you make as you weathered the storm? What did you learn about yourself? And what will you remember?
Clarity comes out of chaos. Your openness to learn and grow through this time is all part of your story.
As you listen closely, choose wisely and look intently, you will step out stronger than ever.
This guest post was authored by Linda Olson
Linda Olson is passionate about helping career girls create and share their stories. She is a TEDx Speaker, multiple Bestselling Author, and Founder of Wealth Through Stories.