7 Keys To Survive In Testing Times

By March 20, 2020Leadership
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How to survive in testing times is more than a big issue at the moment. It’s a massive issue for many causing great fear and anxiety. Here are 7 Keys To Survive In Testing Times that we hope will be of enormous help to you.

I’ve lived through the stock market crash of 1987 (commencing work as an investment adviser just 3 weeks before), the property crash of the 90’s and the “recession we had to have”, the GFC and other national and international crises. But I can honestly say that I’ve never lived through anything like the current crises.

The potential health ramifications are obviously a huge concern. But so are the economic ramifications. How long will it continue? No one knows. How bad will it get? No one knows. Will Tasmania be largely protected? No one knows. Will your business survive…

Uncertainty breeds anxiety and bad news breads fear.

Here are the 7 keys To Survive In Testing Times:

  1. If it’s out of your control, there’s no point worrying about it.
    It’s a waste of emotional energy. You need to keep your emotions healthy and your energy focused on what you can do. 
  1. Facts are your friends
    Ignore rumours which are time and energy wasters and can divert your focus from what is critical and be relentless in seeking out facts. Then make judgement calls based on facts. You will probably never have all the facts you need, but use them rather than rumours as the launching point for your decisions.
  2. Leadership comes from conviction
    The fact is that leaders make decision in times of uncertainty. What I mean by this is that even after you have gathered all the facts you can, there often isn’t a clear cut right v wrong path to choose. That’s what makes leaders what they are. They form convictions and make decisions accordingly, even through uncertainty. They chart courses through confusion.
  3. The last person standing wins
    Leaders must be resilient. If you can get through this season, you will enter into a whole new world. I call times like these kairos times. They are times of change and re-definition. The world on the other side of the pandemic will be very different to the world before. And if you are still standing post pandemic, you are well placed to survive in testing times and the times beyond. In fact many others won’t be standing still, so there is great opportunity for those who are.
  1. Collaborate rather than isolate.
    We need each other to encourage us, to listen to us, to provide perspective, to provide wisdom and even to disagree with us. Even to love us. Isolation is a terrible thing. It heightens mental health issues, it harms social and relational health. It is proven even to harm our physical health. To put it simply, we need each other. We are healthiest when we are in community and connected with each other. We need to find ways to have appropriate physical distances without isolating and suffering the consequences this will bring. Recognise that there is a high risk that decisions in isolation will be bad decisions and that we need to collaborate rather than isolate.
  1. Don’t let fear rule your decisions
    Anxiety tends to make us defer decisions but fear tends to make us jump into decisions. And often these decisions are wrong. Thats why so many people lose money when they see the stock market falling. But others not driven by fear look at the opportunity that such circumstances face. It’s true that fortune does favour the brave, when tempered by wisdom.
  1. Find your peace
    If you are an emotional wreck, guess what the quality of the decisions you make will be? Not good I bet! So make sure you have the quiet time out of the storm away form being forced to being responsive. Meditate somewhere quiet. Or go fishing for a few hours. Or spend time in prayer or worship. But create the space to find peace so that you aren’t driven by inner confliction. Then you can develop conviction and make the decisions you need with peace and calm even when the storm is raging around you.

These are some of the things that have worked for me and others I have mentored or pastored over the years. I hope they work for you also and that they will be 7 keys to help you survive in testing times.

Please feel free to contact me if you want to chat about these or the storms you are facing.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Tim O’Neill
[email protected]

20 March 2020