How do you focus on the horizon when the world is turned upside down?
How do you focus on the horizon when the world is turned upside down?

The world is turned upside down because of the coronavirus. Changes are happening at a rapid pace. The world was already complex and has now become even more complicated. And what will the future hold for us?

Martijn Aslander and Erwin Witteveen describe in their book “Never finished” that we only manage temporary solutions, while we continuously improve ourselves. Long-term solutions make less sense, because life is constantly evolving.

Change: acceptance is important

How do we keep hold of live? How can we deal with changes?
The first answer that comes to my mind is acceptance. Accept that the world has changed and will continue to change.

How do you achieve acceptance?

The next question that immediately arises is: how do we create acceptance? How do accept our new situation? While looking for an answer to this question, I ended up with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. This Swiss psychiatrist developed the five-phase model. This model shows how people process drastic experiences.

  1. Denial: Initially, people react with disbelief. This defense mechanism works as a buffer and gives you the opportunity to come to yourself. Then gradually room is created for recovery. It is important that your feelings can be expressed. At the end of this phase, you look for facts, the truth and guilty parties.
  2. Anger: When you can no longer deny the situation, feelings of anger, annoyance and resentment arise. You project that anger on others. You seek the blame outside yourself. 
  3. Negotiation: In this phase you first try to get out of reality, then you negotiate and set goals.
  4. Depression: In this stage and you feel powerless and misunderstood. As a result, you withdraw and close yourself off from communication.
  5. Acceptance: If you are aware that there is no chance of the old returning, the new can be accepted. After a while you will feel like doing things and making new plans.

People go through the phases mentioned at different speeds. Some get stuck in a certain phase, while others go through several phases at once or in a different order. Overlapping or skipping of phases is also possible.

Starting with acceptance gives us the space to take a fresh look at our future and to continue to focus on the horizon. That is how we will get through this corona crisis.

Help

Need help accepting change? Make contact. Talk to the people you love and seek professional help if necessary.

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Ard Van Oosten

I am a psychiatrist trained in business management and researcher. My heart goes out to talent development. I connect knowledge of the brain with leadership and offer tools for personal growth and development.

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