How to Turn a Crisis Into an Opportunity
I listened last week to a podcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on how to turn a crisis into an opportunity. This made me think of all the unwanted events in my life and how I dealt with them.
What Is a Crisis?
A crisis takes us out of our comfort zone and causes us discomfort or suffering. This suffering could be temporary or permanent depending on how we face it and the action(s) we take to change it. Some of us cope with the new situation, others cope until they can change it, and others refuse to accept the new situation.
A crisis could result from the loss of a job and income, loss of a loved one, an experience that shakes our core values, health issues, or a disaster due to a weather-related event, to name just a few.
A smart approach would be to accept that chaos has resulted in a new state, reframe it, and resist the urge to reject the unwanted change with destructive behavior.
The way we articulate our vision of the future is important. Also important is how we reframe our perception of the crisis, as this could influence the outcome of our efforts to restore balance in our life.
Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.— Francis of Assisi
Can We Turn a Crisis Into an Opportunity?
To turn a crisis into an opportunity to bring a welcome change means that we view problems as challenges. For most of us, this stimulates our energy and inner power.
Growth occurs when we are pushed out of our comfort zone. We could view most of the problems as a blessing in disguise.
Unwanted changes seem to be the norm these days. It is normal to be afraid and upset when we cannot control our lives. To win over life’s events, it is smarter to accept the change and act to restore order and comfort.
Living in the present is a powerful way of dealing with change. It does not mean forgetting the past or failing to plan for the future. It simply means using our energy to deal with what is happening now.
A Past Crisis of Mine
Many years ago, I lost a well-paying job. I found employment soon after but the job turned out to be boring and paid less. I went through the stages of surprise and anger until I realized that I had more time to look after myself. I had time to read books I enjoy and write, and allowed myself to let go of old views of myself and others. It took time but I was able to turn an unwanted change into an opportunity and indulge in a new hobby. I got out of my comfort zone and pushed further the boundaries of my discomfort zone. My brain now has a new pathway on how to deal with a similar crisis should it occur in the future. This gives me confidence that I can deal better with life’s events.
How You Can Turn a Crisis Into an Opportunity
- Keep your cool.
- Be creative in your thinking, find new ways to look at yourself, at the situation you find yourself in, and at the world around you.
- Take care of your health as you need your vital energy – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – to bring about the desired change.
- Find out what rules you can break without hurting yourself or others. We all have personal rules that we abide by to reach a certain level of comfort. Look at the rules that govern your life but are no longer useful. Are you holding on to something that was useful before the crisis but no longer is? Ditch it.
- Plan for unwanted events to avoid being caught by surprise.
- Accept your new life. This is crucial as it will be your new starting point to bring about desirable change.
- Be clear about what new change you want because the efforts you make after the crisis will affect how your future will be.
- Have recourse to your network – trusted and supportive friends, colleagues, clients, partners, and others who are happy to speak for you and your know-hows.
- Do not take it personally even though it happened to you. You must be able to step back and re-examine where you are at the moment, where you want to be, and the means to help you get there or as close as possible.
- The will and desire to change. I know a person who prefers to wallow in her misery so much that her network of friends shrank with time as many do not have the energy to keep in contact. They fear being tainted by the numbing rehashing of the same resentments.
- Assess your means – physical, emotional, financial, network – to reach the desired state.
- Be creative – Think differently.
- Develop the ability to live and prosper in times of uncertainty, and finally
- Accept change as it is now and plan for a better future.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.