Growth Mindset In The Pandemic

Coping with COVID

2020.   ¯\_(?)_/¯  Am I right?  And we just keep stretching on into 2021.  The pandemic isn’t over, the virus isn’t gone.  And here we still are.

Having a growth mindset in the midst of a pandemic.Thriving?

Stuck?

Research psychologist, Carol Dweck, says that there are two mindsets we can have:  fixed and growth.

In the fixed mindset, we think we are just the way we are.  Our personalities and skills are just a part of who we are.  “A natural athlete/writer/salesman/comedian,” or whatever else.  We just are born with those skills… or personalities.

In a growth mindset, we can learn… grow and change.  We can get better in something we want to improve.  No, that doesn’t mean that anyone can be a world-class athlete.  But if I want to improve my abilities, I can.  If I want to shoot better free-throws, I can practice.  If I want to improve my writing, I can practice.  I can get better through, learning, effort, and practice.

It seems obvious when we look at it that way, but many of us accidentally fall into a fixed mindset, both of ourselves and others.  Experts change their recommendations, and we can either see that as a failure on their part, “wishy-washy” and up to no good.  Or we can see that they, too, are learning and sharing from what they are learning.  Fixed or growth.

And we can also look at how we, ourselves, are learning to shift, pivot, alter, and change our lives in the face of a pandemic.  When we get back to normal, it won’t be the normal of December 2020.  It will be different.  How will we shift?

RELATED RESOURCES
Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset
Podcast on Growth
Podcasts on Coping with COVID

What A Year!

Coping with COVID Series

What a year it has been!  The effects of COVID on all of us.What a year!  It was one year ago this week that I was on my last business trip.  I was at an event with my publisher.  Already, we knew COVID was out, and knew it was gaining steam.  Other countries had already gone into lockdown… and the US was on the precipice.

While I was away, my wife and I were coordinating with our adult children, trying to make sure we could get them to our home before travel was locked down.  That weekend, both came home.

We thought it might be a number of weeks.  They were thinking two to three.  I was thinking a month or a bit more.

That ended up being months on end.  They spent more of 2020 in our home than in their own places.

The economy screeched to a halt, trips were canceled, schools were closed.  And our medical system started to strain, faltering under the weight of one illness closing off some areas, while filling others.

It seemed like every day, there was some new shift, new discovery, new point of vulnerability.  And in its wake, we, as a country and a world, strained to cope.  The grief poured out in anger and despair.  Some continued their grief in the world of denial.

And still, the numbers climbed.  Families lost loved ones.  Spouses lost partners.  The world lost citizens.  To the point that we could no longer truly comprehend the numbers.  Some people recalculated by throwing caution to the wind.  Others recalibrated to a life in isolation, hoping that was safe.

One year later.  What a year!

Oh, and it isn’t over!  Although there are plenty of places and people trying to move on, we are still in the midst of a crisis.  While there is a place, in the not-so-distant future, where we get back to a life much more similar to a bit more than a year ago, we aren’t there yet.

And we are also now seeing that the pandemic will not end equally.  It hasn’t impacted citizens equally, and the end will come just as unequally.  But it will come.  How do we get there?  I hope together, and I hope a bit wiser.

In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I think about the shifts and impacts of this past year.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Coping with COVID Series
Finding or Building Hope
Moving Through Grief

Ease <==> Dis-Ease

Finding your ease when the days are filled with scary stuff.  Don’t let the fear keep you from thriving.“So, I guess it is pretty tough to thrive these days, isn’t it?” a friend remarked.  He was assuming that, in order to thrive, life must be going well.  Everything in place, and everything humming along.

Sure, those are nice days.  And yes, they represent easier moments.  But thriving is not just about having things go well.  It is possible to thrive, in spite of what life is throwing your way.

Or maybe because of what life is throwing at you.

And wow, life is really throwing it at us these days, isn’t it?  Yesterday marked the one year anniversary since the first COVID case made it to the States.  We’ve been living with that virus now for a year.  Then throw in the economic struggles, thanks to the virus.  Then toss in a little political struggle, some social unrest.  These are challenging days!

And if we aren’t careful, we can let media (social and otherwise) keep us hyped up on fear and dread.

Or we can find our place of calm.  Our spot of ease.

In this episode of Thriveology Podcast, I cover the space between Un-Ease, Dis-Ease, and Ease.  How to make the shift.

RELATED RESOURCES
The Coping with COVID series
Dealing with Stress
Finding Calm
Better Breathing

Starting Your Day Strong
Ending Your Day Better
My Books on Thriving

 

Your Path into the New Year

What is your path into the new year?Wow!  What a year it has been!  And many people have asked how I can possibly speak about thriving when it just feels like we are surviving.

But that is the point!  Thriving is not what we learn when everything is going well, when life is just humming along.  We learn to thrive when we take on the challenge of the tough stuff!  When we decide that surviving is not enough.  Growing and changing, challenging and surmounting.  Those are where we learn the skills of thriving.

Then, when things are a bit easier… a lul in the action… we can breathe and enjoy.

Which brings us to the cusp of a new year.  When 2020 started, most of us were unprepared for the last 9 or 10 months… but it was already in motion.  Now, as we look down the path of the New Year, change is once again in motion.  For us to get “back to life.” Even though life never really went away.  We didn’t go into suspended animation.

Many of us made changes; many held on for dear life.  But innovation is all around us.  Evidence of what we humans do in the face of challenge, when we rise to the challenge.

In this episode of the podcast, you catch me mid-run, on one of my favorite trails, just a few days before New Years.  I wanted to reflect a bit, encourage a bit, and point us all down a path that is coming, regardless.

What path will you take into the New Year?  Listen in below.

 

RELATED RESOURCES
COVID Podcast Series
Habits Series
One Word Resolution
MPI Triad
Make It Matter
Thrive Principles Book

Find Hope or Build Hope

Do you find hope or do you build hope?  We discuss it on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.Where does hope come from?  Does it come upon us?  Do we discover it?  Or do we build it?

I believe that hope is an important ingredient in thriving.  If you have no hope, it is tough to thrive. Finding hope often helps us find thriving.

Oh, and thriving is not about having an easy life, always exciting and happy.  A thriving life is built on taking on the challenges of life.  Not avoiding them, but taking them on, learning from them, and thriving because of them.

2020 has been the year of challenges.  So, it has also given us lots of opportunities to work on thriving.  How has it been for you?  Hopeful or hopeless?

What if hope is built?  What if all you have to do in order to find hope is follow a formula?

As is true for many things in life, the formula is pretty simple.  But that is not to be confused with easy.  Do remember that thriving is rarely built, though, on the easy.  Taking on the simple, but important, is often the path to thriving.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we take a look at hope.  Where it comes from, how you can find it, and how you can live it… both for yourself and the world.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
What You Can Control
The MPI Triad and Why it Matters
The Coping with Covid Series
My Books on Thriving

Dealing with Election Anxiety

Dealing With Election AnxietyHasn’t 2020 been a doozy of a year?  Pandemics, weather, policitics… asteroids???  What else can happen?

A national election, of course (in the United States, anyway).  And not just any election.  It would be a doozy, too, any other year.

But this year??

According to a recent poll, over 70% of those polled in the States say that the election is a significant source of stress.  And 77% saya they are worried about the future of the US.

How do we deal with the Election Anxiety?  How can we keep from feeling the negative impact of the election on our emotional well-being?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I cover what causes the anxiety, and six ways to deal with it.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
The Coping with Covid Series
What CAN You Control?
My Books

Finding Calm in the Midst of Chaos

How to be calm and stay calm in the middle of chaotic times in a crazy world.These are some crazy times, aren’t they?  The world seems upside-down.  A pandemic, politics, conspiracy theories… news just seems to be crazier and crazier every day.

And that can catch up with each of us, stressing us out and leaving us afraid.  Which places your body and brain on constant alert.

That is exhausting.

And chaotic.

Why do those news stories and social media feeds keep us so amped up and stressed out?  And how can you stay calm(er) in the midst of chaos?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast,

RELATED RESOURCES
Covid Pandemic Series
Dealing with Anxiety
Depression Series
Breathe Through
My Books

Is the Present Perfect?

Is the present perfect?  Yes.  Find out how in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.My client was telling me about lots of struggles, difficult times, and a few positive moments.  I noted, as I have many times with many clients, “It sounds like your present is perfect.”

She went silent.  I was silent.  But I could see her processing and struggling with my words.  I sat quietly.

She finally erupted: “Perfect?!? How can you say that?  After all the stuff I told you… how can you tell me that things are perfect?”

I told her, “I didn’t say great.  I didn’t say it was how you wanted them to be.  Only that the present is perfect.”

In that moment, I could see her gears turning… but she still couldn’t make sense of what I was saying.

How can things feel upside-down and inside-out, and be perfect?

“Perfect” does not mean preferred.  It means something is complete.  A perfectly cooked steak is complete. It is cooked to a certain level.  But also consider a “perfect storm,” the perfect combination of  circumstances that mean the storm is more powerful than when those circumstances don’t combine.

The idea of the Present Perfect, which sounds like grammar, comes from life coach, Thomas Leonard.  He noted that the Present Perfect is the fact that this moment perfectly reflects everthing that has come before, up until now.

Why does that matter?  We explore it in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below

RELATED RESOURCES
Medium Article on the Present Perfect
Importance of Acceptance
What Can You Control?
Accept or Act
My Books

“I’m Feeling a Little Acedic”

What is acedia?  And why do you feel the way you do during this pandemic?  The antidote to acedia.Six months.  That is how far we are into the pandemic… at least in the US.  Yes, I  know.  There were cases before then.  But March marks the start of the social effects of pandemic.  Lock down.  Restrictions.  Social distance.  Six months.

And many people are feeling the effects!  I would go so far as to saying most, but plenty would contact me to tell me that they are not.

If you are feeling the effects, I am speaking to you.  Do you find yourself just… listless?  Out of sorts?  Lost in things to do, but not getting them done?

That feeling you are having is not a new one, just from the pandemic.  It dates back to the ancient Greeks.  It was an idea that Christian writers discussed as the distraction of monks and others.  In fact, it was a thought process Christian writers warned against, as it can spiral.

And here we sit, 1/2 of a year into feeling the effects of a pandemic.  And many people are feeling just a bit… acedic.  The term for this feeling was Acedia.  That listless, not caring, ought-to-be-doing-something restlessness, where nothing actually gets done.

Is that the feeling you have?

It is perfectly normal… which is different than saying it is helpful.  So while it is no surpirse you are feeling it, let’s talk about the acedia antidote.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Coping with Covid Series
Hope During These Days
LeeBaucom.com
My Book Page

What Stage Are You In? – Pandemic Grief

Stages of grief and the covid pandemic.Have you ever had the experience of a doctor telling you what was wrong with you, and even if you couldn’t really do anything, it helped to know what it was?  Maybe it was just an ache or pain, a small illness.  Just having a name for it — even some fancy latin term (or maybe especially some latin term) — somehow makes it seem better.  Naming something helps us feel some control.

This pandemic has stripped us of many feelings of control.  It more often feels like life is disrupted and dangerous.  Early in the pandemic — but far enough in that it was clear we were headed down a long path — I was wondering why it took me so long to process that we were in for a long-haul… with implications for every segment of life.  Why had I “missed” the signs?

Denial.  That is what I realized.  I had been playing the denial game.

Which reminded me that I was experiencing a grief response.  I was in grief!  From the pandemic.  Well, the pandemic losses and impact.

Over the next few weeks, as I talked with individuals and organizations, I noticed that we were all in collective grief, as well as experiencing the individual grief.  And as the pandemic has continued, I have noticed that people are experiencing the different stages of grief at different times.  That very fact seems to be at the root of much of the struggles I see played out on social media and regular media.  Clashing stages.

Still, stages.  Grief comes in stages. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross noted 5 stages.  Her colleague, David Kessler, has more recently added a potential 6th stage (an aspirational stage for many).  The point of describing the stages is not so much to force people on through the stages.  It is more for being able to name the stage for what it is.  The capacity of looking at where you are and naming the stage gives a sense of control.  And when we have some sense of control, we can choose whether we are where we want to be, or if we would rather shift.  The shift becomes an option.

Or we can just name the stage and know that is what we are experiencing.

What stage of grief are you in?  I discuss the 5+1 stages in this week’s episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Medium Article by Lee Baucom on Grief
Medium Article by Lee Baucom on The Paradox of Pandemic
Book by Lee Baucom, Thrive Principles
Coping with Covid Series of Podcasts