How to Stay Positive in the Face of Disaster

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This article is going to be somewhat different than the previous. As I write this, a catastrophic hurricane is meandering around the Carribean, wreaking havoc on anything that gets in the way. At the present moment, Hurricane Irma is looking to slam right into Florida’s east coast, then head north and to collide with the Georgia/South Carolina coast, where I happen to reside. While I definitely do not want to downplay the terrible destruction that the small Carribean islands already received, everyone in the southeastern US is on high alert due to the historic nature of this storm. There is no doubt that this storm will take the lives of many people and will leave even more people without homes or businesses.

While Florida recently had orders to evacuate, the Georgia and South Carolina coasts (as of today) have no received evacuation orders yet…which means business must go on as usual. It’s important that everyone who is working in those areas should remain focused on their work. As with anything, the potential still exists that the hurricane could miss us. While the possibility remains small, it reminds us that remaining focused and motivated should be taken seriously. Prepping for disasters is important, but so is not panicking at work.

Removing the hurricane from the article, working in business means that potential disasters are always looming. Everything from the business potentially closing to not hitting your sales quota for the month are in the realm of possibilities. If you are ever faced with one of these scenarios, it’s important to not panic and to remain positive. How can we do that in the face of such danger though?

Breathe and Relax Yourself

We all know that when you sense danger, your body tightens up from the fight-or-flight reflex. While this is certainly a life-saving reflex to have in the face of immediate danger, stressing about a future event could do more harm than good, especially if you have to stay focused. Take several deep breaths and try to calm yourself down. Close your eyes, re-center yourself, and accept that something will happen that is potentially 100% out of your control. Stressing to the point of illness won’t make the danger magically go away. I realize this is much easier said than done, especially if you are coming to terms with the fact that you could potentially lose everything, but do your best to relax first and foremost.

Look for the Silver Lining

Have you ever heard the phrase “every cloud has a silver lining?” It means that you should never feel hopeless because difficult times always lead to better days. No matter what the situation is, a silver lining can be found if you refocus your attention to look for it. Facing the hurricane, it can be tough to look for a silver lining. For me, instead of focusing on the destruction of my property, I’ll focus on the possibility of evacuating to my good friend’s house and having a good time with them. Looking at missing your quota, a silver lining might be that you can take the failure and learn from those lessons to have a much better next month. Focusing on the positives will refocus your attention away from the negatives, no matter what it might be.

Have an Action Plan

Most people get freaked out in the face of disaster because they don’t know what to do next. Blowing a sales call or missing your quota can be a jarring event as a salesperson, but if you have a plan of action in place to recover next time, it will be far less stressful. Natural disasters have the same lesson – have an action plan prepped in case something goes wrong. It never hurts to be prepared.

Be Ready, but Remain Focuses

It does no good to solely focus on the imminent danger ahead. In our case, the hurricane is marching up and will more than likely be in our backyard within a few days. Until then, it’s sunny here. People are on the beach and businesses are operating as usual. Being distracted and going through the motions will result in missed sales opportunities for you. It can be hard to focus but having the ability to do so in the face of danger is why top performers are always on top – nothing rattles them.

This storm could spell danger for millions of people. This is not the first natural disaster to happen, nor will it be the last. In your personal and professional lives, disasters can happen often. When something like this strikes, you can either panic and let it control your destiny, or you can take control while staying positive. Doing the above will allow you to not only remain positive but stay focused.

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Author: Jason Karaman

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