Are you now happy, sad, excited, angry or frustrated?
What will the BREXIT bring?
One thing is for sure ….. it will bring uncertainty and change. Do you want to be more in control?
It was interesting at both a visceral and intellectual level to observe people’s reactions on Friday and over the weekend to the news about BREXIT. And then on top of that came the subsequent political hoo-hah and the England team results, although these may have been less of a surprise!
The grief curve identified by Elizabeth Kubler Ross, has been in full flow as people come to terms with the news. People described the shock, denial, anger, depression and testing as they attempt to make sense of what is going on or to come out of the ‘other side’.
Some people whizz through the changes and some do not. It is important to understand how resilience plays a huge part in helping everyone deal more effectively with the changes going on around them.
In common with many big changes such as divorce, dismissal, redundancy or even bereavement – it will take people time to get through the curve and there are other complications…
In one sense, this is the beginning of the ‘phoney war’. In reality nothing much is changing as this is only really the announcement stage. As each phase of the political process develops and unfolds, people are going to go through a continued series of ‘aftershocks’, like the after effects of an earthquake.
Some people exhibit signs of being ‘stuck’ in a phase of the curve. Some are in denial with people ringing polling stations asking if they can change their vote! Whilst this has been portrayed by the ever-unhelpful media, as crass stupidity, it is also the sign of people experiencing an emotional hijacking – when a person’s emotions become overwhelming, causing them to flip out.
I met someone yesterday who could not concentrate at all on her work. As she put it…. ‘the government has mortgaged the future of my children’. She simply could not concentrate on anything else and was extremely upset and angry. Her behaviours and attitudes spread like a toxic cloud across the group and she was in danger of distracting people from their work as well.
That perceived lack of control also drives our stress responses and multiplies the negative effects on the individual.
In these times, people run the risk of making emotional decisions to protect themselves. In business this can be to suspend investment ‘as we don’t know what’s happening’ and in our personal lives we can dispose of assets too cheaply or ‘batten down the hatches’ and stop spending.
You can see how things can get worse as going ‘down the rabbit hole’ is too easy to achieve.
Of course, not everyone is like this.
In fact, I was aware that I also went through the same stages. However, this time for me, I went faster and came out fighting more quickly. I also noticed that other people were also coping better and this is because of the various levels of resilience development.
Resilience is about bouncing back from change – but also about performing during times of stress and pressure and our resilience toolkit can help you learn tools and techniques to continue to build your capacity to deal with the next set of shocks and changes as well as to continue performing and finding opportunities within the chaos.
These quick and easy steps can help you through the process of surviving
Step 1 – Manage yourself
Know you are going through a process of change and that where you find yourself in the change curve is ok. You cannot beat the curve, you must go through each stage in turn. So becoming more self aware of how you feel and what you are thinking will help you gain some control.
Accept they have a choice to be who they are and where they are.
There is no point attempting to ‘argue them out’ of their approach as they are looking for other people who support their views, not challenge. You can waste too many resources arguing rationally with someone who is emotionally invested in themselves.
Step 3 – Avoid the media
Find one or two trusted sources and get ‘facts’ from them. Remember the media has its own ‘positions’ and ‘vested interests’, they need to fill airtime or column inches so phone-ins and doom-laden opinion based commentary dressed up as fact, will not help. In fact it will make you anxious.
Step 4 – Review your finances
Draw up a budget and think about your cash position. A downturn can be a great time to buy the things you have wanted for a while! Start looking for bargains and deals or if you have things of value, avoid selling them just for the moment. If you are investing, get proper financial advice. The money pages in the newspapers are not impartial so talk to your financial advisor. Good ones will listen to your fears and concerns and build sensible strategies. Here is an IFA we use and who is on the same wavelength as us… http://us8.campaign-archive2.com/?u=4c51230e937649f85fa7beac2&id=2361bce1c1&e=7aed3e56cf
Step 5 – Review your future
What do you really want in life? This could be a good moment to seize opportunities when other people are milling around in a ‘sheeplike’ fashion. Seeing this period as an episode in the journey for you achieving your goals, will help you put things in perspective. This is simpler for those of us who have been through the roller-coaster of life a little longer than others if we can learn from our experiences.
Step 6 – Be pragmatically optimistic
Being pessimistic will not help you! An approach of ‘it is what it is’, is more helpful and sets up your brain to find solutions rather than sitting back and discussing how ‘everything is awful’. Accept that whatever has happened is done and it’s time to move on. Those who can move on will protect themselves, their jobs and their families better by proactive action than by having a moan-fest!
Step 7- Beware of anxiety
Be aware that anxiety (fear of the unknown) can strike if your emotional or energy resources are depleted. Get plenty of sleep, learn some breathing techniques to help your self control and start a healthy diet. This is a case where chocolate is not the answer! Feeling good about yourself is a key part of beginning the fight back.
Do things and occupy your time. Sitting around and wondering about the many things you cannot control is much less useful than doing the many things you can control!
Step 9 – Build resilience knowledge
Understand your emotions, cognition, physiology and personality, through developing greater self-regulation, optimism, sense of purpose, energy levels and stamina to help you survive BREXIT and flourish through adversity and change.