Practical Ideas on How to Thrive During Chaotic Times


When facing chaotic circumstances, it’s important to stay emotionally centered and physically grounded. And this always begins with the emotional tone you choose to set as you step into each environment or situation.

Your emotional tone is the emotional energy you bring into any situation. It is, after all, this emotional energy that has a lasting and transforming impact on those around you.

Setting the right emotional tone means staying calm, strong, centered, and patient. It means channeling positive energy into the situation to help others become their “best selves” in that situation.

When you set a positive emotional tone, that energy affects others in an optimal way – giving them the strength, courage, and hope they need to get through these trying times.

Your emotional tone is closely tied to your attitude. This comes down to your thoughts and the questions you frequently ask yourself about the situation and about your role in this situation. Moreover, it’s about the perspective you bring to this situation. Adopting a solution-focused mindset will give you the clarity you need to effectively work through your circumstances.

Finally, your emotional tone is likewise tied to your physical energy and physiology. You are fully responsible for the physical energy you project and bring to your environment. Given this, it’s paramount that you do not allow your environment, other people or circumstances to influence the nature and tone of your energy.

Keep in mind that people will naturally feed off your energy throughout the day. Therefore, if your energy is optimized and channeled effectively, it will leave people feeling energized, optimistic, and hopeful of a brighter future.

To stay centered and grounded, it’s critical that you refrain from complaining about your circumstances. You can, of course, describe your reality without complaining about it. To do this, make sure to stay objective and disengage emotionally from the chaos. Overreacting will not help the situation. The worst thing you can do is to contribute to the chaos.

The moment you allow other people, events, or circumstances to dictate how you feel, is the moment you’ve lost control. Instead, work your plan and uncouple yourself from the chaos.

During times of crisis, it’s also important to keep an open mind as you explore new information, methods, and ideas. Look out for opportunities you could use to your advantage. Making the most of chaotic circumstances requires “outside the box thinking”. There could very well be an opportunity that is waiting to be found.

Finally, think carefully and critically before making any major life decisions.

Tactical Questions to Ask Yourself…

Here are several tactical questions to ask yourself that will help you put these ideas into daily practice.

To fully integrate these concepts into our lives, we will need to turn these questions into progressive and achievable action steps. And one way to begin doing that is to write out answers to each question in a workbook or journal. Only in this way will we gain the necessary clarity we need to make lasting changes.

If you have a limited amount of time, then I would suggest to just focus on the questions highlighted in blue.

What emotional tone will I set in this situation?

What emotional tone do others need me to set in this situation?

How will I go about setting that emotional tone?

Is there anything I need to say, demonstrate or show to set the right emotional tone?

How do I choose to be in this situation?

How can I be my best self in this situation?

How will I make the best of this situation?

What attitude will I adopt coming into this environment and situation?

How would it be helpful to think about my circumstances?

What questions would it be of value to ask about this situation?

What story could I tell myself that would put me in the right frame of mind to handle this situation effectively?

What story could I tell myself that would inspire proactive action?

What primary role will I play in that story?

How could I bring value to this situation?

What’s something positive I could add to this moment?

How could I raise and positively impact the energy of the people around me?

How will I choose to channel my energy?

What level or nature of energy does this situation require of me?

How can I direct my energy for the benefit of those around me?

What opportunities does this chaos bring to light?

Learn to Effectively Manage Your Fears

In times of chaos and crisis, it’s easy to succumb to our fears, doubts, and insecurities. With an uncertain future sitting on the horizon, it’s understandable that fear would take hold.

It’s especially important, during such times, to keep a level head and to proactively make a conscious effort to work through our fears. That is, after all, the only way to make progress. Succumbing to fear often leads to stagnation. On the other hand, learning how to work through fear can lead us down an opportune and favorable path.

There are three types of fears or “pain-points” that people tend to evade. We first have Loss Pain. This is the fear of losing the things we value. We then have Process Pain, which is the fear of going through change and the possibility of making mistakes. And finally, we have Outcome Pain, which is the fear of failure and uncertainty.

During times of chaos, Loss Pain manifests as a fear that you will end up losing something as a direct result of this crisis. You fear that what you currently have in your life will no longer be part of your life, and that scares you. For instance, you might fear losing your job, your income, or your health.

To effectively work through and overcome Loss Pain, you need to focus on growth and gain. In other words, focus on what you can do to grow as a person. Focus on new things you could learn, new skills you could master, and new experiences you could gain.

During times of chaos, Process Pain manifests as a fear of going through change. You fear the “process” and the work it will take to “course-correct” and get through these difficult times. Moreover, you fear the mistakes you might make along the way.

To effectively work through and overcome Process Pain, you need to focus on opportunity, new challenges, and on transforming your perspective of your circumstances. Focus on potential opportunities that this chaos brings. Then challenge yourself in new ways through experimentation and gamification. In other words, turn what you are doing into an experiment or game.

During times of chaos, Outcome Pain manifests as a fear of an uncertain future. You fear the uncertainty of an unpredictable future and what that may mean for your life.

To effectively work through Outcome Pain, you need to focus on possibilities (what could be), rather than on the uncertainties of life. Moreover, focus on taking bold action moving towards your goals.

Tactical Questions to Ask Yourself…

Here are several tactical questions to ask yourself that will help you put these ideas into daily practice.

To fully integrate these concepts into our lives, we will need to turn these questions into progressive and achievable action steps. And one way to begin doing that is to write out answers to each question in a workbook or journal. Only in this way will we gain the necessary clarity we need to make lasting changes.

If you have a limited amount of time, then I would suggest to just focus on the questions highlighted in blue.

What is there to gain from this crisis?

What am I likely to gain because of this crisis?

What manageable risks could be worth taking?

What new experiences could I pursue that I hadn’t considered before?

Who could I reach out to and connect with online or in-person?

Do I have a mentor I could reach out to during these difficult times?

What new things could I attempt to learn that could serve me now and in the future?

How could I grow and change as a person during these challenging times?

What knowledge would it be helpful to gain that could futureproof my value during and after this crisis?

What skills could I potentially develop?

What skills would it be worth developing to futureproof my value to society?

What new skills could help me to get through this crisis?

What would I need to learn to help others get through these chaotic times successfully?

How could I potentially challenge myself in ways I hadn’t considered before?

What daily and weekly challenges could I set?

How would I do things if I treated this whole experience as an experiment?

What kind of life, business, and personal experiments would I create?

What if I viewed these circumstances as a fun and rewarding experience? What then?

What if I turned this whole experience into a game?

What if I tried to make the best of a horrible and unfortunate situation?

What if things turn out better than expected?

What if all this leads to something wonderful and unexpected?

What if this journey and experience make me a better, more resilient and capable person?

What if no matter what I do, life is always rigged in my favor?

What if I get lucky and make this work in my favor?

What if I focused on what was possible and on what could be done?

Create Your Action Plan

Now that you are mentally prepared and primed, it’s time to lay down an action plan for how you will successfully get through these chaotic times. Let’s explore what that plan might look like.

First of all, it’s helpful to explore your next steps. This involves outlining any goals and desired outcomes you would like to accomplish over the coming weeks and months as you move through this crisis. This might be a mix of new things and tasks that you are already familiar with.

Accomplishing these goals, of course, won’t be easy. These are uncertain times. Chaos is, by its nature, unpredictable and indeterminate. That is why it’s also equally important that you stay flexible and ready to adapt if and when circumstances change.

Simply outlining your goals and desired outcomes is, however, rarely enough under normal conditions. It surely cannot guarantee any definitive results. And certainly not enough during times of crisis. You, therefore, need to delve a little deeper. Specifically, you will want to take a deeper exploratory dive into various scenarios that could take place as you work towards your new goals.

A scenario is a hypothetical event that may or may not take place as expected. It’s, however, important that you build these scenarios into your plan to help you adapt to changing conditions and circumstances.

While building your scenarios, you need to outline what could potentially happen, and what you will do if those circumstances eventuate. For instance, think about the various obstacles, problems, and setbacks that you could potentially face along the way. Then consider how you will handle these matters if they ever cross your path.

Consider also how you will handle stress. There will be moments along your journey when stress might get the better of you. Unexpected things will arise, and life could suddenly throw you a curveball. This is where you need to outline how exactly you will respond to these circumstances.

You, of course, might not be able to predict exactly what will happen, but you can always prepare for uncertain times. And it’s during such uncertain times that doubts will start creeping in. And when they do, you will no longer move with the same swagger and confidence. And it’s precisely for such moments where a plan will be needed.

You don’t, necessarily need to know exactly what will happen. You just need to know that if things start gravitating off the expected path, that you will do something specific in those situations to help steady the ship.

Finally, with all that said, you just need to make one final decision. And that decision is based on how you will choose to show up each day to face these challenges. This is all about bringing your best self to each moment and situation, then doing the best you can with what you have. That is all one can ask for.


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