Back in early June as we Melbournians were getting excited about coming out of our first lockdown I connected with Jeremy Djurovich, the managing director of ‘Proactivity. ’
They provide sports and wellbeing programs for schools and kids parties. At the end of March when the full force of the pandemic was dawning on us, the company lost 96% of their business within a week.
I asked Jeremy how he coped. He said at first he was almost paralysed. Helping himself, let alone supporting his team was a struggle. I was really interested in what he said next.
He explained that after a few days he managed to flip his mindset. He went back to something closer to his normal. He shifted from being angry and wallowing in self pity. The focus had to be positive. On what he could do to deal with the massive problems the company was facing.
This was not simply a guy focusing on the positives or looking to see problems as opportunities. He wasn’t just trying to turn his lemons into lemonade.
The more I chatted with Jeremy, the more I realised his story was about paradigms. This was about how he saw the world.
Weaving something in about my beloved team
The AFL team I follow is Hawthorn. I’m a very keen supporter.
How I think, feel and act at a game of footy is directed by my paradigm about the club.
I love the colours – brown and gold. The theme song is music to my ears. They are the ‘Family Club’. How good is that!. The way I see the mighty Hawks isn’t driven by one factor, but a range of interconnected threads. (I acknowledge you may now be feeling nauseous. Stick with me)
I think our paradigms are like a piece of fabric. All of the fibres are interwoven in a particular way making a single unified piece.
The fabric of coping
Few of us have been immune from the impact of the pandemic. I wonder what you’ve noticed about the paradigms adopted by those you work or live with? How would you describe the fabric of their outlook?
My hunch is you’ve seen a couple of contrasting weaves.
Perhaps one with threads from a selection of: a sense of calm; thoughtfulness; a desire to take responsibility; attention directed towards next steps; a strong focus on supporting others; trust in the capacity of others or challenging them respectfully?
On the other hand, you may have recognised some whose fibres included: blame, accusation, finger pointing, anger, victimhood, avoidance, negativity, lack of trust, control, a desire to rescue, high emotion, dwelling on the past or worrying about the distant future?
And what about you? What might others say about your paradigm these past months?
Time to inspect the threads
Whatever the answer, it’s important we do pay close attention to the nature of the yarn. Our ability to cope with the stuff of life is massively impacted by its makeup. An attempt to focus on the positives, for example, will forever be compromised if deep to the core, threads of blame, anger, victimhood etc are gripping us like velcro.
Life is hard. Full stop. I reckon it’s been particularly hard these past six months. A good first step in the coping stakes is to pay close attention to the fabric of our outlook.
In the next few posts I’d like to chat with you about the cloth we are cut from. How we might go about ensuring our swatch of material, has the threads we need to cope well and support others to do likewise.