When I was 19 I took my youngest brother boating on a nearby pleasure lake. He was only six years old and as I rowed us both across the shallow water he became quite scared.
I stopped and explained that because this was the first time he’d been in a boat, the rocking was completely different from anything he’d ever experienced before. But actually there was no real danger: the boat wasn’t tipping over in the way he feared it might. And even if we did fall in, the water was so shallow we would easily be able to walk to shore. Who knows — once he got used to it, bobbing around in the boat might even be fun!
These times of churning that we are living through are a bit like this: many of the situations we face are completely different from anything we have experienced before. And though fires, floods, and hurricanes are becoming more common, usually there is no immediate danger. Even with Covid-19 the actual risk is low, if we take precautions.
The later steps in the process will help us see the situation more clearly, work out if there is danger, find more ways to respond, and choose our best way forward.
But for now, our first task is to learn to centre and ground ourselves and stay calm despite the rocking. Then we can live like Doctor Who and see the challenges we face as an opportunity for adventure!
This is the first step to becoming antifragile.
Have you ever worried too much about something that then didn’t happen? What would your experience have been like if you’d approached it like Doctor Who?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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