I’m so disappointed right now. My family and I were planning a trip to Arizona for Spring Training next week and now it has been shut down. AND, baseball season is on hold indefinitely! Wow, I know I speak for many baseball fans when I say, “AAAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!”
Maybe you’re not a baseball fan so this turn of events may not have an effect on you. But perhaps you love basketball so you are truly bummed that the NBA season is over and March Madness is only for a select few to attend. Okay, maybe you’re not even a sports fan so you still aren’t feeling it. How about Disneyland??!! Are you a fan of Mickey and the Gang? Well, Disneyland just got shut down, right in the middle of spring break season.
Our world is changing rapidly, even hour by hour, as new announcements are made. Schools are closing, businesses are shutting down or sending people home to work remotely, concerts are canceling and we are being advised to avoid any gathering of more than 50 people. The Coronavirus is taking over, if not literally, then at least in many people’s minds. It is a serious situation not only for our country but for the world. It is having a massive impact on travel, economics, peace of mind, business, workplaces, restaurants, stores, factories, etc. Not to mention, the direct impact on people’s health.
So how are you doing with all that? Anxiety much? Feeling hopeless or depressed? Disappointed on a whole new level? These are all legitimate responses to what is happening in the world around us. But what can we do about it? Should we just let these negative feelings take control in the same way the virus seems to be taking over? I don’t think so. I believe we have the power to change the way we are feeling by changing the way we think.
Brooke Castillo, of The Life Coach School, shares what she calls the Thought model in her business. The Thought model says that we all find ourselves in various circumstances and we often blame the way we feel on those circumstances. The Thought model teaches us that all circumstances are neutral. The only meaning in them is what we attach to them by our thoughts about them. Then our thoughts determine our feelings. Those feelings produce actions and those actions produce results.
Let’s put the Thought model into our current circumstance of being in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Coronavirus pandemic
THOUGHT: We are all going to die!
ACTION: Hibernating from the outside world & hoarding supplies
RESULT: Anxiety, panic, and fear escalate
Now, let’s try the same example but with a different thought.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Coronavirus pandemic
THOUGHT: There is an 80% recovery rate for anyone affected
ACTION: Calmly prepare for possible infection
RESULT: Ready to respond appropriately & handle the impact of the virus
Here’s another circumstance to consider…
CIRCUMSTANCE: Baseball season is on hold indefinitely
THOUGHT: Pick a thought —
A) I don’t get to watch baseball this year
B) I will have more time for other activities
A) Business stall
B) Business advances
I want to be clear that I am not saying you should never feel negative feelings. It’s okay to feel disappointment, sadness, anger, or frustration but I do not want to live in those feelings. Again, the circumstance did not create the feeling. My thought about the circumstance is what produces the feeling. So, if I don’t want to be stuck in a negative loop, I must choose to change my thought.
Have you found yourself blaming your circumstances for your feelings? Or not knowing why you feel a certain way? I would challenge you to take a look at that in a new way. Begin to recognize how your thoughts create your feelings and be pro-active about changing your thoughts. You have power over your own thoughts and can use them to create a more positive world.