Image for post
Image for post
“Kitten Unicorn” by wowpolice

Growth During A Crisis

Gaining clarity on our values and beliefs in tough times

We are in the middle of a truly global crisis —affecting our health as well as economics.

A lot has been written about how we react to it, what impact it might have, and the effect on leaders. Things are tough — and different — for most folks and everybody is affected one way or another. And the situation is changing weekly if not daily.

For me, it is the first crisis that directly affects me. I was lucky enough to have had a pretty straightforward life so far and the GFC did not worry me. But this is different.

And one thing I start to realise: A crisis brings clarity.

As individuals and companies, we often state our values. But our true culture and beliefs are showcased through our actions. In other words, what we do is more important than what we say.

When things are going well, we have the energy and awareness to stick to our stated beliefs. Not so when times are tough. We fall back to a more focused way of working and living, and our behaviours will be a lot closer to our true values and beliefs.

This is where a crisis can provide clarity and accelerate our growth and learning. We need to take a step back, observe our behaviours and then reflect on our desired values.

Some values might get confirmed. Others turn out to be of less importance. And maybe there is even something completely new that did not make the list before.

Personal growth is often about gaining skills. To get better in an area or gain expertise (e.g. communication or writing code). In normal times, this is pretty straightforward: We set some goals, establish habits, check-in often, and review at the end. Simple.

In a crisis though, when things are tough, non-essential things get dropped off the list. And personal growth is one that gets cut first. Folks do not have the time and mental capacity to work through it — and that is OK.

But we can grow in other areas, those that are even more crucial as adults:

[…], becoming an adult isn’t about learning new things (adding things to the ‘container’ of the mind), it’s about transformation — changing the way we know and understand the world (changing the actual form of our ‘container’).

Yes, these are unprecedented times. But every crisis brings opportunities. Use the occasion to level up as an individual, team, or company and gain more clarity on your values and beliefs.

Written by

Writing about Leadership and Personal Development. Director of Engineering @ Redbubble.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store