Get Back Up and Dare

"True hopefulness and optimism is what leads one to dare. It is also what lifts one back up to dare again after a failed attempt."– Brian May, Musician

As we enter the final stages of 2020, COVID-19 is raging, lockdowns are intensifying and governments are once again shutting things down. I personally know a few business owners that were doing fine...until. Indeed, this is a very hard time for many - I've even transitioned through 3 jobs this year. But with feeling, I told my friends, “Get back up and dare.”

Uncertainty Abounds

I imagine you are hearing more and more stories about friends who have or recently have had COVID. My parents caught it back in March and spent 2 weeks at home with a bad flu. Other people I know lost friends and relatives. Many argue Covid-19 is no worse than the flu. I see stats that it’s 3x worse but that is not comforting if it’s a loved one.

The silver lining is that vaccines are being deployed although there is still a great deal of skepticism surrounding the rushed release of these pharmaceuticals.

The most frequent questionsI hear amongst the locals these days are:

  • When will this pandemic end?

  • What will happen to my job?

  • When will the economy return to normal?

  • When will the lockdowns end for good?

  • When will we be able to return to a normal life?

In this context, it's normal to have feelings of uncertainty. The lockdowns (not the virus) have destroyed the livelihoods of millions of people. Here is one of the most representative images I've seen of late: the line at the Dallas Food Bank.

In Italy, government sources estimate that 33% of businesses risk closing down definitively. In Toronto, where I was born, one of my favorite childhood restaurants also shut it's doors due to lockdowns.

The question becomes: what can you & I do at a personal level to try and maintain our livelihood, keep our families safe and perhaps have a little extra to donate to the less fortunate?

Focus on What You Can Control

If we only focus on the negatives (if we read the newspapers, watch the news on TV, spend time on social media feeds...) we will always feel vulnerable and our minds will revert to "defense mode" where creativity, initiative and faith are all shut down in favour of the short-term survival instincts. Our minds cannot discern between a real threat or a hypothetical situation that we are only hypothesizing. By dwelling on the negative, we're conditioning ourselves for failure.

We can't control the economy.

We can't control the virus.

We can't control the government.

The only thing we can control is how we react to the situation. I've learned that what we experience in life is some kind of feedback loop:

  • all our experiences offer us information and messages;

  • when we don't listen to the messages, they become "lessons";

  • when we don't learn the lesson, we are faced with "problems";

  • when we don't deal with our problems, they can become a crisis.

This is why we must be strong and face reality, no matter how hard it is. Take responsibility for your results. Be accountable. There is always something that can be done to salvage a situation. You might have to move outside of your circle of comfort. You might have to ask for help or guidance initially, if you don't see a way out.