THE CRISISPOTENTIAL. A RISINGPOTENTIAL?
Now, the punches below the belt are grabbing the headlines: A historic economic slump has hit the United States, where this year's gross domestic product is expected to fall by 33% in total. Globally, 3,500 exhibitions and fares have been cancelled so far. This means cancelled – without any substitute or reimbursement! But we have been hit close to home as well: The number of overnight stays in the Viennese tourist industry has gone back by 88%.
Seeing these numbers causes us to feel concern. And perhaps rightly so. Because these numbers do not only affect "entrepreneurs", but all of us, society as a whole and every single one of us.
The concern we feel when reading these types of news leads to a loss of trust whenever we further nourish it. If trust is lost multiple times, it causes for continuous pressure to build up inside of us – which in turn opens the door for a feeling of threat. Fear inevitably is at the end of this cycle. Existential fear, even.
Concern > Loss of Trust > Pressure > Threat > Fear
This cycle of crisis is an archaic pattern. It automatically unfolds in us humans – without any conscious effort. But matters are even worse for the economic cycle: Because of the resonance between us, the first "Concern-to-Fear" cycle immediately triggers the second "Concern-to-Fear" cycle and so on. If we then mainly hear about the CRISIS in the media, it is not only a self-fulfilling prophecy, but a deeply rooted, archaic relic of being human. As humans, we strengthen each other – for better and for worse.
A New Type of Stress
Stress arises. But this type of stress is different from the one we felt during the last global crisis, the financial crisis of 2008/09. This time, its foundations are stronger, and it rests on two motives: The direct threat to our own health posed by the coronavirus and the indirect threat to our personal quality of life caused by the economic consequences of the pandemic. On top of that, this time, none of us know how long this corona crisis will last or – even more importantly – if it even is a crisis, i.e. if we can think of it as a temporary phase.
This complex, unpredictable situation is a cause of great concern for large populations – thus, it is a cause of great fear all around the globe.
How Do We Halt the Spiral of Fear?
How can we overcome this deeply human stress resonance? How can we halt the spiral of fear?
Many react to this unclear situation with an archaic reflex: FEIGNING DEATH. Large parts of our society currently appear paralyzed, an odd type of societal lethargy has spread. Productivity levels have reached their absolute low point. Nobody cares about innovation. Deadlock.
Others seize the opportunity and react with a second archaic reflex: FLIGHT. Escape the daily grind. Delve into an alternate world. Avoid the obvious causes for stress. Finally do what you have always wanted to do and how you have wanted to do it.
And yet others fight the crisis, oppose it and thus react with a third archaic reflex: FIGHT. Doubts and criticism pave this way. Criticism against politics, criticism against the elites, criticism against the measures taken, criticism against the system. Criticism against criticism...
Is There Another Way?
In my eyes, an alternate reactive pattern comes along with these three archaic reflexes. For this, let us once more recall the key question: How do we halt the spiral of fear?
Halt it? Perhaps we do not have to do that.
Can we not use the power of the dynamics of this spiral in a different way? Can we not reverse the direction of the spiral and then utilize its high energy? Can we not tap into the great potential, which has manifested globally as fear, to build something new, to create something new?
Creativity Is the Alternative Solution
This fourth way would mean overcoming the three archaic reflexes of FEIGNING DEATH, FLIGHT, FIGHT. I would call this way CREATION:
"Tap into your creativity – regardless of the world around you."
Every single one of us can successfully do so. For this, however, we must ready ourselves. For this, we have to remember our own drive, our own original motivation, our own individual resources, the mistakes and talents every single one of us has made and harbours, and our own successes and failures. Both make us stronger.
Last but not least, we should remind ourselves of appropriately honouring the many treasures life has already given us. After all, the key to all is: Gratitude. With this gratitude, we can successfully reactivate the energy currently trapped in the spiral of fear and put it back to good use for us humans.
A Creative Revolution
Successfully unleashing once more the high energy that is currently stuck in the cycle of fear will lead to a creative revolution. A creative evolution.
And so, the CrisisPotential will become a RisingPotential.