By Coach Glenn Proctor
“Be safe and healthy.”
“We’re all in this together.”
More than advertising catch phrases or generational slang, those short sentences – nine words – have become anthems of America. As we experience separation during this health and economic crisis, those “feel good” phrases are simple reminders, offering hope and comfort to relatives, friends, co-workers and strangers, mostly at a distance.
Reassurance is a commodity worth spreading. Positivity, not isolation.
If we dig deeper, what are we saying when we mouth or message those words? Be resilient. Keep focus. Communicate. Show vulnerability. Understand and manage fear. Control attitude, emotions and mindset.
Those phrases say all those things. And for me, mindset is the umbrella for positive thinking. During any crisis, we need a clarity mindset to understand worry and fear, focus on safety and hope and support and comfort loved ones, friends and teammates.
The dictionary describes mindset this way: (1) the established set of attitudes held by someone (2) a person’s usual attitude or mental state.
My description, what I use in my coaching program, goes a bit further:
Mindset anchors clarity, situational awareness and builds options to help solve or lessen serious situations. Mindset is having mental focus and self-leadership competency to understand and navigate change and act coherently, often decisively, during serious life changes and difficult societal times. Mindset embraces logical decision-making, self-awareness, truth and strong internal and external communication.
As the world navigates this pandemic – something most of us living now have never experienced – we must ask ourselves: “Where is my mindset?” “Am I providing continuous reassurance to those I support?” Am I showing vulnerability and strength?” Am I mostly worrying or mostly leading?”
Today, the present and future seem like bitter pills. Yet, maybe crisis and uncertainty are good medicine – time to show grace and grit.
A 40-year journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner, professor, Congressional press secretary, writing instructor and author, he is a Marine gunnery sergeant and Vietnam veteran. As a foster kid, single parent, alcoholic and cancer survivor, he teaches from lived experience. A professional life coach and peer support specialist, he teaches Mental Health First Aid and QPR Suicide Prevention as a Mental Health America volunteer. Glenn heard the shot as his grandfather took his life in an adjacent room.