How Making and Breaking Our Habits Helps Us (especially in crisis mode)
Our Routines and the Feeling of Being Safe
Confidence comes from action. Not the other way around.
What I mean by that is that we often wait until we 'become more [fill-in the blanks]' before we take one action or another:
'I'll present my idea when I feel more confident'.
'I'll start writing my book when I have more time'.
'I'll talk to them when I wake up one day and feel great and ready to talk'.
What happens is, the more we don't do anything to 'get us' there, the less chances we have to actually get there!
It's like wanting to go on a trip and not even leaving the house.
I think you got the picture, especially now, when we all #stayhome.
The reason action is important is because it creates habits that, in turn, give us results.
If I never even start presenting, I have no habit of speaking in public and haven't experienced any results.
Because I get no results, there is no feedback for me that would make me feel any more confident tomorrow compared to today.
And so I wait another day to 'become more confident'.
When I start doing something, I get feedback and can adjust on the way.
I keep doing it until I get better, or I change something so I get better.
Either way, I'll start creating a habit.
Now, habits are important on their own, and also because they bring rewards with them. On this note, I recommend Charles Duhigg's book "The Power of Habit - why we do what we do in life and work'.
Rewards make us FEEL good.
When I start doing something and see that I'm getting better at it, I will feel more confident, more engaged, more motivated to keep doing that and improving myself.
In this current crisis, we found some of our old habits broken by external forces - for instance, having coffee with our colleagues in the office. Of course, the 'feel good' there is not the coffee itself (well, that too:)), but the socializing part of it.
What we miss most in this crisis are mostly simple things that we used to do and now can't do anymore.
Simple daily habits. Our routines.
Our feeling of safety and connection when we did the things that gave us our daily rewards.
But hey, the good news is: it's up to us to make or break our own habits. It's up to us to replace the old habits with new ones that would give us similar rewards.
We can still choose to have our morning coffee with our colleagues, online. Or lunch once a week. Or ask about a fancy recipe, the same way I would have if I met you on the hallway in the office.
So, here are a few questions to help you make or break your habits.
It's always going to be up to us to decide what we START, CONTINUE or STOP doing so we keep feeling safe and connected.
Crisis Management - Voice of Experience Interviews
Some of Our New Habits Are Here to Stay
As you well know by now, I'm speaking to professionals across industries to ask for their approach to work during this time.
I've had the pleasure to speak to Darrell Pinto, VP Research and Industry Advancement at the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, and also Co-chair Refugee Jobs Roundtable. And as we're talking about making or breaking our habits, here are some brilliant ideas he shared.
1. What new habits have you put in place that help you work from home in this crisis better?
'I have always been an active networker with a strong preference for in-person coffees / lunches / meetings, so feeling isolated after only one week of working from home during the COVID-19 lock down, I was forced to overcome my reluctance to use digital video platforms and started hosting virtual dinners with small groups of people within my network.
Roxana’s webinar on “Are you Zoom-ing right? all you need to know about virtual meetings / interviews” was timely, as I was learning on-the-fly how to feel and curate comfortable virtual experiences.
What started slowly as I learned to overcome my own self-consciousness being in front of a camera has evolved into a fun way to keep feeling connected.
It’s also been a way to transform the way I volunteer as I intentionally invite at least one newcomer / refugee to each virtual dinner as it gives them the opportunity to meet new people and extend their network during a surreal time.'
2. Which of the new habits you have now set in place you would like to keep in the ‘new normal’ after the crisis?
'These virtual dinners have become the highlights of my week and I will definitely keep them going on a less frequent basis once this crisis is over.
Nothing can ever replace face-to-face interactions for me, but meeting people virtually has some undeniable benefits:
there is no commute required so it is so much more efficient, and
it easily extends my potential guest list to folks living outside my immediate downtown Toronto geography (I’ve had guests from Winnipeg and New York join).'