Armijo: Fear does not encourage progress |

Armijo: Fear does not encourage progress

We are all processing this global pandemic in our own unique ways. Some of us are dressing up in costume to bring cheer to the faces of friends and neighbors. Others are re-evaluating the importance of the life they lived B.C. (before COVID-19). Some have found the perfect opportunity to rekindle their passions that may have been set aside for work. Parents have been able to reconnect with their children in ways that would not have been possible previously.

My wife was able to just move on with life as if nothing happened. She said seeing the empty shelves in grocery stores reminds her of when she was growing up in Poland and under the communistic rule of the former U.S.S.R. Myself, I have been more introspective and see this as a great opportunity for a fresh start with myself and for the world around us … but it still took time for me to process. I have friends who are just coming to terms that things are not going to return to “normal” any time soon. Others are glued to the news and living in a state of fear.

It is important to allow people to deal with this in their own way. However, if you are currently living in a state of fear it would be wise to change that immediately. F.E.A.R. — False Evidence Appearing Real — hinders us from doing anything productive. Fear is the most widely used tool to control the masses and governments and media are the biggest distributors of it. Psychology and sociology have proven time and time again that humans in a state of fear are as malleable as clay.

Fear causes us to do irrational things because we are living in a state of panic and anxiety which clouds our judgment. Fear is what causes average everyday people to hoard toilet paper, paper towels, and food items. Fear is responsible for neighbors turning on each other during times of duress. Fear is the reason people are buying guns in record numbers. Quite frankly, fear is the lowest human emotion we can live from.

To experience fear during times of uncertainty is normal and expected. It is how we, as individuals, choose to confront those fears which are important. Are we going to lose all sense of civility or will we come together and work as one toward a common goal. I am grateful our community has chosen to take a positive path and help those in need. Our community has decided we will not live in fear. Our community has decided to live through love.

Unfortunately, there are a few individuals and business owners within our community who are living in a state of fear. I have noticed business owners who are taking last-resort measures to save their business. I have seen close neighbors cross over to the other side of the street while walking in my direction. I have seen friends who perhaps didn’t take this seriously, at first, now leave their house in full protective gear. I am not saying one way is right or wrong, but nothing beneficial will come while living in fear.

Many people are in a very difficult position and their concerns differ. Business owners are being hit hard right now but some have decided to stop living in fear and change the formula. There is always a way to not only survive these difficult times but to thrive. There has never been a time in history where we could easily switch a brick-and-mortar business to an eCommerce site or had the freedom to quickly shift business from one thing to another.

As a coach and business consultant, I can often tell which businesses will be successful and which will not, based on the owner’s mindset. Creativity and a positive mindset is the key. There are business owners offering toilet paper and paper towels with a pizza order. Some have transitioned to creating masks for the community and creating goodwill (thanks again JB T-shirts and all you individuals making masks from home).

Chefs are donating time and resources to feed our medical workers and truckers. Others have transitioned their business to an online setting and are seeing good results. This is not the time to panic but instead, be creative, be inspired to succeed by helping others and have faith that we will get through this stronger than before.

Some individuals who are living in fear may be having a tougher time. Fear can lead to depression and mild forms of psychosis. Some of these individuals live alone and have nobody to keep them company or vent their worries too. These people are usually stuck watching the terrifying news all day that just compounds their fears. If you are living in fear, please understand that we are here for you and there are things you can do to get out of the state of fear.

Here are a few things to do if you are living in fear:

  • Turn off or limit the news programming
  • Find only positive and happy things to engage in (turn on all your favorite comedies).
  • Engage in a hobby such as painting, drawing, building models, writing, etc. When we can divert our focus/energy to something we enjoy doing, things will begin to change in a positive manner.
  • Think like a child. Children work on a moment-to-moment basis and, generally, do not take things too seriously. Find happiness in the little things around you such as the spring flowers, greening grass, anything you may take pleasure in.
  • Try something new such as meditation, cooking, yoga, Pilates, etc. There are plenty of online resources that are free at the moment. You can take an online course at school or watch Bob Ross on Netflix and paint like a pro or learn to paint your face on YouTube!
  • Understand that we are all in this together. There is someone nearby with your same worries, fears, and anxieties. It can help us mentally to know we are not the only ones going through this even though it may seem like it when we are isolated from others.
  • Connect with someone if possible. Talking is one of the best therapies available. (If you do not have anyone to speak to please reach out to me on my website or through my email provided below. I will be donating my time to help those in need and encourage any others who would like to volunteer time to please reach out to me).

Please make any and all effort to reach out to someone if you seem to be stuck in a fear state of mind. If we are to make it through this in a successful manner we need to be focused on staying positive. Allow yourself to engage in whatever you find truly fulfilling and surround yourself with positivity instead of media which is designed to keep you in fear. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay positive.

Support Local Journalism