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A Zombie Apocalypse?

I shed tears this weekend, for what seems, now, to be not all that big of a deal. 

Deciding to post-pone a workshop that was months in the making, going to the grocery store and trying not to join the zombie-apocalyptic frenzy for what food remained on the store shelves, trying to figure out how to balance care for my (special needs) son and keep my small business going during uncertain times and healing from tremendous physical health issues over the past several weeks… just to name a few. 

I share not for sympathy, rather to share that I felt very alone. And yet I was not. I have a caring family, friends and a fabulous support network. I can see now that it was my 'survive' channel in full swing! It came screaming through with little awareness.

I share my experience because I understand that we all are challenged right now, many moving pieces, huge uncertainty and fear and anxiety of pandemic proportions.   Survive mode activates when we perceive a threat, we know it as “flight or fight”. Chemicals surge through us and our negative emotions are triggered in a nanosecond: fear, anxiety, anger and it happens automatically. These emotions certainly got my attention, I noticed my survive mode.


I have had many conversations this past week with HR colleagues and leaders who are leading through what is shaping to be unprecedented times. My story echoes a lot of their experience for themselves and their teams. Here’s what I shared with them and helped myself see:

1.     Remaining present to your survive mode and, as you become aware, understanding that shifting to opportunity-seeking mode can change the perspective.

2.     As leaders when you can activate opportunity-seeking mode in yourself, you can activate it in others. Awareness to remain open to possibilities and generosity will move you and your team in new directions.

3.     Compassion for yourself when ‘survive’ shows up, notice it and asking what’s possible as a pathway to move forward?

I am firmly in opportunity-seeking mode as I write this and remain present to the idea that this too may shift. 

What has been your experience over the past few weeks

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