According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) by May 2020, the number of calls to their help line had more than doubled. The group has also said they expect the numbers to increase even more.

The suicide rate has also increased. My ex-husband committed suicide 2 years ago and, I know what scars and devastation it leaves on a family. Too often we are seeing people we work and live with getting affected.

Some of the major reasons for the stress and depression are job loss, financial stress, increased pressure at work (for those who are lucky enough to have a job) and fear of getting sick.

The question is how can we make a difference?

Training is one of the ways we can offer support to those around us. A course which helps someone learn how to open their own company and supports them through the process can often make the difference that is needed.

Alternatively training and coaching that helps people change their mindset and, start to see new possibilities can also make a difference.

Often before the problem becomes severe, the person can be assisted by helping them remove a limiting belief that is holding them back. Maybe they feel they are not good enough or that they cannot “make it” in the current economy.

So how do you make a belief change?

Step 1. Identify the belief you need to change. Let’s work with the one above,

“I cannot make it in the current economy”

Step 2: Identify what belief you could change this into that is believable and would make a more positive impact. For the belief above, I think we could use something like “There are new opportunities in the current economy”.

Step 3: To convince yourself that you MUST make the change you need to ask yourself “What will happen if you don’t change this belief?” You need to write down several things that you believe would happen. Make them personal to you and, make them believable and, make them Bad. This needs to motivate you so that you are forced to change. For the example above mine would be

  • If I don’t change, I will go bankrupt and fail at my business
  • I will be stressed and angry
  • My partner will leave me
  • My child will disrespect me
  • I will have nothing left.

Step 4: You also need to ask, “What will happen if I do change this belief?” Again, mine would be

  • I will be more open to finding the opportunities
  • I will find an idea and make a company
  • The company will become successful and I will be in the first to make money in the new economy
  • My child will respect me
  • I will be able to take my family on holidays
  • I will be happy

Step 5: Look for evidence that your new belief is possible and viable. So, I would be looking for people who have succeeded in the current economy and for examples in history where people made it in difficult positions. Some could be

  • Early adopters and digital companies have had a huge boom. How many people are going online now? If I could think of an online business, I would make it. For example, a specialised online shop or a specialised delivery company.
  • Public health companies are making it
  • Companies marketing and selling gloves and hand sanitizer are booming
  • Small agile and flexible companies have a chance to succeed where corporates are struggling

In this section you could also look at people who have succeeded against all odds

“Chen Zhou lost both of his legs in a train accident at the age of 13. Following the accident, he began singing on the street for money. He also shined shoes, repaired electronics and sold newspapers. Today, at age 30, Chen Zhou is a mountain climber, an inspirational speaker and an advocate for the handicapped. He has climbed all 5 of China’s great mountains including Mount Tai, which he has climbed 11 times. The stairway to the summit of Mount Tai consists of 7,200 steps – equivalent to a 514 story building. “

Step 5: Remind yourself of everything you do have and everything you are currently grateful for.

This will help the individual change however, for corporates to survive they must be open to change fast and be flexible. They will need to ensure their staff are motivated, flexible, and able to move in an agile way. For staff who have worked in corporates for many years to change to this “new way of working” dynamic and new courses are required.

Be one of the corporates or individuals that uses the current economical state and COVID-19 as a motivator and a change catalyst and make things work.

P.S. My favourite saying is “Everything will be ok in the end, if it is not ok, then it is not the end” – from Marigold hotel.

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