A ‘Crisitunity’ is an instance when a crisis arises that paves the way for an opportunity to be taken advantage of. A Crisitunity mindset is the ability to spot an opportunity amidst any crisis. It is an outlook on life that is proactive and adaptable. It means training the mind to see possibilities in the face of adversity. When fully embraced, it allows for success and happiness in all areas of life. Often, crises cause panic. It is during these times that we tend to become discouraged or dwell on the negative rather than search for solutions. Humans naturally tend to have a negative bias. It is hardwired into us to protect us. It is part of the survival instinct. Fear can paralyze us from seeking positive outcomes as the prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that reasons, is automatically shut down due to this survival instinct. When frightened or dismayed, our natural tendency is to react instinctively without reasoning. We don’t see situations clearly or act according to our highest and best interests because the instinctual portion of our brains are programmed to think that we are in a survival situation and therefore must react immediately. By contrast, with a Crisitunity mindset, we can proactively view an obstacle as an opportunity for growth. It is a positive outlook that opens the mind up to recognizing the potential for pleasant outcomes no matter the situation.
Every crisis we encounter is essentially a chance to act. Every challenge, hurdle, or obstacle is an opportunity.
Though Crisitunity is a mindset in and of its own, it may derive its behaviors from an array of other perspectives. By gaining an understanding of the various mindsets to view “crises,” we can begin to see the greater picture in any given situation. For instance, while most people are generally fearful of change, those with a Crisitunity mindset see the prospect of change as a welcome process. Mindsets that possess components of courage, grit, passion, curiosity, and a zest for growth equip the mind to not only cope with challenges, but to embrace them. Crisitunity is the culmination of these mindsets.
How to Practice Crisitunity
While it is not an easy feat to change our thought patterns, doing so allows us to reap enormous rewards. Habitual thought patterns often take hold of us, causing reactions rather than deliberate, mindful choices that lead to our best outcome. It takes work and discipline to rewire the brain. We must create the habit of remaining calm in the face of crisis. For instance, transforming a “victim” mentality into a “hero” mentality opens the path to finding solutions rather than excuses for our greatest problems. If we believe that we have no control over our lives, these crises can tend to overwhelm us. Armed with the wisdom and insight that we have the power within our own minds to change or influence the way we view a situation, we can begin to take charge of our lives and mold our life experiences to our benefit.
Rather than feeling trapped by a hurdle, it is helpful to take a step back and look at the obstacle from every angle. Is there an underlying meaning or message to take from the experience? Is this a blessing in disguise that will lead to a better path? Where is the space to grow from this? When things are going smoothly, we do not question our direction or approach. It is not at the forefront of our attention to examine practices and situations that are working well. When the crisis arises, it invites us to see what is happening from a positive standpoint. We should ask how we may use the tools and mindsets we possess to take advantage of the opportunities presented so that we may ultimately end up in an even better position than pre-crisis. It’s important to note that most times the opportunities are hidden deep within the crisis, so you must channel your best “hide and go seek” skills to find them. For instance, there have been countless opportunities to invest in the stock market after it has crashed over the years. Each time you would have done well. Many feel the doom and gloom of a crash but as has always been the case, the market always has gone up consistently over time. Therefore, the Crisitunity in these situations has been to invest!
Sometimes a crisis can allow us to take on a challenge that we would have otherwise avoided. Suppose an important, but subpar, employee was to leave the firm. The owner could look at the departure as a crisis because in the immediate time the employee’s work couldn’t be handled by another employee. However, the owner now has the opportunity to upgrade this position. The owner had avoided the situation because it was unpleasant to terminate the employee, but the crisis of the departure led to a much-needed opportunity to upgrade the position and the business for the long term.
Each crisis will present different opportunities. Some problems are not as detrimental or urgent as others, and the scope of potential opportunities will broaden or narrow accordingly. In fact, often, the greater the crisis, the more abundant the opportunity! A Crisitunity mindset as the default encourages us to recognize these opportunities. It moves the mind from a reactive state into a proactive one and thus can lead it to visualize future positive outcomes. It transmutes the emotion of fear to courage. Courage opens up options while fear tends to close them down. In this way, your desired outcome is more likely to be achieved. Fear skews reality and may lead to poor decisions. Crisitunity thinkers allow the conviction of a positive outcome to overpower negative thoughts. They acknowledge that every single moment offers an opportunity, especially when the moment calls for action.
Crises can spark creative thoughts and idea pathways that may have remained unexplored. This innovative thinking approach brings light to possible outcomes that may be more desirable than those in pre-crisis. This does not mean that fear isn’t a valuable emotion. It is. If the fear is legitimate (there are many that are not), the fear can help to prepare us for danger. Before moving to an offensive role, it is best to remain defensive until the severity of the situation is determined. Is there imminent danger ahead? Is someone you know/love in danger? The natural fight or flight response will kick in, asking us to act upon the stimuli. If the situation isn’t urgent, meaning having some major negative consequence if not acted upon immediately, it is usually a good idea to pause and assess the situation before jumping to any decisions.
Let’s explore an everyday example. When a crisis happens involving a defective product or unpleasant service, a customer service agent has the power to transform the consumer’s frustration into satisfaction. When done well, the crisis offers the company an opportunity to strengthen the connection with a customer. Just by listening attentively with a compassionate ear and acknowledging the individual’s suffering, the customer feels important and relevant. An apology and offering of repentance in the form of a refund or gift card can make them feel valued and appreciated. With a simple act of kindness, the agent transmutes the client’s anger into softness. Potentially they make a lifelong customer out of the problem because the individual feels supported, recognized, and valued.
It is vital to keep an open mind to see the broader picture. Closed-minded thinking may only look to past experiences for answers, but every situation calls for its unique action. Brainstorming and envisioning are ways to move through this process. Each idea is a clue or perspective of a larger picture. We move around the problem with an openness to see every angle until the most desirable opportunity is apparent and evident. To make a choice, you need to know what your options are.
Wherever there are obstacles, there are opportunities to grow. The minimum reward is an opportunity to learn. When we are not learning, we are not growing. You cannot plant a seed without digging a hole first. Sometimes we need to go down before we can go up; that is the rollercoaster of life and the joy of the journey. Crisitunity is a practice; it a choice more than it is a skill. It is a repetitive decision to remain open to learning and growth. As we continue to flex the muscle of reframing our perspective, we reinforce the habit of positive thinking.