• Michael Sipe

Shadows of Despair

Updated: Mar 4

I’d like to take a moment of your time to share something helpful. What I’m going to share with you is a thoughtful approach on how to weather, advance, and ultimately thrive in these desperate times – to deal with the shadows of despair. With financial markets down 30-50%, companies trying to raise cash to shore up their finances, employees being laid off, and broad uncertainty in the general public from the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s no wonder there is a lot of FEAR running rampant. I play the financial markets, have been for decades, and even with that experience I find myself at times feeling fearful. Maybe its fear of missing out on opportunity but it’s still fear. Recently a colleague of mine was sharing their perspective on a phase in their life as a VOID. My immediate reaction, from my assumed understanding, was that the void was a space of numbness and fear. She said she was deciding to stay in her void. Basically, it sounded like she was saying she was just going to suck it up. However, it dawned on me today that the her “void” doesn’t have to be as negative as I thought initially. I became aware that the void is a space where there is NOTHING – no joy, no pain, no exuberance, no fear. It is just space. And the beauty of being in this space is the ability to OBSERVE. Observe from a place of detachment. The detached observer space is hard to get to when we are emotionally consumed by fear. So, in order to get to the void we can choose to let go. That’s our power. This power may seem deep-down, almost hidden but it’s our power of choice. We can all look back to a time in our lives individually or collectively when we endured a horrendous challenge and eventually came out of it and surged ahead to a better experience. That’s still just as true today. We can remember our past challenging experiences and understandably choose to mentally break from the shadows of despair and embrace a space of void to observe. From the observer mindset we are objective about COVID-19, tumultuous markets, cancelled orders, hemorrhaging capital. When we are objective, it leads to being OPEN, and in turn leads to INSPIRATION. Most leaders know there is always opportunity in crisis but what most people miss is that one has to have the proper MINDSET and be in a space of void where they are the observer rather than the participant getting sucked into despair in order to recognize the opportunity. 3 CRITICAL INSIGHT COMPONENTS TO MINDSET It is important to note we don’t approach from a space of denial or masking. We simply observe the challenge.from three absolutely ESSENTIAL LENSES of mindset. One is logically, another is emotionally, and the third is instinctively or intuitively. Logically we can assess and look for solutions. Emotionally we replace fear with curiosity and wonder. And intuitively we’re listening to our gut or heart about what’s really going on in the chaos. Our human nature – our inherent talent – is to see opportunity and SHIFT our mindset to make choices with beneficial action in crisis. We can’t make this choice from fear, we need the void to open our mindset framework and evoke our natural talents. Join me in this void during these trying times rather than succumb to the shadows of despair. The world needs us!

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