Creating Confident Leaders - COVID-19 Handling Fear : Taking Care of Yourself and Others

Uncategorized Apr 06, 2020

Hello everyone

First of all I hope everyone of you and your loved ones are well and safe, I am sending you love in this most difficult of times.  My heart goes out to everyone who has lost anyone to this awful thing, everyone who is sick right now and all those wonderful key workers who are putting their lives and health on the line to care for us all and keep essential services going.  Thank you doesn’t even begin to cover it – but thank you so much to all of you.

This blog has been the hardest one I have ever written, I like all of you, am trying to grapple with how to deal with this crisis, this massive disruption and the fear and anxiety we see everywhere.  I wasn’t sure what to say that would be helpful right now, however, I did and do want to reach out to everyone to try and give some positive help if possible, so I decided to talk about something I do know about - Handling Fear and how important it is that our behaviour does not become driven by fear.

We know that when the Great Depression hit in the 30’s that FDR said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, and I believe that the fear that is sweeping the world is as dangerous as the virus itself because when we become driven by fear this leads us to paralysis, lack of focus, irrational decision making and all sorts of poor thinking and behaviour.  

Please understand me, this is a very scary time and I am NOT saying that we can avoid feeling frightened and that the fear and anxiety we are experiencing is not a natural response to the situation.  It is of course, it is, however, what I am talking about is handling that fear for yourself and also helping others to handle it, so that it doesn’t overwhelm you and overwhelm your people and organisations.

All of you leading right now are needed, because your people will be looking to you to give them direction, care and hope and you must also be feeling that responsibility, so I do hope this is helpful.

So, what to do?  I am giving 3 simple tips to help yourself quickly:-


  • First of all in order to stay grounded and get perspective you must quiet your mind. If your mind is frantically leaping around, you cannot possibly make good decisions or even give yourself the thinking time you need.   I have been Zooming with many of my clients this week and much of what we have been doing is simply working on strategies to help them quieten their mind sufficiently to give themselves headspace to think clearly about they handle all the decisions they have to make, such as moving entire workforces to home working, furloughing staff, dealing with the financial implications, communicating with customers and through it all supporting their people, their own families and themselves.

You all know I am a big fan of meditation and its so important right now to keep your mind from going into overdrive, and meditation and mindfulness are a huge part of that.

Many of you already have a mindfulness practice, but if you want some help Ten Percent Happier are doing daily free meditations which you can sign up to today, it’s a great way to help your mind from free falling.


  • Turn fear into action wherever you can. If you are not as fast as usual, that’s ok – its normal, give yourself time but do SOMETHING however small.  Decide if that’s a work action or a home action – many people are now working from home and will need to balance both.  Even if you only send out one email today, make it count, if you do some exercise or if you bake a cake, do it with love and know you have been successful.  Productivity looks and feels different right now but action however small helps to still the voice of fear.


  • Laugh and appreciate. Laughter and appreciation counter the chemical effects of stress, so actively seek out things that make you laugh – and encourage good humour and laughter with your people too.   We are all in a serious situation, but we can always find the humour, so 😂

Appreciation and gratitude also counteract stress.  The old saying count your blessings has real power.   I have a kept a daily gratitude journal for many years now and even if it feels really difficult, try and commit to find all the things in your life to appreciate and be grateful for.   It could be simply being grateful you have access to fresh air, your family, clean water and food.  Someone said its impossible to feel gratitude and fear at the same time and I have found that to be true.  Do please try it.

I hope that’s helpful in these times, I will be creating more content that I hope will be helpful in the coming weeks, so please do let me know if there is anything you would like right now.

Take care of yourselves, your loved ones and your people.  Stay well and safe and lets bring some good out of this for all of humanity.  You are the leaders who can.

Warmest regards


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Warmest regards