How to look to nature to help us get through coronavirus and beyond

SMEs sustainability
Business leadership author, Rosie Tomkins gives us insight into how nature and animal instincts can inspire entrepreneurs at this time…

Nature has provided a jolt. Covid19 has left us sad, anxious and feeling a loss of control. You may find that lockdown with loved ones doesn’t replace the energy of work colleagues. You may feel caged!

How do we find some uplift for the lockdown still ahead of us? We have to look to nature and use the power of Natural Intelligence (NQ). NQ is the positive use of your instincts, insights, and perception.  Let me share my tips on accessing your NQ in these difficult times.

Consider how nature handles hardships

Animals in the wild wake up daily to face more daunting challenges than we do. Thanks to television programmes and films from David Attenborough and others, we can see the tremendous courage as animals defend their territory, their food, and their young from seemingly certain death. We see animals adapting to new circumstances and surviving despite famine, drought, Tsunami, loss of habitat, destruction by humans etc. Use these stories to inspire you, to help you feel motivated to tackle the current crisis head-on and thrive through it.

Let yourself slow down to a new level of productivity

If you are working 24/7 your health, creativity and well-being are at risk. In the wild, animals are expert at expanding or conserving energy as needed.

For example, a cheetah, after an unsuccessful hunt, doesn’t leave herself open to attack by depleting all her reserves, she makes sure she has enough fuel to get to a safe place to recover. She has mastered multilevel recovery; sprint-break-sprint -break.

Take inspiration from the cheetah. Work hard for a period, then give yourself a proper rest. If you work all the time your productivity will drop, and your chance of burnout will dramatically increase.

Take one issue at a time; aim for depth, not breadth

Right now we need courage. It’s relatively easy to lead in good times when business is buoyant. However, it takes a certain kind of leader to deal with crisis and turbulence. What examples of courage in nature might inspire you? One of many creatures I can identify with is the Hummingbird. They build nests in trees where hawks are nesting, confident that they can evade capture by their flying prowess. They know lesser predators won’t risk coming close to nesting Hawks. A dangerous, but courageous, strategy.

Acknowledge the current emotional landscape, and your own

You will be stressed, possibly without realising it, and a stress animal doesn’t always help itself. For example, a stressed sheep which gets stuck a wire fence will struggle with its rescuers. Logic, patience, calmness, all disappear at this time and what should be a relatively easy release becomes a battle of wills serving nobody.

We can get entangled in the metaphorical barbwire, and panic so much we simply can’t extract ourselves, even if we’re offered help. So, take a breath, learn to manage yourself, stop and think, pause, take another breath. Stay balanced.

Develop expertise in energy management
Biologically we’re balls of vibrating energy and it’s important to understand how to preserve, nurture and protect this valuable asset. We need to be aware of our own personal energy.

The best way to increase awareness is to observe nature. While we acknowledge how powerful the use of high energy can be, we must also recognise there are times when it is vital to use slow energy – to stop, reflect and regenerate our minds and bodies. Covid19 gives us a chance to stop, contemplate and engage with our energy in a different way.

Recognise whether, energetically, you are a fast or a slower person. Then consider how you can shift your energy a little. Maybe you need to slow down a tad and nurture yourself. Maybe you need a small nudge to use your energy to make a change. Picture the animal that will inspire you to move in the right direction.

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