These are crazy times. It is a dynamic, quickly changing and uncertain environment that has put our entire industry at risk.

As a speaker, I am part of the meetings industry, and as with all of you, much of my revenue and opportunity just disappeared.

So how do we get through this craziness, not just logically but emotionally as well?  Here are three thoughts that will help guide you on this journey.

1. Responsibility, Grace and Creativity

I often rely on mental “frameworks” to help me simplify a situation so I don’t get mired in “overwhelm.” Right now, I’m relying on three words: responsibility, grace and creativity. I know that if I execute on them, I will avoid the other three words: guilt, regret and remorse.

The only logical question you need to ask yourself is, What do I need to do to be 100% responsible in this situation? That encapsulates all the logical things you need to do. Don’t give your energy away by focusing on how others can be more responsible. At work…or at home.

Grace encapsulates how we want to “show up” emotionally. You’ve heard of the term “grace under fire”—that’s how we want to show up. Unfortunately, due to a great deal of stress, many of us are not showing up gracefully.

Right now, many of us are feeling stuck. The only way out of being stuck is with creativity.

The most creative environment in the world is a kindergarten, so how can you replicate that energy with some of your teammates and stakeholders during a fun brainstorming session? Consider this creativity worksheet for some ideas to get you started.

2. Coax, Encourage and Inspire

Most of us are familiar with what’s known as the “drama triangle,” where there are victims, villains and heroes. When things feel unfair, and we find ourselves on the emotional stage, we will gravitate toward one of these three roles.

Right now, every one of us is feeling like a victim, and it is okay to acknowledge that reality. Then we can let go of it and do something about it. What we don’t want to do is ignore, bury or deny how we’re feeling right now. But that doesn’t mean you need to put your emotions on full display.

There are three words that will help us, our coworkers, family members and friends move out of our collective victimology: coax, encourage and inspire.

[Related Webinar: Managing Emotions—and Your Career—in a Time of Crisis]

We coax ourselves one safe step at a time. We can ask ourselves, “What is the next safe step? Let me try that and see how it feels.” Then we ask what’s the next safe step. And that’s how we come out of our victimology.

We encourage ourselves and others by making people feel good about themselves by helping them find the “good” in them. Then, take that energy from where you or they have it and bring it over to where you need it.

 Right now, it is so easy to look for what’s jacked up about our jobs, our nation, our kids, coworkers, etc. And of course, nobody finds what’s wrong with you as much as you do. You have my permission to cut that nonsense out! Find the good.

We inspire ourselves by telling the story of a glorious future brought into the present. It’s how leaders have inspired people over the millennia, and it’s how you inspire yourself and others. If we don’t consciously create positive stories to have faith in, we’ll remain stuck in secret, silent and hidden stories that can only block your success. When inspiring myself or others, I like using the phrase “in the making.”

3. Be Antifragile

My favorite term to rely right now is “antifragile,” based on the Talib Nicholas Nassim book of the same title. Many people in our industry are fragile. Their loss of employment and income is having devastating impacts. We can both empathize with these people and see how we can support them.

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to be able to maintain the six months of savings suggested by financial planners are more “resistant,” or “resilient,” like bamboo is—it takes a hit but snaps right back. Yes, we will probably have to work a little longer to recoup those savings, but we’ll survive.

[Related: In Balance: Wellness Options That Enrich Attendees and Create Engagement]

The last type of person is antifragile. As Nassim says, we want to be like nature and grow and evolve from chaos and disorder. We want to be the fire emblazoned by the wind.” My plan is to come out of this mess stronger than ever. My self-talk is that I am “anti-fragile in the making.” This is who I will hold myself as today. It’s the most powerful place to be. Antifragile is it!

Join Me in the Journey

Yes, these are scary times. There is every reason to be concerned. We can all realize that responsibility, grace and creativity is a powerful framework to guide us through the new normal. Join me on the journey of becoming antifragile together! 

Hear Don Phin’s inspiring session at Meetings Today Virtual MidAmerica. Sign up now!


About the Author

Don PhinDon Phin, Esq., speaks on transforming the stories we tell ourselves. He realizes we are all smart people—it’s the nonsense that gets in the way of our success! Don is a certified eSpeaker and loves speaking remotely when he can’t do so in person! Learn about Don’s speaking and coaching practice, and get a ton of cool books and tools, at Send him an email at and he’ll send you a PDF of his recent book, The 40/ /40 Solution: Managing the Emotional Energy of Leadership and Sales.