CW #17: CRISIS

 
 

crisis - a potential to grow?!

Have you ever had a point in your life in which you felt uncertain, confused or even lost? For instance, while experiencing life changing episodes such as graduating from university slipping into the “real” adult section. Or maybe having to make major decisions that will impact your entire private life, for example filing for divorce. In fact, the average adult makes about 35.000 decisions day by day. Some are not worth mentioning and function even subconscious, whereas others appear to be overstraining and might remain challenging for longer periods. Is this an event in life we would consider to name “crisis”? Either way, it is part of who we are and it does offer options! Options that at first need to be accepted as such, and later transform into answers. If you do feel this way, it is totally okay. Everyone experiences a point in life in which change must and will come. It is our chance to evolve. WELCOME TO CW #17: CRISIS!

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The following blogpost is going to make the term “crisis” a matter of discussion. Starting with its etymological background, I want to connect to the term’s transformative characteristics as implementing the power of choices. Continuing, the term “perturbation” will be taken into consideration in order to work out the importance and necessity of disturbance within the process of development. Moreover, a method of self-coaching approaches will be presented and connected to a self-efficacy theory. Finally, I want to talk about the relevance of experiencing self-efficacy, stepping forward towards self-coaching and in which way it leads to mindful life strategies.

The word “crisis” derives from Ancient Greek κρίσις (krísis), referring to “the power of distinguishing”, as well as the terms “decision”, “choice” and “judgement”. Its word stem κρίνω (krínō) meaningto pick out” or “to choose” implies an activity and involves the making of decisions carried out by individuals. In medical language use, speaking of crisis related to a sudden change of disease. Hence its concern was to present a point at which either death or recovery was to be expected. Applying “crisis” to psychological researches, scientists speak of a traumatic or stressful change in a person’s life. While in drama it demonstrates a conflict reaching a peak before being resolved. As a result, when using the term “crisis” we refer to a major and relevant situation, an unstable condition or a turning point.

Crisis involves irritation. Irritation is seen as disturbance of regularity. Therefore it might help create new perceptions and interpretative patterns. In science, when speaking of disturbance, we refer to the term “perturbation”. Especially in regards to knowledge acquisition Maturana and Varela (1987) have had a significant impact on understanding the importance and necessity of discrepancies within learning processes. Perturbation functions as a keyword and involves disturbances, controversies and unresolved messages, that to the learner appear essential but at the same time new and therefore unusual. Having said this, perturbation causes irritating observation but it is far more than just a method of confirmation. It leads to a change of perspectives which offers connectivity for new thought and action patterns. Moreover it enables individuals to think “outside the box”. In that sense, it enhances and improves the conception of the world. According to Maturana and Varela this phenomenon is called “drift”. It involves structural change with the purpose of adjustment. In science, evolution is seen as “natural drifting”, since it relates to autopoiesis and adaptation.

autopoiesis

from Modern Greek αὐτo (auto) relating to “self” and ποίησις (poiesis), meaning “creation” or “production”. Autopoiesis refers to a system being capable of reproducing and maintaining itself.

The action of being approachable and receptive to variations of any kind - natural or personal - is understood as “neuroplasticity”. It is found in brain activities that cause neuronal emergence. In science it is often related to the terminology “multiple cognition”. It allows the brain to undergo an alteration of information based on experiencing, identifying and discovering oneself in a transformative environment. In other words, neuroplasticity is recognized as the ability of the brain to change throughout an individual’s life. In detail, it allows the neurons (nerve cells) to compensate and to adjust to new situations and environmental changes. What is more, it offers development opportunities in order to create new techniques and strategies. Ultimately we are able to acquire coping skills that lead to self-efficacy. The founder of the term “self-efficacy” and its theory is a Canadian-American psychologist called Albert Bandura. The reason behind this theory is to enable self-esteem, its purpose is to encourage self-respect. Self-efficacy establishes by taking different points into account, such as…

  1. enhancing knowledge

  2. communicating

  3. gathering experiences

  4. establishing a positive mindset

  5. creating new perspectives

  6. perturbating

The following image tries to put all terminology into one picture in order to have a better understanding of how they relate and require each other. Its main focus is to visualize the positive potential of a crisis and the specific phases one experiences.

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Being able to manage a crisis means to apply a particular strategy. Moreover, it involves your active participation. Yes, self-coaching is work AND it is worth it! Most significant, you must allow a reflective “meeting” with yourself. Leading means to have adequate observing skills and the ability to understand personal motifs. Ask yourself: “Why do I act this way?”, “What was the reason for this decision?” and “What is the purpose for my actions?”. If you want to put the theory of self-efficacy into practice, you need to consider…

  1. to reflect and observe your thoughts and actions

  2. to know your strengths and weaknesses as a matter of self-control

  3. to understand your patterns of thinking and acquisition strategies

  4. to clarify your individual profile

Your goal is to create awareness, and by doing so you allow yourself to be mindful in your very own way of approaching and arranging life situations! Make this your individual strategy.

In the following, I would like to present a method to establish clarity and further enable a change of perspectives for the purpose of our interest: PERSONAL GROWTH. All you need for this method is a piece of paper, a pencil and your imagination. What I want you to do is to put yourself into three different positions in order to discuss individual issues, for example when experiencing a critical life situation caused by dissatisfaction on the job. Applying this method, the main focus is to make self-efficacy possible. In other words, I want you to feel that you are in charge of your situation and that only you are able to implement change.


3 chairs

1. THE DREAMER

Try to have a look at your situation from a creative and visionary perspective. Your general mood is that you feel attracted to new ideas. Write your thoughts.

2. THE REALIST

Continue your thoughts on your situation based on a viable outcome. Your attitude is practical and your main focus is to realize your goals.

3. THE CRITIC

Lastly, put yourself into the character of a critical adviser who considers risks and dangers. Your viewpoint is attached to critical queries.

As soon as you finish collecting your notes, work out your individual issue by adjusting the three different positions. This method offers various perspectives for you to create transparency. Stop when you reach your very own level of contentment. Only you know!


When you think of the term “crisis” I want you to have a positive attitude - as much as possible. Because it is true, the moment we experience a critical life situation is the moment we are able to change and therefore to grow!

Have a wonderful CW #17!

LOVE,

Ana