What is meant by the phrase, balance in a crisis? Why is balance in a crisis necessary, and how do we regain it when it is lost?
What is Balance in a Crisis?
Balance is an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. Balance can be maintained but also disrupted.
A crisis is a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger. A crisis is determined largely by our response to the difficulty, trouble, or danger we face.
It can be hard to maintain our balance in the normal day-to-day activities of work-life, school schedules, and personal relationships but a crisis magnifies this imbalance.
So, a loss of balance in a crisis is the inability to remain upright or steady in a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.
This loss of balance in a crisis sounds a lot like a typical Monday at work for many of us.
Why is it important to maintain balance in a crisis?
A loss of balance precedes a fall. Some falls are relatively harmless and even funny to some. Some comedians have made a career out of pratfalls.
Most of us who stumble will receive minor scrapes and bruises. But not all falls are harmless.
Falling can be dangerous to ourselves.
In an article from January 2018, the World Health Organization notes that falls are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide. (Road traffic injuries are the number one cause of death worldwide.)
Each year an estimated 646 000 individuals die from falls globally.
Each year there are 37.3 million falls that occur that are severe enough to require medical attention.
In losing our sense of balance in a crisis, we can inadvertently harm others. No man is an island. We exert influence over others, and they follow our example.
I have lost balance in a crisis.
My wife was waiting in our car in the sweltering heat of a Texas summer wearing a newly fitted boot for a broken ankle. We desperately needed groceries, and I made a mad dash inside the store.
A few minutes later, I emerged with an overfilled grocery cart with a 24 pack of coke on the bottom near the rear wheels running way too quickly when disaster struck.
The case of coke had slipped out, and I stumbled forward like a field goal kicker and drove my left foot through it.
I was so concerned about managing my wife’s crisis that I lost all sense of balance, and I suffered lasting harm.
Initially, my balance was affected, and I compensated by placing more weight on my right ankle. Many months later, I sought medical treatment. I discovered I had torn the anterior ligament, had five significant breaks in my ankle, and destroyed my foot’s arch. To this day, I still have moments I struggle with balance.
How can we regain our balance in a crisis?
But not all falls are physical. I remember being left in charge of my unit at work in a hectic season. I answered customer complaints, handled my own customer’s needs, and answered a constant stream of questions for my coworkers. Someone asked a simple question, and I lost it. I was impatient, harsh, abrupt, selfish, and unloving. I was out of balance.
There are moments when you will fail in a crisis. It is what we do after a crisis that will define us. Here is what we can do when we fail in a crisis.
We can stop and reset. I finally stepped away from my desk and took a deep breath. I was upset and anxious, and my blood pressure was rising. I needed to stop and take a deep breath before continuing.
We talk to someone about what has thrown off our sense of balance. I sought out other managers to talk about the crisis I was under. They listened intently and helped me to regain my composure. I needed to vent desperately before I could proceed.
We remind ourselves of our purpose. My purpose was to help my coworkers and customers, and I couldn’t do that away from my desk. I went back and focused the rest of the afternoon on helping people.
We ask others for help when we need it. I was at work to help others but neglected to ask for or receive support from others. Our natural aversion to asking for help is based on our national identity as self-sufficient people. But no one is truly self-sufficient, and isolation is dangerous in a crisis.
We take time to determine the root cause(s) of the crisis and look for solutions. I took a walk when I got home, and I reflected on why it had happened. I had taken a small c crisis and made it a capital C Crisis by my response. I knew that I had to take a different approach the next day. I was determined to take my breaks, ask for help, and look for someone I could help.
We assess the damage we caused, look for collateral damage, and make amends. I got up the next morning, and a coworker was waiting to confront me lovingly. I had not considered who else might have been damaged by my outburst. I spent the rest of the day repairing the damage I had caused the day before.
Call To Action
Are you out of balance in a crisis? Would you consider taking steps to regain your balance before causing damage to yourself or others? If you liked this article, consider reading, Can You Laugh In A Crisis?