Practical Ideas on How to Thrive During Chaotic Times

Some people survive in chaos and that is how they grow. And some people thrive in chaos because chaos is all they know.

Within this guide, we will explore how to find the strength and clarity you need to make the best of chaotic and difficult circumstances. A perfect example is our current COVID-19 global crisis. This guide will provide you with ideas on how to effectively work through and thrive during these chaotic and uncertain times.


Here’s a Quick Overview of this Guide

It’s easy during a crisis to react and overreact emotionally to the unfolding events and circumstances of our lives. This, of course, never helps improve the situation. In fact, it can often aggravate matters even further. That is why, during chaotic times, it’s important that we’re proactive with how we handle matters.

This guide and accompanying mind map walk you through how to handle chaotic moments in life. Specifically, the mind map breaks down four key areas that you need to address to make the best of your circumstances. These areas include:

Adopting a Role Model Mindset
Staying Centered and Grounded
Learning How to Manage Your Fears
Creating a Plan of Action to Help You Thrive During Chaotic Times

As you progress through this guide, you will come across over 90 self-reflection questions. These questions will help you to put these ideas into practice. Please take the time to go through these questions, as they are one of the fundamental keys that will help you to fully integrate these concepts into your life.

This article was inspired by Brendon Burchard and the ideas he shared in a couple of videos about how he is thinking through hard times. I’ve included the videos below for your reference.

Also, just before you read this guide, there is a fantastic website that provides a range of techniques for becoming more resilient during the COVID-19 crisis. Check out all available resources by visiting the Energy Psychology website.


Adopt a Role Model Mindset

Adopting a Role Model Mindset requires a commitment to being an inspiring role model. This is especially important during times of crisis when people are looking for help and guidance through their struggles.

As you adopt a role model mindset, you naturally start taking the lead. You no longer choose to play the victim role, but rather take responsibility for your circumstances and accountability for your choices, behavior, and actions.

As a role model, it’s of course, important that you set a good example and make decisions that serve the greater good. You are no longer just looking after your own needs and interests. You are also looking after the needs and interests of those around you. Your decisions are, therefore, based on the best interests of the people you serve.

Remember that as a role model, people look up to you. They will naturally feed off your energy and look for direction during troubled times. If you’re setting a good example, then you become an emotional rock and can help guide people through their struggles.

Being an emotional rock means showing strength, demonstrating patience, while acting and thinking calmly amid the turmoil that is going on around you.

Demonstrate strength by proactively controlling your emotions and perspective of the situation. Moreover, show resilience by refusing to be phased by your predicament or circumstances.

Demonstrate calmness by continually staying grounded and centered amid the chaos. You can do this by taking time throughout the day to center yourself using meditation, visualization, and breathing techniques.

Demonstrate patience by making decisions with thought and careful consideration. Don’t rush into anything without first thinking things through carefully and objectively. It’s important to think things through prudently before choosing your next steps.

Moreover, show patience with people. This is a difficult time. People will do uncharacteristic things under pressure. Acknowledge their reality, honor their feelings, and patiently help guide them in an optimal way.

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Tactical Questions to Ask Yourself…

Here are several tactical questions to ask yourself that will help you put these ideas into daily practice.

To fully integrate these concepts into our lives, we will need to turn these questions into progressive and achievable action steps. And one way to begin doing that is to write out answers to each question in a workbook or journal. Only in this way will we gain the necessary clarity we need to make lasting changes.

If you have a limited amount of time, then I would suggest to just focus on the questions highlighted in blue.

Who is relying on me to set a good example?

Who looks up to me in times of need, chaos, crisis, and distress?

How can I be an inspiring example for others to follow?

What kind of role model would I like to have during times of crisis?

How can I be an inspiring, positive and dependable role model during these chaotic times?

What decisions would a role model make in this situation?

What decisions would be in the best interests of others, while also making the best of the situation?

What criteria would a role model use to make decisions when faced with such difficulties?

How would a role model act and behave during these troubling times?

How would a role model think about their circumstances amid the chaos?

What would it be helpful for a role model to believe during times of crisis?

What would it be helpful for a role model to believe about other people?

What would it be helpful for a role model to believe about themselves?

How will I think and act calmly amid the chaos?

How will I choose to think and act in this situation?

How would a role model think and act in this situation?

How will I strive to be mentally strong and resilient during these troubled times?

How will I generate the mental strength I need to get through this successfully?

How would a role model demonstrate mental strength and resilience in this situation?

How will I demonstrate patience when faced with difficult decisions?

Where must I show a greater degree of patience to ensure that I make the best of a difficult situation?

How will I demonstrate patience with others?

How will I acknowledge people’s reality?

How will I honor people’s feelings?

How will I patiently help guide people in the right direction?


Stay Centered and Grounded

When facing chaotic circumstances, it’s important to stay emotionally centered and physically grounded. And this always begins with the emotional tone you choose to set as you step into each environment or situation.

Your emotional tone is the emotional energy you bring into any situation. It is, after all, this emotional energy that has a lasting and transforming impact on those around you.

Setting the right emotional tone means staying calm, strong, centered, and patient. It means channeling positive energy into the situation to help others become their “best selves” in that situation.

When you set a positive emotional tone, that energy affects others in an optimal way – giving them the strength, courage, and hope they need to get through these trying times.

Your emotional tone is closely tied to your attitude. This comes down to your thoughts and the questions you frequently ask yourself about the situation and about your role in this situation. Moreover, it’s about the perspective you bring to this situation. Adopting a solution-focused mindset will give you the clarity you need to effectively work through your circumstances.

Finally, your emotional tone is likewise tied to your physical energy and physiology. You are fully responsible for the physical energy you project and bring to your environment. Given this, it’s paramount that you do not allow your environment, other people or circumstances to influence the nature and tone of your energy.

Keep in mind that people will naturally feed off your energy throughout the day. Therefore, if your energy is optimized and channeled effectively, it will leave people feeling energized, optimistic, and hopeful of a brighter future.

To stay centered and grounded, it’s critical that you refrain from complaining about your circumstances. You can, of course, describe your reality without complaining about it. To do this, make sure to stay objective and disengage emotionally from the chaos. Overreacting will not help the situation. The worst thing you can do is to contribute to the chaos.

The moment you allow other people, events, or circumstances to dictate how you feel, is the moment you’ve lost control. Instead, work your plan and uncouple yourself from the chaos.

During times of crisis, it’s also important to keep an open mind as you explore new information, methods, and ideas. Look out for opportunities you could use to your advantage. Making the most of chaotic circumstances requires “outside the box thinking”. There could very well be an opportunity that is waiting to be found.

Finally, think carefully and critically before making any major life decisions.



Tactical Questions to Ask Yourself…

Here are several tactical questions to ask yourself that will help you put these ideas into daily practice.

To fully integrate these concepts into our lives, we will need to turn these questions into progressive and achievable action steps. And one way to begin doing that is to write out answers to each question in a workbook or journal. Only in this way will we gain the necessary clarity we need to make lasting changes.

If you have a limited amount of time, then I would suggest to just focus on the questions highlighted in blue.

What emotional tone will I set in this situation?

What emotional tone do others need me to set in this situation?

How will I go about setting that emotional tone?

Is there anything I need to say, demonstrate or show to set the right emotional tone?

How do I choose to be in this situation?

How can I be my best self in this situation?

How will I make the best of this situation?

What attitude will I adopt coming into this environment and situation?

How would it be helpful to think about my circumstances?

What questions would it be of value to ask about this situation?

What story could I tell myself that would put me in the right frame of mind to handle this situation effectively?

What story could I tell myself that would inspire proactive action?

What primary role will I play in that story?

How could I bring value to this situation?

What’s something positive I could add to this moment?

How could I raise and positively impact the energy of the people around me?

How will I choose to channel my energy?

What level or nature of energy does this situation require of me?

How can I direct my energy for the benefit of those around me?

What opportunities does this chaos bring to light?


Learn to Effectively Manage Your Fears

In times of chaos and crisis, it’s easy to succumb to our fears, doubts, and insecurities. With an uncertain future sitting on the horizon, it’s understandable that fear would take hold.

It’s especially important, during such times, to keep a level head and to proactively make a conscious effort to work through our fears. That is, after all, the only way to make progress. Succumbing to fear often leads to stagnation. On the other hand, learning how to work through fear can lead us down an opportune and favorable path.

There are three types of fears or “pain-points” that people tend to evade. We first have Loss Pain. This is the fear of losing the things we value. We then have Process Pain, which is the fear of going through change and the possibility of making mistakes. And finally, we have Outcome Pain, which is the fear of failure and uncertainty.

During times of chaos, Loss Pain manifests as a fear that you will end up losing something as a direct result of this crisis. You fear that what you currently have in your life will no longer be part of your life, and that scares you. For instance, you might fear losing your job, your income, or your health.

To effectively work through and overcome Loss Pain, you need to focus on growth and gain. In other words, focus on what you can do to grow as a person. Focus on new things you could learn, new skills you could master, and new experiences you could gain.

During times of chaos, Process Pain manifests as a fear of going through change. You fear the “process” and the work it will take to “course-correct” and get through these difficult times. Moreover, you fear the mistakes you might make along the way.

To effectively work through and overcome Process Pain, you need to focus on opportunity, new challenges, and on transforming your perspective of your circumstances. Focus on potential opportunities that this chaos brings. Then challenge yourself in new ways through experimentation and gamification. In other words, turn what you are doing into an experiment or game.

During times of chaos, Outcome Pain manifests as a fear of an uncertain future. You fear the uncertainty of an unpredictable future and what that may mean for your life.

To effectively work through Outcome Pain, you need to focus on possibilities (what could be), rather than on the uncertainties of life. Moreover, focus on taking bold action moving towards your goals.



Tactical Questions to Ask Yourself…

Here are several tactical questions to ask yourself that will help you put these ideas into daily practice.

To fully integrate these concepts into our lives, we will need to turn these questions into progressive and achievable action steps. And one way to begin doing that is to write out answers to each question in a workbook or journal. Only in this way will we gain the necessary clarity we need to make lasting changes.

If you have a limited amount of time, then I would suggest to just focus on the questions highlighted in blue.

What is there to gain from this crisis?

What am I likely to gain because of this crisis?

What manageable risks could be worth taking?

What new experiences could I pursue that I hadn’t considered before?

Who could I reach out to and connect with online or in-person?

Do I have a mentor I could reach out to during these difficult times?

What new things could I attempt to learn that could serve me now and in the future?

How could I grow and change as a person during these challenging times?

What knowledge would it be helpful to gain that could futureproof my value during and after this crisis?

What skills could I potentially develop?

What skills would it be worth developing to futureproof my value to society?

What new skills could help me to get through this crisis?

What would I need to learn to help others get through these chaotic times successfully?

How could I potentially challenge myself in ways I hadn’t considered before?

What daily and weekly challenges could I set?

How would I do things if I treated this whole experience as an experiment?

What kind of life, business, and personal experiments would I create?

What if I viewed these circumstances as a fun and rewarding experience? What then?

What if I turned this whole experience into a game?

What if I tried to make the best of a horrible and unfortunate situation?

What if things turn out better than expected?

What if all this leads to something wonderful and unexpected?

What if this journey and experience make me a better, more resilient and capable person?

What if no matter what I do, life is always rigged in my favor?

What if I get lucky and make this work in my favor?

What if I focused on what was possible and on what could be done?


Create Your Action Plan

Now that you are mentally prepared and primed, it’s time to lay down an action plan for how you will successfully get through these chaotic times. Let’s explore what that plan might look like.

First of all, it’s helpful to explore your next steps. This involves outlining any goals and desired outcomes you would like to accomplish over the coming weeks and months as you move through this crisis. This might be a mix of new things and tasks that you are already familiar with.

Accomplishing these goals, of course, won’t be easy. These are uncertain times. Chaos is, by its nature, unpredictable and indeterminate. That is why it’s also equally important that you stay flexible and ready to adapt if and when circumstances change.

Simply outlining your goals and desired outcomes is, however, rarely enough under normal conditions. It surely cannot guarantee any definitive results. And certainly not enough during times of crisis. You, therefore, need to delve a little deeper. Specifically, you will want to take a deeper exploratory dive into various scenarios that could take place as you work towards your new goals.

A scenario is a hypothetical event that may or may not take place as expected. It’s, however, important that you build these scenarios into your plan to help you adapt to changing conditions and circumstances.

While building your scenarios, you need to outline what could potentially happen, and what you will do if those circumstances eventuate. For instance, think about the various obstacles, problems, and setbacks that you could potentially face along the way. Then consider how you will handle these matters if they ever cross your path.

Consider also how you will handle stress. There will be moments along your journey when stress might get the better of you. Unexpected things will arise, and life could suddenly throw you a curveball. This is where you need to outline how exactly you will respond to these circumstances.

You, of course, might not be able to predict exactly what will happen, but you can always prepare for uncertain times. And it’s during such uncertain times that doubts will start creeping in. And when they do, you will no longer move with the same swagger and confidence. And it’s precisely for such moments where a plan will be needed.

You don’t, necessarily need to know exactly what will happen. You just need to know that if things start gravitating off the expected path, that you will do something specific in those situations to help steady the ship.

Finally, with all that said, you just need to make one final decision. And that decision is based on how you will choose to show up each day to face these challenges. This is all about bringing your best self to each moment and situation, then doing the best you can with what you have. That is all one can ask for.



Tactical Questions to Ask Yourself…

Here are several tactical questions to ask yourself that will help you put these ideas into daily practice.

To fully integrate these concepts into our lives, we will need to turn these questions into progressive and achievable action steps. And one way to begin doing that is to write out answers to each question in a workbook or journal. Only in this way will we gain the necessary clarity we need to make lasting changes.

If you have a limited amount of time, then I would suggest to just focus on the questions highlighted in blue.

What’s my plan of action for navigating the chaos?

What new goals will I set?

What results do I want to create?

How will I go about pursuing these goals?

What’s currently working for me that I could use to pursue these new objectives?

What 5 key moves would make the biggest difference right now?

Are there any sacrifices that I may need to make to obtain my goals?

What lingering doubts do I have about all this?

How will I work through these doubts?

What challenges, problems, and setbacks am I likely to face along the way?

How will I handle these uncertainties?

How will I respond when things aren’t going my way?

What perspective would it be helpful to adopt during such times?

How would I need to adapt how I do things to keep myself on target?

How will I handle stressful situations?

What will I do before, during and after a stressful moment?

Who could I reach out to for assistance and support?

Who has potentially gone through what I’m currently striving to work through?

What advice and guidance could these people give me?

How will I choose to show up each day?

How will I bring my best self into each predicament I face?


Thrive Amid Chaos MindManager

Final Thoughts About Thriving Amid Chaos

Having gone through this guide, you should now be primed and ready to handle and potentially thrive during chaotic times. Here is a quick recap of the key points we covered in this guide.

  • The importance of adopting a Role Model Mindset and setting a good example.
  • The value of making decisions that serve the greater good.
  • The importance of demonstrating strength, calmness, and patience during a crisis.
  • The reasons for setting a positive emotional tone.
  • The purpose of adopting an empowering “can do” attitude.
  • The importance of staying centered and grounded amid the chaos.
  • The value of not complaining or overreacting to the uncertainties of life.
  • How to effectively work through Loss, Process, and Outcome Pain (fear).
  • How to develop a plan of action for working through chaotic times using scenarios.
  • The importance of choosing how to show up each day by bringing your best self to each situation.

We now need to move to the next stage of integration, which requires putting all these ideas into practice. We need to find a way to fully immerse ourselves in mastering this topic over the coming days, weeks, and months. That is, after all, the only way to make lasting change and progress.

The worst thing we can do right now is to walk away without a plan for putting these ideas into practice. And, yet in most instances, that’s exactly what’s likely to happen. People will read the guide and feel satisfied that they’re now aware of this information. They’ll have good intentions for putting these ideas into practice, but then life just gets in the way, and unfortunately, all these ideas go to waste. 🙁

But that doesn’t have to be you. And I, of course, want to make sure of that. That is why I have prepared for you a package of visual resources that can help you to fully immerse yourself in this topic and put these ideas into action.

Everything You Need to Master This Topic

Below you will find a link to the IQ Matrix Store where you can gain access to an IQ Matrix that provides you with a visual overview of this topic. Referencing it regularly and committing it to memory will help you to embed these principles and ideas into your subconscious mind. Only in this way will you develop optimal habits of mind and patterns of behavior that will transform how you think.

A mind map, of course, does this beautifully because it mirrors the synaptic connections made in your brain as you try to establish new habits of thought and behavior. It brings together key concepts and ideas that help your brain to fully integrate and process this information. The brain, subsequently, rewires itself as it attempts to establish new habits of mind. It’s an ideal tool for creating lasting change and transformation.

The IQ Matrix, by itself, is a fantastic tool, but I have also prepared a number of complementary resources that will help you to fully immerse yourself in this topic. These resources include:

  • A Strategic Implementation Guide that walks you through how to integrate all these ideas into your life.
  • A Daily Accountability Checklist that outlines what to do each day to put all these ideas into practical action.
  • A Digital Set of Accountability Slides that you can reference throughout the day to stay focused on what’s important.
  • An Idea Generation Template of the IQ Matrix. This is a segmented canvas for brainstorming ideas about this topic.
  • Free Form Template of the IQ Matrix. This is an almost blank canvas for exploring this topic in a multitude of creative ways.
  • A Desktop Background of the IQ Matrix that you can use for daily reference on your computer.
  • A Second Version of the IQ Matrix that provides another layer of text and insights into this topic (PDF and JPEG).
  • An Editable Text Version of the IQ Matrix that you can modify and experiment with using mind mapping software.

I hope you will find all this of value. And please do let me know how it all goes. I’d love to hear how these visual tools and resources have impacted your life. Feel free to get in touch. My contact details are at the bottom of this page.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to connecting with you. 🙂

Thrive Amid Chaos Guide

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