By: Kristen & Carter Williams, Directors of Xperience Growth Coaching
In a recent, How I Built This podcast the interviewee was discussing resilience in the context of Post Traumatic GROWTH vs Post Traumatic STRESS. In short, PTG vs. PTS looks at an individual’s positive growth as a result of a traumatic event or experience. PTG is a theory developed by psychologists Richard Tedeschi, PhD, and Lawrence Calhoun, PhD. In the mid-1990’s they studied the physiological struggle experienced by individuals and remarkably, they were able to see positive growth after a struggle in a high percentage of people.
For many of us, 2020 will leave some level of a “Post Traumatic” imprint on our lives and it’s ultimately how we choose to interpret the events of this year, what we choose to change, and what we do with that interpretation that will lead us to wither or grow.
The perspective I’m writing from is one of an entrepreneur in the real estate industry as I would never want to minimize the varying types of trauma that one could encounter in their lifetime. Many will experience this year, specifically 2020, varying degrees of severity. Many of us entrepreneurs in the real estate industry have reengineered our methods and systems almost entirely. One’s leadership or lack of was instantly revealed when the pandemic spread worldwide. One’s skill at running a business & creating business became vital. Many markets saw a large dip while other markets were impacted with restricted inventory that drove demand. We had clients loose their jobs and could no longer buy or sell as planned. We have seen the commercial industry impacted, restaurants and other small businesses close their doors and drain finances to stay afloat. The challenges facing the entrepreneur in 2020 will impact each of us and we likely all have a story to share.
When considering a traumatic event and the relationship to growth, the primary question the researchers asked in that interview was, “How have you changed?” It was determined that a person that experienced growth from an event was able to change their perspective entirely and change their model of the world. Essentially looking at their perspective entirely differently and changing internally as a result of the struggle. Another key marker was that a person who experienced growth after a traumatic event was able to view the situation from an open minded perspective. Essentially, one thing these individuals had in common was the the ability to reframe the events, look at the events with an open mind, and then choose to articulate change in a positive way.
How often have you heard someone say they are ready for 2020 to be over? Or the phrase “When things to go back to normal…” Admittedly, there are times I’ve felt the same sentiments, yet if we were to “go back to normal” there would be no change, no growth, no learnings. Almost everyone studied has said they would take the trauma because of how their perspective changed and they grew stronger personally. I would venture to say most people who have weathered the challenges of 2020 are stronger today than 5+ months ago.
In the context of 2020 and the entrepreneurial struggles you’ve encountered, ask yourself the question “How have I changed?”
Reflecting on the changes made in 2020, there is dramatic change and growth for many. Business owners have risen to the occasion to lead, we have spoken up and joined together in community to support each other, we’ve been generous with time, wealth and resources. I see industry leaders improve their process and systems. I see relationships with family strengthen with time spent together. Incredible growth and positive change has come from the changes that have taken place in 2020.
I challenge you to continue to Chart the Path to growth in your entrepreneurial journey no matter what the challenge. When the trauma of 2020 is in the rearview mirror, continue to ask yourself, “How have you changed” and look for opportunities to keep an open mind, change perspective, habits and become a stronger person as a result!