Anti-Fragility Fitness During COVID-19: 6 Domains of Concern

My daughter and I had a conversation about fear.

When the world is thrown into turmoil, how do you talk to your kids about the situation at hand? Do you approach it with fear, or do you take this as an opportunity to teach? Here’s what my 13 year old proposed as a concept: Anti-fragility.

During these uncertain times, the real battle ground for many of us is FEAR, not the virus itself. Fear manifests as fight, flight, or freeze, all of which put us on our heels, making snap decisions based on emotion and unconscious self-preservation. This state of being makes us fragile, and thereby vulnerable to unhealthy actions, divergence from our true path, and letting our organizations succumb to a lack of intentional action.

So instead, we need to be anti-fragile. We need anti-fragility fitness. To gain this fitness, we can look at 6 domains of concern, each requiring our attention and management. These are important aspects of any creative, fulfilling life, but in our current situation, bolstering your anti-fragility is more important than ever.

To identify these 6 domains of concern, my daughter and I came up with this drawing:

For each of these domains, please find the audio below, and join me as I dig deeper into what each area of management means on a deeper level.

Change Management

Change management is about acceptance, suspending judgement of others and the situation at hand, respecting those around us, and acknowledging the greater good. We’re changing our interior condition – and so we need to VOICE it aloud, and speak it into existence.

Show up, see without criticism and judgement, and move forward without being attached to the outcome.

Stress Management

This is all about calming down, finding refuge in the midst of uncertainty. You have to create and defend that space in your mind and heart. A physical space in nature can help you find this mental space as well.

Mindfulness is more than meditation – you can do any verb with mindfulness, walk, eat, complete a task, and by doing so, you teach yourself that you can control your attention. This is an opportunity to recenter yourself, and you can do that through calmness – look back to your past at difficult times you got through. YOU changed and grew, how did you do it?

If we take the time to truly look inward, we can convert complexity into understanding.

Earnings Management

We have to learn how to free ourselves, release ourselves, from needing to figure everything out. Instead, embrace the process. This is all about making the adjustments necessary for longevity, and finding the relationship between the value you provide and the money you earn.

How can you strengthen the relationships you’ve built up to now? How can you fine-tune your schedule to make sure you’re at your most effective? How are you multiplying the value you provide?

Relationship Management

Relationships are four-fold: personal relationships, significant other, supporting team, and customers. Look after your “best of the best” in these circles, and focus on HOW THEY CAN WIN. It’s not about you. If you act from a place of helping and their best interest, opportunities for you will continue to emerge. So much of this begins with listening. Similarly, you must open up to them and be honest, share what’s important, share your knowledge and thought processes without being overbearing…

How can you provide more of what they need, and by doing so, cultivate the relationships that have the biggest impact on your life?

Business Management

Keeping our organizations running at their best, especially in times of uncertainty, is going to require compassionate leadership, a strong sense of direction, and diligent organization.

To do this, we need to stay creative. It’s easy to be reactionary when things are difficult, but we can remain creative through thought and action. This comes from a place of total honesty about what’s happening, how we’re feeling, and the challenges we face. What does NOW demand we do?

What are we called to do? What is the highest possibility we can achieve? You can optimize at every level, or at least explore the opportunity with honesty.

Financial Management

This is about two things: investing and spending. We need to create cash flow habits that sustain our organizations (and ourselves). Invest your profits and spend based on your values.

Get your emotions out of the way here – make investing automatic to set up long-term success. Risk and amounts are up to you, of course, but when things get tough, leave your money where it is! Again, you want to avoid making sporadic decisions. Live within your means and invest as a matter of principle. This will create financial fortitude and get you away from being emotional with your money.

​Think of each of these domains as a fortress. As you strengthen each, they will combine to create a bastion of non-fragility. This discipline will help make you immune to uncertainty. It takes work, but if you take responsibility for these six domains, and truly dedicate yourself to creating value for others, and through it, creating your life, you will stay on the path of your life-building process.

You don’t have to do it alone. Become comfortable with your ignorance, and open yourself to the wisdom of others. Great leaders get there through coaching.