There’s a reason you feel so rotten right now

Remember that long-ago time (about three months ago) when the coronavirus invaded every aspect of your life?

How you leapt into action and you felt like a master juggler, keeping a dozen balls in the air, your hands a blur, your heart beating fast, the adrenaline rushing in your ears?

Then you started to get tired. Annoyed. You started dropping balls. You started arguing with people in ways you know are not helpful. You started to miss things you normally don’t miss.

You feel like a different person now.

And it’s not the person you want to be.

It’s not just you.

We’re all feeling that way about now.

A recent Harvard Business Review article looks at the psychology of being in a crisis: If You Feel Like You’re Regressing, You’re Not Alone.

Here’s the thing: There’s a predictable trajectory to living in a crisis. Emergency, regression, recovery.

Guess which stage most of us are at right now.

Yep, the bad one.

In the beginning, when the emergency becomes clear, team energy rises, and performance goes up…. Then the second phase hits: a regression phase, where people get tired, lose their sense of purpose, start fighting about the small stuff, and forget to do basic things ….

Like a lot of psychological progressions, the steps are unavoidable and cannot be skipped. As much as you’d like to stay in that energetic first phase, or the relief of the third, you are in the regression phase.

It’s miserable. But it’s where we are.

Knowing it’s not just you helps. Knowing you’ll eventually move on helps too.

Do your best. Don’t beat yourself up — and don’t beat up others.

You’ll get through it.

And you’ll be a better fundraiser than ever. Likely a better human being, too.


Comments

2 responses to “There’s a reason you feel so rotten right now”

  1. Thank you for this!

  2. Thank you for this!

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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