Woah! 2020 certainly has been a rollercoaster = the understatement of the century I’m sure.
Now, whilst we have all been in the same boat so to speak we have all had very different experiences and impacts from the lockdown period. There’s been polarities in those experiences from people feeling like they have all the time in the world on their hands to people never having less time and stacks of new obligations and tasks falling at their feet. There’s been people who have found solace in stopping and jumping off a hamster wheel and there’s been those who’ve felt caged and claustrophobic. There’s been those who have been impacted in a negative way financially and those who feel they’ve never had more disposal cash but nothing to spend it on. There’s been those who’ve felt deeply lonely and those who crave some time alone. When you think about it it’s almost mind-blowing the extremes of situations that have come out of the same global circumstance.
No wonder, it lots of different ways, people have felt a little wrung out and a little lost.
Let’s have a little look at what’s played out….
Uncertainty & Fear
Humans do not deal well with uncertainty. Couple that with fear and it’s a bit of a toxic mix. We don’t like not knowing how things might look. We don’t like to feel like we have a lack of control over all aspects of our lives.
Uncertainty can, quite easily, provoke catastrophisation at one end of the spectrum to unrest and dis-ease at the other end.
Not having clarity and not having anything to work towards can be super frustrating and leave you feeling helpless and rudder- less.
In my opinion this particularly played out right at the beginning of the unfurling of the pandemic, prior to lockdown measures happening across the world, where there was stacks of speculation, uncertainty and people felt like they didn’t understand, had no clear route and didn’t have any vision as to how this was going to pan out.
The second wave of this occurred mid lockdown. Lots of people had a sense that they were in limbo, that they were unclear as to what they were working towards (save for getting out of the other side of a global pandemic ~ the timescales and plan seemed sketchy and unknown).
Fear obviously showed up for lots of people in lots of ways. Would you get ill? Would members of your family get ill? Would this impact your life/lifestyle? How would you cope?
For lots of people we haven’t simply had to navigate this for ourselves but for our children/relatives too.
Now, humans are much better able to deal with this one. Disappointment is easier to navigate. Yeah, it’s a blow but at least we feel that we know where we are and what the next steps might be – even if we aren’t where we hope to be we see a more navigatable path.
Disappointment may well leaving you feel “meh” and flatten you for a little while but you’ll process out of it a little quicker.
So, bear with me with a little example here. Disappointment might be like breaking your leg. It wasn’t something you had in your plans, it’ll stop you doing exactly what you wanna do but you know how to progress beyond and following the initial disappointment of plans scuppered and restrictions placed on you then you can have a path to navigate to get out of the other side.
Uncertainty might be a little more like Fibromyalgia than breaking a leg. There’s less certainty. You have no idea of the overall impact and implications. The path beyond feels less sure and more overwhelming. How will you function? What will that look like? Will you ever get back to a sense of “normality”? How will you feel today? Will things get any better?
There’s been times where lots of people have felt the uncertainty through the navigation of the process. I know that there’s been waves of where that uncertainty has felt more collective. I witnessed mid lockdown a lot of people feeling much more unrest and uncertain. There were points where people felt that they didn’t have any clear sight of a roadmap (despite this being wording that certainty the UK government used a lot), mixed messages and no clear directions and timescales.
All humans need hope!
We need hope that future plans can be made. We need hope that things will change if we’ve been in a situation of uncomfort. We need hope that tomorrow will be a better day if we’ve had a shitter of a day.
Hope brings renewed energy.
Hope brings planning and something to look forwards to.
Hope brings unfurling in so many ways.
As lockdowns ease the emotions of uncertainty and disappointment start to be replaced by feelings of hope, excitment and anticipation for the future. Perhaps not a future based on the past. Perhaps not a future that looks as we’d have expected it to on the heady days of New Year 2020 BUT certainty a future.
Seeing people. Feeling a sense of freedom. Booking holidays. Sending time with loved ones. Taking stuff back into our own hands a little more.
Wow, no wonder lots of people feel like they lost themselves a little over the last few months. All these things, all these emotions, all these different ways people have found to navigate and cope. There’s been some absolutely heroic peeps out there doing amazing things, there’s been people who have been hugely triggered and there’s been everything in between. Lets hope we never have to navigate anything of such epic proportions again, although if we do we will be more resilient. Difficult situations also strengthen the resilience muscle for sure.
So, what now…
Navigating The New Path
Let’s start with acceptance. It’s super easy to feel like you “got behind” and I ALWAYS say to my gorgeous Rockstars ~ what exactly are you behind?? This usually boils down to your self expectations.
Wherever you are, that’s exactly where you are. Accept it. Drop the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s and let’s just inhale deeply, drop the guilt and angst and accept that we are exactly where we are and that that is super ok.
Be Realistic & Kind
Yes, the world is beginning to unfurl but it might be that things don’t simply zip back to normal.
For lots of us here in the UK we will continue to have kids at home until September and will continue to navigate the path of homeschool (let’s just say that my teaching abilities are a little on the shit side BUT we’ve learned more together than they’d have ever learned in school during this period).
Use what you’ve got.
Focus on what you CAN do in order to start to unfurl rather than what you CAN’T do just yet.
It’s not a matter of the glass being half full as opposed to half empty when we look at the shit we CAN do but rather the acceptance that as long as we take the right steps the glass is refillable.
Make sure you’re not doing what lots of people do at the beginning of January and go out hell for leather for 2 weeks because they feel that that’s what is expected of them and crash and burn within the fortnight.
The glass is refillable if we make sure we are mindful to refill it.
Be realistic with the timescales you have available and what you can achieve within those timescales. You’d actually be AMAZED how much you can get done in such a short space of time – which leads me on to….
Plan & Organise To Be Productive & Creative Rather Than To Stifle You!
#rockstar15 rocks!! It’s all about breaking tasks down to 15 min implementables. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done in just 15 minutes per day and having those implementables written down and ready to execute means that you won’t end up being distracted by social media or sat trying to figure out what you should get on with first.
If you spend 15 minutes per day on a project then across the week you’ll have spent an hour and 3/4 on that project. Over the typical month that would be 7 & 1/2 hours and over a year we are looking at 91 & 1/4 hours. Mindblowing!!!
You can get your hands on the flexible working pack too which will help you to navigate getting more shit done in less time.
It’s ok to take a moment to re-access your trajectory right now, in fact I’d highly recomend it. Shit that seemed utterly important earlier in the year may seem less so now and you might have stumbled across new ideas, opportunities and passions during this period.
Is there anywhere you’d like to turn up the dial in your business right now?
Is there anywhere where the bag needs shaking right now?
Is there any pivots you’d like to make?
What’s Coming With You?
Here’s the thing – baggage – it can be put down! You’re in control of what you take forth with you. I do advocate regularly looking and the stuff you’d like to keep, the stuff you wanna ditch and the stuff you’d love to bring in.
3 columns – a brew – 10 minutes – GO!!!
I hope you’ve found this super useful, that it might have given you a bit more of an insight into the rollercoaster you may have felt recently AND that you have some actionables to help you move forwards!
I’d love to know in the comments….