If you’re anything like me you’ve been riding a personal and professional roller coaster lately. The world has been turned upside down, so it can be difficult to feel confident that you know which way is up. I have invested heavily in my self-care to continue making progress through this time. I’m dedicated to keeping my head above water by anchoring into the core values and beliefs that make me who I am. These never change … and if you commit to unearthing more of those treasures in yourself you can hone them and polish them up to a brilliant shine, even in seasons like this where the world is locked down. Especially in these seasons!
“Success is a journey, not a destination” Arthur Ashe
We’ve all heard the quotes. They become tired pretty quickly. It’s not that their truth doesn’t remain … it’s just that they get boring!
So now, I am going to brave the challenge of attempting to shed new light on this journey of Becoming that we’re all facing right now … Without going down the path of cliches and platitudes! I’m hoping that the timing of my thoughts might just cut through the craziness of the world at the moment. Our perspective is everything right now.
“We are the hero of our own story.” Mary McCarthy
Thought #1: The World Does Not Happen AT You
I’m betting I’m not the only one who has slipped into victimhood lately. “I don’t deserve this.” “This is not fair.”
Get ready … brace yourself … I’m about to sting you with a slap of reality.
Life does not owe you anything other than what you have.
The market has never promised to do you any favours. You are no more special than anyone else battling it out in the trenches of this global Lockdown. Your customers will not spend with you just because “they should”.
But let’s pause for a second … because this harsh reality actually has the power to make your experience of life itself truly authentic and completely invigorating if you can flip it around. The switch comes when you change the underlying assumption here. Move away from disempowerment through to embrace the truth that you have everything you need to move forward.
Instead of looking at what has happened TO you over this past while, start looking for the things that have happened FOR you. What new opportunities exist right now that could not have happened if things had followed the old path of your life? You might have more time to yourself, increased flexibility with your work, greater opportunities to create and build, or a sharper focus on the things that really matter in life. Get busy making the most of the gifts that have landed right at your feet! If you look for them, you will find them, without a doubt.
Thought #2: You’ve Only Really Had One Real Power
“There’s nothing I can do to make a difference here.” “I’m drowning here!”
You feel powerless to fix this situation, like we all do … but the absolute truth of the matter is that you do have the power to choose how you respond in any given moment, even this one … regardless of how overwhelming or pointy it may feel. In fact, it is the only power you’ve ever had … REALLY.
You might have tried to convince yourself that you were in control of your world and in charge of everything that happened in your life. Now life is proving that this is not true. It has never been true.
But here’s the rub. Having the chance to learn this, or remember it fresh in this season really is a gift. It’s possibly the most empowering, transformational lesson you can and will ever learn. You are powerful to choose.
Don’t get me wrong here. Despite your powerlessness to dictate what happens with other people, events and circumstances, your power to create significant change cannot be underestimated. It is with this human power that entire worlds have been transformed throughout history. The same power demonstrated by heroes such as Nelson Mandela, Edith Cowan, and Amelia Earhart have possessed … that power exists in you!
I can hear some of your objections right now … “But what about when She did this to me, or He said that?” “What about when THAT happened?”
The same applies. Even in the rare times when a person is overtly attacking you or seeking to undermine your happiness. Even when the world has been shut down to avoid a virus that millions have caught and hundreds of thousands have been killed by. Even when your government is telling you and everyone else to stay home, shut up shop and stay away from the people you love. You still have the power to choose your response.
The real question is, how will you choose to capitalise on the gifts that have been put right at your feet?
Thought #3: Growth Has Always Been Situational
I’m a big fan of personal development. I take a lot of pride and reward in being the person who reflects deeply and honestly about who and how I am in any given moment. I often marvel at how endless this process of reflection is for all of us. It literally never ends! While there is breath in your lungs there will always be something new to learn about yourself and others.
This lockdown period might feel like you’ve been sucked into a vortex of devastating loss. So it would be understandable that personal growth is not at the top of your priority list right now. Like a gigantic wave, you might have the impression that the world has dumped you facedown into the ocean floor. This is a shocking situation that came from nowhere.
Life itself is a lesson and every moment is a teacher. The only way any type of growth occurs is within a situation. No-one could ever have known how they would fare in the face of a global pandemic, because it has never happened before. None of us could have predicted how the world would change, or how they would deal with it, because it was unheard of! It has been quite a surreal turn of events, yes.
Nonetheless, being faced with this kind of upheaval can remind us again that growth always comes right in the heart of the circumstance. Your breaking point is your making point. What are you going to make of this?
If I was going to run with an old saying to wrap up my thoughts today, I would say this:
It’s time to rally your intentions, beliefs and personal capacity to rise to the challenge of making a fresh new batch of lemonade with the lemons you’ve been handed!
But I want to keep my promise to avoid cliche’s and platitudes, so I will simply sign off with a reminder that how you see really does determine what you see. Always.
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