Last time my income dropped to approximately zero it was 2009 with the financial crash. Now I am in the same position with the Corona Virus. But this time it is different. Straight away I experienced an almost overwhelming feeling. I wanted to respond, not react. This time, I wanted to choose, to allow a gap before acting.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Viktor E. Frankl
I pressed the pause button for at least seven days to allow myself the emotional and psychological space from which to respond. The nice weather and lots of walking helped. I paid a lot of attention to how I felt. This time denial was really quick, and I entered the trough of despair with a bump. I felt angry, upset and really stuck with nearly all my work postponed. I was unable to see a future, no longer able to see my friends and worried about being a long way away from my daughter.
So, I’m curious, where are you on the Change Curve right now?
On one walk I spoke with two people (don’t worry, a lot more than 2 metres away from me) who told me they were really pleased to be simplifying their lives with the constraints of lock down. I told them that in contrast, I felt really sad at not being able to go to Saudi Arabia, Belfast and Uganda to deliver training that I loved. In that moment we needed to honour our different places on the curve.
Having taken my gap, so that I could respond, not react, what’s happening for me now? These are some of the doors I am choosing:
- Surprisingly I find myself moving from reluctance to enthusiasm to learn new skills. I thought I was good at virtual working, but, umm, there is clearly more to master..
- I have found myself a new niche in wellbeing coaching, having applied to support (pro bono) the NHS.
- My colleagues and clients are asking me to run virtual workshops and webinars on how to use their strengths in this challenging time. My flagship workshop is finding a new way to show up and support people at this difficult time.
It feels really different. I’m appreciative of being able to use my skills virtually. It’s a fantastic feeling to help people with their confidence, resilience, wellbeing and capability at a time like this.
Yes, income is still down, still nearly zero, but I learnt from last time that it can rebuild. And from my investment in personal development over the last decade, I am confident I have more resourcefulness, patience, perspective and capacity to look for what will help you, the client, with your new set of needs and priorities too. The focus is on you, not me.
So once again I’m wondering, where are you on the Change Curve right now? And if an honest conversation with a journeying partner might help. If you don’t already have a trusted coach, colleague or friend, get in touch. I love to talk, share experience and learn.
Conversation, emotional honesty, walking, perspective, kindness, compassion for self and others, re-connecting with our strengths in our new context are all really important right now.
Gill How is a Master Executive Coach and Innovative Leadership Developer who loves to enable professionals to stretch and grow. Please contact her for an exploratory conversation if you think her approach may help you succeed with your goals.
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Photo credits: Martin & Gill How.
Location: Chefchaouen, Morocco, the week before lock down.