As we hit the one year anniversary of the lockdown here in the UK, for me – this has certainly been a period of reflection.
By the way, this has to rank as one of my least favourite anniversaries ever – certainly not one to celebrate with balloons, bunting & a buffet!
However, as I sat watching the sunrise this morning – fully accepting the rollercoaster that I – like many of us – have been on over the past twelve months, it made me think of the positives, as well as the obvious negatives & sometimes brutality of ‘these times’.
- I have reclaimed 80% of my life that was previously spent travelling.
- I have reinvested that time back into my self-care, my development as well as my business.
- It has given me that enforced distance from ‘real life’ & given me space to truly evaluate things that we often don’t see.
- It’s given me a balance back where there wasn’t one before – more & better quality family & home time being a key part of that.
- It’s made me see a different way to work, live & rest.
So actually, this may now be the ‘new normal’ – who knows? That’s the great thing – we don’t need to know right now!
Earlier, I mentioned ‘fully accepting’ because for me, the sadness, frustration and sometimes pain that the pandemic & lockdown has caused – very often came from a sense of loss, denial, normality, a victim mentality & the lack of hope – but not the reality.
The reality we experience is very often filtered by our current state.
As I often say when I deliver my talks ‘we can talk ourselves into a losing game’ – there is so much power in our self-narrative.
If we are struggling with our Mental Health, self-esteem, self-belief or confidence – that narrative can own us, can taint us – it can alter our sense of belonging.
So, this year, I decided to take my own advice & taken steps to ensure I am giving myself every chance of being smarter, stronger, happier, more resilient & successful (by my own definition – it’s very subjective!) – but trust me, taking your own advice is a lot harder than it sounds!
To use an analogy, I’ve had countless conversations with tradespeople over the years who do amazing things to help other people’s houses look great – then let theirs slide!
One of the most powerful, impactful lines in my Keynote Talk ‘Talking Anxiety’ is to ask yourself this “is it fact, or is it the story you are telling yourself?”.
Very often – what we get anxious about is the story we tell ourselves, not the reality – our self-narrative.
Recently, a student told me that what makes her most anxious is when she texts her friend and her friend doesn’t text back…but, that’s not what makes her anxious.
What makes her anxious is the story she tells herself ‘she doesn’t love me anymore, we’ve fallen out, I’ve been rejected’ – but that’s not fact, that’s her story.
And, by the end of the session – she actually heard back from her friend!
But, even it was fact – we can deal with fact – we can address it, confront it, step up.
If it’s a story – we can absolutely change that by changing the way that you speak to yourself, start to talk yourself into a winning game!
Wherever you are reading this right now, however you are feeling – just know you are never, ever done – the power is always in the comeback – remember, we have all of the answers, we just need to ask ourselves the right questions then get out of our own way!
We are on the last leg now, the final mile, the home strait – keep on keeping on!
And, if you feel you need help – go to my new ‘Need Help’ section of the website to be signposted to solutions & organisations who can support you in any challenge you are experiencing.
Until next time, take care everyone!