“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”
– Elbert Hubbard
Change is coming at us fast and from every direction. Every area of our lives is affected: how we socialize, work, study, communicate, shop, exercise, worship, eat – nothing is immune to the sweeping change brought on by the health crisis of our time. How do we respond to the overwhelming change that has been forced upon us for reasons beyond our control?
When it comes to the SHIFT, we have a choice!
We can be fearful, stand back, and just hope that our world returns to the way it was.
Or, we take control and become an agent of our own change.
I like the second option.
So, let us start by taking a bit of time to think of the one thing that you feel is your vocation, defining skill or life goal? How will you use your innate skills and talents going forward? What needs to change to allow you to SHIFT and realize your potential?
One thing we know – the world is going to be a different place on the other side of this. We need new ways of thinking and doing to take control of how our personal and professional lives will unfold in the new order that awaits.
For the past 20 years, my life focus has been to make a difference in people’s lives as a motivational humorist. It has offered me the privilege of travelling across the continent to stand face to face with thousands of people to share my ideas and passion for personal growth and building resilience.
I recognize now that I took for granted the ease of jumping on a plane, crossing borders, and walking out on stage in front of a live audience.
I must admit that there have been many moments in recent months where I have felt overwhelmed by uncertainty. I have found it difficult to imagine how I could adapt to the new reality – to evolve my speaking business away from ‘in-person’ presentations to where I am at home speaking to a camera, with no live audience to draw energy from. My inner Luddite kicked in as I tried to fathom all the technology I would need to master to be able to broadcast from my living room.
“It’s been a great run, but I think I am done” I said to my husband in the early days of the lockdown. The past blinded me to the other possibilities that were within reach.
However, the passion I have for connecting with people and making a difference in their lives convinced me that I had no choice but get on with my SHIFT.
The first step was simple acknowledgment that things will be different – for the foreseeable future and perhaps for years to come.
Acceptance came next. I accepted that I had to make a major pivot in my business. So, I began to reach out to colleagues who offered me an important source of comfort and encouragement as they too were facing similar challenges. Knowing I wasn’t alone helped me come to terms with my insecurities and plan the route forward, mapping out the needed changes in small and manageable steps.
Whether you are a teacher, business professional, entrepreneur, front-line essential worker, retail operator, athlete or student ask yourself: what do I need to do to make the SHIFT, and who can I turn to help me? So many of us have seen our lives, careers, family lives and education disrupted. This calls on us to find new ways of doing things. Start by acknowledging the anxiety for what it is – a natural human reaction to stress and fear of the unknown. Only then can you move past it.
Remember to Breathe!
Making the SHIFT will call for every ounce of focus and energy. When stress or anxiety amps up it often plays out with muscle tension. At these times we need to be mindful of our breathing. So, when anxiety starts to take over: INHALE for 4 beats…HOLD for 4 beats and EXHALE for 4 beats.
Lean into the people in your life who lift you up and be gentle with yourself when it comes to embracing the change that lies ahead. The SHIFT takes time. YOU can do this!
I encourage you to reach out to me on social media and let me know how you are coping. I would love to hear your stories and share the feeling of #Resilience and #MovingForward!