“I don’t want it to go back to the way it was before…”
Perhaps this phrase resonates with you, or you’ve heard people saying something similar?
Of course, you want to move forward but perhaps you think a tweak (or a major change)
may be needed?
As a coach I have heard this time and time again from clients talking about the challenges
they have faced during the pandemic. And – almost as importantly – the elements of it that
they have surprisingly enjoyed, and the secondary benefits they’ve gained. These include:
more time with their family
more enjoyable pace of living, with better wellbeing and healthier routines
more time reconnecting with people, family, friends; time they didn’t have before
improved productivity at work and the time and space to do things better
getting to know colleagues more because of higher quality ‘real’ conversation
feeling more connected to their sense of meaning and realising what’s important
COVID-19 has been and still is tricky for some, and very difficult for others. But even for
those at the tougher end of that experience, there may be silver linings. Some people have
become clear on what they want more of; others are becoming clear on what they want less
of, such as:
that commute to the workplace
that intensity and pressure
the early starts, late finishes, missing family, missing life and feeling imbalanced
time to focus on the tasks, the job, instead of the people who are doing it with you
the feeling of disconnect
We may be surprised by our new discoveries during this time – and whatever your
discoveries are, you are absolutely right.
These could be the things we have discovered we really like or the things we have realised
don’t serve us as well as we thought. And then there are the things we miss; the things we
haven’t been able to do and the people we haven’t been able to be with.
So, as we begin to look to the future – the key is in the phrase – we must face and look
towards the direction in which we want to travel.
To move forwards towards a future that we want, and that serves us well, we must be clear
on what we want. Too often we look in the wrong direction, reflecting on the things we don’t
want. We think about and feel unproductive negative emotions as we consider moving
backwards towards a future we don’t want.
So, what do you want?
Imagine your new norm, and what you want for it. As you envisage it, ask yourself:
What do you see yourself doing more of (and therefore less)?
What environments do you observe yourself in more as you consider the new norm? What does that feel like?
Who do you notice yourself with more when you consider an improved new norm?
What daily habits and routines do you have in your desired new norm?
What skills or capabilities might you be utilising more often?
What do you have more resources and energy for?
What is more important to you, when living and breathing this new norm?
Who can you be when you are this version?
And of the above - ask yourself what is entirely possible? Which are fundamentally
important? Where might it be OK if there is a ‘halfway house’ version of what you want?
As you gain clarity and imagine a possible future, notice the differences between who you
are right now, who you want to be in future and who you have been pre-COVID-19. Which
version of you is more important? Whatever your answer – it is the right one.
Next, ask yourself what the best next step is and, potentially, who needs to know?
You have all the resources within you to create the success and outcomes that you want.
Your life, your career and your world are yours to create, so create what you want.