This year COVID-19 has marched right through the heart of your social life, your job and your relationships. You are not alone if you’re feeling every little thing is another change too far. When ALL the goalposts are moving it’s hard to know where to focus, let alone where to kick the ball.
I didn’t expect to still be forced apart from my family and friends. I didn’t expect to feel so exhausted from the competing demands of caring for my family and my home, and making changes to my coaching business. I guess I keep forgetting that I don’t have to do it all today. Is that you too? Knowing there’s so much ‘out there’ you want to explore and not feeling you have enough time or even energy to choose what’s the best thing?
I’m going to take a shot in the dark. What if the best thing to choose right now is nothing. Nothing? Come on, Louisa. There’s so much to explore even in this new world! Courses to try, jobs to research, conversations to be had, things to buy, TED talks to watch. Yes. And they will be there tomorrow. And you will be in a far stronger and braver place if you give yourself the gift of waiting. Do nothing. For the next 48 hours don’t make any important decisions. Don’t make any decisions that require you to spend money (unless it’s for essential living). Don’t look for the next thing. Don’t click through on that interesting course. Give yourself the gift of space. See what emerges.
You see sometimes the magic happens best in the space where nothing happens.
The gift of nothing. Have fun with it.
I’m a bit of a control freak (yeh, I know…). Right now there’s an awful lot of uncontrollable stuff. I can’t control the outcome of whether the people I love catch COVID-19, or whether I do. I can’t control the outcome if we do. I can’t control whether I feel grief and sadness for the face-to-face conversations I can’t have. I can’t control whether the shops have what we would like to eat or not. If you know who is hoarding flour please let me know!
Controlling things is how I try to manage fear. But ‘what you focus on grows’ so the more I try to control things because I’m staring into fear, the bigger the fear gets. What I need to do is let go. Let go of needing to control – accept that I can’t control it anyway and deal with immediate needs. What I need and want right now is rest, nourishment and space/time to spend with those I care about using the wonders of technology. Staying stuck in fear ain’t fun, and the way out of fear is to take small steps.
How are you dealing with the uncertainty around you right now? What tips do you have?
If you, or someone you know, would like some space to talk about what’s happening for you right now and come away with a boost of confidence and clarity, I’ve got a few free spaces available as a gift in these strange times. Get in touch.
Go well x
‘Whether or not we belong to any religious or spiritual tradition, there is a renewed awareness of the need to take care not just of our physical health but our mental, emotional and spiritual health — to take care of our souls.’ – Arianna Huffington
I’ve struggled this week with mental, emotional and physical exhaustion from sleep deprivation. It’s the result of caring for my daughter all night while she was ill (she’s getting better now). I wouldn’t begrudge a second if it. And exhausting nevertheless.
Throw that on top of living in isolation in the midst of a global pandemic and you have an interesting cocktail. If you’ve ever been so tired that it feels like the fabric of your insides is somehow coming undone and your brain has shaken loose, that’s kind of how I felt.
I chose to put my superwoman tendencies to one side and ask for help. I asked for alone time. I took a walk for my daily exercise. I found a small corner at home to sit, read, pray, meditate and reflect. It wasn’t long and it didn’t need to be. Those precious moments were the difference between taking care of my soul needs and eventual burn out. It was a powerful lesson for me.
How are you taking care of your soul in these challenging times? What do you need more or less of to help you do that? Who could you turn to, or talk to? It’s not about big steps, it’s about small decisions, quiet voices, tiny changes – those are the ones that add up to seismic shifts.
Go well. x
It’s Friday evening. You grab your stuff and get out of your workplace as fast as your legs will carry you without actually running. Your relief is palpable. You can’t wait to get out of there so your real-life can start. Sad, but true right? And the real truth is you’ve known for a long time you want out, you want to do something different. But what?
This is exactly what stumps so many, many people right at the start of their career changes. I know I don’t want THIS, and I don’t know what I DO want. It’s easy to get lost in a diet of Google searches, career change books and personality profiles. All good resources in their own way and none of them have the magic answers. Worse, no-one is going to turn up with your new career on a silver platter wrapped up with a bow on top. Yep, it’s really not going to happen – no matter how much you want it.
The problem with these approaches is not that they are inherently bad, it’s just that they keep you stuck in your head – stuck in overthinking and over-analysing. If you’re prone to procrastination, you’ll recognise this trait and know how much it holds you back from making progress. Career change does not happen when you only sit and think about it. Career change happens when you stick your head out from underneath the blanket of analysis and start doing something that takes you out of your own head and into real-life experience.
If you want to change career, stop thinking about changing career. Stop searching ‘how to change career’. Instead, try some of these ideas to get you out of your head and into the world, meeting new people and exploring what ideas for your career change open up when you do.
Try these real world ideas:
- Go to an event, workshop or one day course you would never normally go to (Meetup is a great place to find ideas);
- Take a different route to work – notice what draws you to it with a sense of interest or excitement, or inspires you;
- Ask a friend for a recommendation of a Podcast you haven’t listened to before;
- Get in touch with someone who inspires you, or who you would love to have a conversation with about what they do, even if you don’t think you want to do what they do – you’ll never know what little nuggets of inspiration or ideas or contacts they can offer you until you do (tip: offer them something in return, it can be super simple and a little personal touch to help you stand-out from the crowd).
If you’re still stuck in over-thinking and would like more ideas, let’s have a conversation about how I could help you with your career change – I’m always open to talking.
“I am not throwing away my shot!” exclaims Alexander Hamilton in the mega-hit Broadway and West End musical, Hamilton. It’s an admirable sentiment. How many times a day, a week, a month do you do just that by comparing your life, your career, your possessions, your body, your clothes or your successes (or lack) to someone else?
How do you feel when you do? If you’re prone to over-analysing or have a strong perfectionist or achiever streak (hello, yes that’s me too – nice to meet you) you probably start feeling pretty rubbish. Social media is full of pinnacle moments – those moments where we show the world our happy highlights, not the gritty drudgery of daily life. How many times have your friends shared pictures of the sink piled high with dishes, the overflowing washing basket or the Inbox with 3,000 unread emails? Yes, I thought not.
Someone wise once said (it is probably not Teddy Roosevelt although some sources say it is) ‘Comparison is the thief of joy‘. Why? Because as soon as we start comparing ourselves to others we start to notice the ways we don’t measure up, the ways we are inferior and it sucks all the joy and happiness from us, like a Dementor sucking souls in J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter stories. This is YOUR journey through life, no-one else’s. No-one else is even half as capable as you are of living your one and only life. So stop comparing. Go out and do YOUR thing!
How do you stop the comparison killjoy in its tracks? Here are a few ideas:
- Write down at least 5 things you’re grateful for – keep it simple;
- Take a deep breath and get present to what’s going on for you in this one moment, and the next as it happens;
- Have an image in your mind you can focus on. Whatever we focus on grows, so shift your focus onto something else – a calm sea, a forest, a surfer on the waves, your favourite coffee;
- Take action – comparison sometimes reminds us it’s time not to throw away our own shot at life, and when it does get into action and do something small to get you started along the path towards your big dreams;
- Laugh – yes, I know – and laughter really is the best medicine.
How do you shake off your killjoy comparison monster? Let me know below!
If you want clarity on your own journey through life, let’s speak.