COVID has been difficult, challenging, and unpredictable. The level of hardship and the unknown have produced more anxiety and a fear-based mindset, globally, then I have seen in my lifetime. Over the past 6 weeks I have spoken to and heard numerous clients and friends express gut wrenching fear and sadness over a loss of how life was supposed to look, insecurity in how to act or what is even safe.
The other day I was having a discussion with a close friend about my perspective on what has unfolded internationally. She was wondering why I was so calm and curious my ability to choose to not allow fear and the unknown to rule my decisions or even rob me of my peace. I simply said, because I know I will make it through. I don’t know what it’s going to look like and I have no idea what is going to happen, but I’m ok with that. I will handle one thing at a time. I have been through a time in my life that has given me a different perspective. It prepared me for handling crisis and the unknown.
2010 - 2015 I can honestly say were the most devastating years in my life (and that speaks volumes because I had already been through the loss of my mom to cancer, in previous years). My marriage had self destructed, the dream of the idealic family life I had envisioned for my kids was disintegrating before my eyes, literally every aspect of my life was leveled to ground zero, including my self worth and identity. I remember multiple times being curled up in a fragile/shaking ball on my closet floor sobbing and terrified (I mean like petrified beyond what I thought I could handle) and not knowing how I was going to provide for my kids much less make it through the unknown of every day. I owed a large sum to the government for taxes because of the sudden change in finances and settling on credit cards, I couldn’t even get a credit card in my own name because I was coming from being a stay at home mom (so no employment history), my credit was crushed by us having to settle with credit card companies just to manage separating into 2 households, several months I had to ask for a loan from my inner circle just to make my house payment so that I didn’t lose my house (the house my kids had always known since they had been born, the one thing that would provide stability for them through this process). I am not going to lie…this was a messy messy time for me. I was a wreck internally and externally. I am not exaggerating when I say this time period was soul crushing for me. It stole every piece/aspect of who I thought I was and I had to rebuild my entire life, identity.
But those years prepared me for such a time as this. I am actually grateful for those years and who it has made me become. Here are just a few bullet lessons I learned from my inferno experience that can be applied directly to what we are experiencing currently:
Come Back to Who You are - When you lose your identity, you lose everything. You are unable to make foundation based decisions and you react in ways that are not congruent with who you truly are…which will also effect your self esteem and confidence.
Lean on God - I could not have made it through without my faith. He is bigger than any of this and has a bigger plan for you too!
Let go of Your Expectation of how Things should be - Choose to focus on the things you can control and let go and pray about the things that are out of your control.
Move into Action on those Things You can Control - Setting up some simple, accomplishable action steps that will move you forward in a positive direction will not only create motion(momentum) in your life but also more confidence and a feeling of being able to control the things that you can. Be pro active. Move into positive action.
Have Grace for Yourself - If you are driven and expect a lot from yourself this can be the hardest one. You have got to give yourself grace. Give yourself some space. We have never dealt with anything like this before so how could you possibly have all of the answers in how to solve it or even handle it?
Don’t Judge Others - You have no idea what is really going on in their world, day or mind. Extend them grace.
Self Care is Crucial (More on Upleveling Your Energy & Self Care Here) - Make it a priority. It will effect EVERYTHING, your ability to cope, react, have joy, gratitude, be productive, motivated, your health and weight. Make these things a priority: Sleep, Eating right, Moving your body, Doing something that makes you feel more like you and fills you up, Meditate/ Pray/Release
Don’t Overreact - Be aware of what you are feeling. Allow yourself to feel it. Get out and do something to get you out of your head and release some stress.
Ask for Help - Don’t be a loner. Stay connected with others, human connection is so important to keep you grounded and filled. Ask when you need help. People love to support and help, but they don’t know unless you make your needs known.
Connect with Positive Resources and People - I cannot express enough how much this will affect you. Your mindset is everything during times of stress and trial. Surround yourself with other positive thinkers, listen to uplifting music and tv shows, listen to growth based podcasts and books! Saturate yourself with goodness!
Stop Thinking of Worst Case Scenarios - Freaking yourself out and creating anxiety will only do more harm. It will create a self destructive mindset. That which you think about you bring about. Stop creating self fulfilling prophecies (limit your exposure to the news, like 5-10m a day…all you need to know are the bullet points so you are aware of what is happening, you do not need to entrench yourself in the negativity of what the press is sharing).
Make Decisions and Choices Based on Facts not Assumptions - Ask yourself if what you are projecting in your mind is fact and will happen100%. If it is not, STOP IT. You can’t live in worse case scenarios. Reset your mind to what is possible and to what the opportunities are within what your current situation is.
Avoid Overwhelm - Take one thing at a time and base it on what you currently know. Make that one decision and put it into action and then make the next one. Do not try to handle everything all at once, especially those things that you don’t even know are going to happen (those things are out of your control, let them go).
I know I can do this. I know I am enough. I know that I am resilient and no matter what happens, I will figure it out. It might not be easy, or painless or enjoyable. I may feel like I want to die, cry, or give up…but I will make it through and so will you! I have watched friends and family walk through the life changing journeys of losing a child, drug addiction, loss of identity, the sudden loss of a parent, loss of their belief in Jesus and the church, discovery of affairs, job loss, divorces, losing their homes and believe it or not we have all made it through. We have lived life, real life together. We have chosen to lean in, step in and embrace all of it, the awesome and the suck. That is part of what makes life worth living, all of the rich textures and threads that create its vast array of colors, emotions and experiences.
The point at which you choose to allow the natural state of reality and decide to release control, fresh perspectives and opportunities can start to open to you. It is a choice, daily, moment by moment. It is a choice to be brave, to be willing to step into the unknown and trust yourself, trust that the Universe has a bigger plan, trust that Jesus has you, trust that it may not look anything like you thought….but that too has blessings, wherever it leads (you just have to look for them/shift your perspective). Embrace the adventure of finally trusting yourself, and allow what is asking to flow into your life, entrance. It will be scary, because it is unfamiliar and unpredictable, but I promise (because I have actually walked through it/experienced it first hand/and grown because of it) it is better than forcing, resisting, self sabotaging, living in constant fear, avoiding, and self destructing.
Action & Implementation: The Wave & Ripple Effect of “What If"
Confront your deepest fear(s) head on:
What if the worst possible scenario happens? You can chose to fear or be brave. Take it ALL the way to the end. Keep asking until you get to the worst possible scenario you can imagine. ex. If I lost my house what would happen? Then what would I do? And then what would happen? And then what would you do? Literally take it ALL the way to the very end of what you can possibly imagine happening and how you would handle each thing if it were a real case scenario. What I want you to see, is you are a survivor. No matter what, you can do this. If everything falls apart and falls away, you can pick yourself back up and start from there. I know, I have done it, I promise it is possible.
Start with Mindset & Possibility:
What if I choose to look at the opportunities and see possibilities instead. What if I did or chose to do __________ and changed my perspective to__________ (input a positive action and thought). What then is possible? When you flip things upside down and look from a positive/different perspective, fresh new things come into play, new doors open that you could not see before. So what if you lost your job….what could you do to make money? You now have unlimited paper space to write down ideas. What are the things you have always loved? What are your greatest strengths? How can you combine them in a new or more soul fulfilling way? How could you pivot completely and do something within your expertise that would be useful in a new industry or what is a new spin on what you do within your own industry?
I love you and support you! I want to see you expand, grow and thrive during this time of uncertainty. We are in this thing called life together. These are the times that we can prove to ourselves and others who we truly are. Choose to be the best version of you. We can grow 10’x more quickly during times of challenge.
We choose Radiant Resilience over fear based disillusionment! xoxo Jamie