Why Can’t Things Just Get Back To Normal?
By Gillian Watson, Associate Elect & Legends Report Writer
With schools, work, shops and traditional entertainment closing and your home becoming more than your refuge, but rather your entire world, there are understandably going to be feelings of uncertainty and concern at how to change things during this time of lockdown.
What can you do to help yourself get the most out of what this new 'normal' is?
We can often look out there at the world and hope or pray for things to change during this time of Covid-19 but at this time it’s a reminder in reality, the only real thing we can focus on and control, is not other people, not work, not our family, not the global pandemic, but ourselves.
Not least of all, how you are thinking about things right now but also what your attitude and actions towards them is. How many of us think "If only things could get back to the way they were?" "If only this...if only that...". Well, the reality is we are entering into a new phase of humanity and things will likely be very very different for years to come. What can we do to prepare ourselves for it to come through it stronger than we were before?
Think about it, what part of the old ‘normal’ life do you actually want back?
“In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth returning to.”
― Dave Hollis, Author of 'Get Out of Your Own Way: A Skeptic's Guide to Growth and Fulfilment'
Feeling like the World as You Know It Is Ending?
It can be understandable with all the changes happening in the world that we feel a bit lost at times. It’s fine to be honest about the emotions you are experiencing at the moment.
There will be feelings of loss, fear, indulgence, happiness, anger, frustration and guilt, to name a few. They will most likely become apparent at unexpected times. It is important to recognise these in a way that will help you build your self-awareness. How you respond to these emotions will determine how much they control you, instead of the other way around! Instead of being a product of your emotions, you can rather become the creator and master of them.
Allowing Yourself Space
A lot of what people are doing and saying at the moment is based on being reactive. Reacting to the news, to politicians, to friends, to jokes and to panic. There are many points of stimulus at any point in the day. Are you allowing yourself some time and space in order to process and understand what is truly affecting you and your loved ones? To pause, to reflect.
When you allow space between hearing, seeing or experiencing something and responding to it, you give yourself time to process the information using your unique perspective.
Focus On What You Can Control
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning
Every person’s circumstances are different, which is why their responses and actions should be too. Reacting to external stimuli is a choice. We all have the freedom to choose our response when we are presented with a situation where it is our responsibility to decide on a path.
We don’t all make good decisions in these moments. But learning how to shift that response is where we learn how to move from being reactive (and a slave to your circumstances and external influence) to proactive (in control).
Starting the Journey to Achieving Proactive Progress
“Proactive people can carry their own weather with them. Whether it rains or shines makes no difference to them. They are value-driven; and if their value is to produce good quality work, it isn’t a function of whether the weather is conducive to it or not.”
― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Becoming proactive is not something that can be achieved overnight! It’s a process. A life-long discovery and journey of learning about yourself and choosing to create your own ‘weather’, instead of being subject to any fair-weather or storm that comes along. Now that is something worth putting your energy into, isn’t it?
How To Become More Self-Aware During This Isolation Period:
What can you do today to turn this situation into areas of opportunity?
- Become aware of when have you felt the most out of control?
For some people, it comes out as anger, for others anxiety and most often our reaction is out of proportion to the issue at hand resulting in regret or guilt.
- Reflection: Start to become aware of when this happens, journal about it or make a note about what triggers it, what your reaction was and how you felt.
- Practising Proactivity: Write down how you would prefer to RESPOND and how that would make you feel instead.
- What do you appreciate most about this time?
Find joy and gratitude in what you are happy to have lost and celebrate what you have gained from being at home. Perhaps it’s more time for self-reflection or playing that instrument you’ve always wanted to play? Or just phoning loved ones you haven’t spoken to for a long time.
- Reflection: Take just 2 minutes after reading this after to sit and be thankful. Don’t go onto Facebook or answer that text message! 😉 Take action and realise there is so much to appreciate about life now.
- Practise Proactivity: Connect with like-hearted people. At this time it's essential we surround ourselves with positive, upbuilding and progressive influences and people:
Click here to connect with like-hearted people and learn the habits of highly effective people during a crisis. Join one of our complimentary Covid-19 support webinars on Meetup.
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