Crickey! What can I say, these last few weeks my emotions have been all over the place, crying at the amazing stories of goodwill and community spirit, when it’s time to clap for the NHS on a Thursday night or seeing an old couple walk hand in hand around the supermarket as they face together the uncertainties of when they will next be able to do what seems an ordinary task.
But then there have been moments of resilience, my fighting spirit coming forth as I am determined not to let the virus impact my business. I’ve found my creative genes as I think of new ways to stay connected with those I love and keep them entertained and opportunities to pivot my business in different directions.
It has only really been today though that I’ve started to realise that I am riding my own change curve. It’s now been week 3 of isolation and also week 3 of experiencing mild symptoms. Initially, my change curve journey started with anxiety. I was anxious as I didn’t know what to expect what the new normal would look like and like many of you, I didn’t have the answers and I didn’t know who could give me the answers (Google couldn't tell me and speculation on social media intensified my emotions). I started to move forward and think about what my clients needed from me, how I could take my existing offerings and operate them in a way that met social distancing and isolation needs but also gave some sense of familiarity and control to my clients. Whether this was providing online classes, virtual networking sessions or supporting business owners as they had to furlough or make staff redundant. Having started to get clarity for myself what my new normal could look like, that I would be ok and my business would survive, I started to climb the emotional rollercoaster upwards towards the denial phase. My fighting spirit started to emerge; I felt a buzz as I started to see new opportunities. My natural tendency to set structure and discipline when faced with a crisis came to the forefront and I went into overdrive setting up alternative ways of working. I found myself working most of that first weekend as I wanted to harness this new sense of motivation and stick two virtual fingers up to Corona.
But then the frustration kicked in and the downward rollercoaster journey began. This change in emotional state was largely as I was expecting clients to be moving through the change curve at the same time as me and that they would be ready to take advantage of my new offerings. But some weren't, they had other priorities going on in their lives, such as homeschooling and remote working which meant that career changes or career coaching were not their priority. I felt frustration kick in, this was the year I had started to see expansion into new lines in my business, this was the year I had set myself challenging income targets that had looked feasible but now I was beginning to question. I also found at this point (last week) that I felt worse with my symptoms, my energy, my breathing, my ability to concentrate all starting to take a nosedive and on my roller coaster ride I hit the depression stage. I started to doubt my plans to expand my business would work, I struggled to find the motivation to do tasks that I typically enjoyed such as interactive sessions with clients and writing blogs. So I stopped I took the pressure off and allowed myself to just be for a couple of days. It was a case of needing to let my emotions come out, let my body recover. By not acknowledging how I was feeling I was not allowing myself space to take care of the physical, emotional and mental elements that I needed. For a few days, I did the daily essentials that I needed but otherwise, I did nothing on the proactive side and yes I felt guilty but putting my coaching hat on I now accept that this was exactly what I needed. Sometimes when our head is all over the place we need to let our emotions guide us.
As I entered week 3 I started to feel the more playful side coming out, and I know that having given myself space my creative juices are kicking back in and I can sit and write this blog and am able to reflect and think about how I share this experience with you all. This week I am up for experimenting, starting with writing a section for my mentor in her upcoming book and hosting a virtual wine, women and wisdom session.
So why am I sharing this with you? Out of change, whether we choose it or it is imposed on us, new opportunities will arise, we will meet new people we will have different experiences and we will learn about ourselves. A crisis can help us get clear on what is really important to us and this is always the starting point when trying to figure out our next career move. We start with the question what do I want to have for myself, what do I want to be able to do, who do I want to be and what do I want to have. A crisis can help crystalise this.
If you enjoyed reading this blog you may want to take a look at the following:
- When life throws you a curveball
- How to get your groove back when your negative mindset kicks in
- Thinking of a career change; 5 pitfalls to avoid
You can find out more about our virtual Wine, Women and Wisdom session that happen every Wednesday here.