Three Questions to Ask Yourself in a Time of Chaos, Confusion and COVIDReading Time: 3 minutes
Some see crisis, hardship and setbacks as something only to suffer through. But in every challenge, there is opportunity. COVID-19, with all its negative effects, has presented opportunities to those willing to seek them out. What opportunities are in front of you right now?
Before we begin, let’s all take a deep, socially-distanced breath for a moment. I think for one of the few times in the history of the human race we can all agree on something: This sucks.
I don’t know about you, but back in March I thought, “Okay, if this Coronavirus thing is going to create havoc in my life for three months or so and then things will go back to normal, then I can deal with that.”
Perhaps I was naïve, but I know I wasn’t the only one. Now we know the virus is going to be around for a lot longer. How long? We don’t know. And how will it impact life permanently moving forward? That we definitely don’t know.
Without a doubt, COVID-19 has upended the standard of living we were accustomed to pre-2020. It has changed our daily routines in a multitude of ways. And that’s scary.
When the comfortable becomes uncomfortable, when the normal becomes abnormal, when certainty becomes uncertainty, it scares us. The natural response is fear. And that’s not a bad thing. Fear is designed to protect us from harm. But fear can also have an adverse effect and paralyze us from action.
It’s okay and perfectly normal to be sad, angry and loathsome about the many hardships we’ve all faced this year. Every personal setback is magnified by the Coronavirus effect. The loss of a loved one, divorces and breakups, the loss of a job, other illnesses, the pain those things cause are all compounded by COVID.
To reiterate a key point I made earlier that cannot be overstated – this sucks.
Take time to grieve, get angry, cry, feel bad about things. It’s important to let yourself have that. Acknowledge this is an incredibly trying time that we are all going through. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour each day to just let yourself feel bad. (Preferably when you are alone.)
But here is the key: Commit the rest of your time each day to seeking out the opportunities in the struggle. If you start to feel bad about something, turn it around, and ask yourself:
- What is in my control in this situation?
- Where is the opportunity here?
- What one small step can I take today toward realizing this opportunity?
For me, a first time entrepreneur, the “Great Pause” of 2020 has been valuable in a lot of ways. Priorities came into focus, I gained a clearer picture of what matters and what doesn’t matter in life, and I gained a renewed since of appreciation and gratitude for things I previously took for granted (topping that list – toilet paper.)
More tangibly, it provided me the freedom to launch my life coaching business and start to work toward the life and career I really want. Now, I am able to help others like me who want more out of their careers.
Eventually, COVID-19, at least as we know it now, will be history. When you are talking with family and friends and looking back on this time five, 10, 25 years from now, what will you be telling them about your personal experience of 2020?
What positive impact will you be able to say you made in your world during a time when others only saw struggle?