Howdy folks! 😊
The month of May marks the beginning of the 2nd trimester of the year 2020. And what a year it has been so far!
Disease (Corona virus takes the cake here), economic hardship (job losses and business closures ), family and relationship woes and so many other challenges that have left everyone reaching for the Re-set button.
We started the year (and decade) with such hope and promise of the big things we’d achieve and strides we’d make, until we were blindsided by Corona…and life somewhat came to a standstill.
What were your resolutions/dreams and plans for the year before all this happened?
I know some who were planning to start (or return to) school this year, while others were looking to start new jobs. Some were preparing to launch new business ventures, while others were planning to get married. Some who were planning to get healthier and exercise more, and a few others who’d wanted to relax and perhaps go on vacation, after a difficult 2019.
But Corona Virus was not having it unfortunately, and here we are several months later, mostly confined to our homes, and a lot of those plans stand either cancelled or postponed to dates unknown.
So, what do you do when life throws a wrench into your best laid plans and there are all kinds of roadblocks on the road to achieving your goals?
Here’s a few ideas you may find helpful:
- Keep calm. As humans, our default response is to panic and worry, especially when the mind starts to tabulate the losses, and going through the ‘What ifs.’ But be careful with those thoughts, because they do have a bearing on your emotions. When anxiety takes root, rationality is thrown out of the window and its easy to give in to knee-jerk reactions just to ease the discomfort and frustration we feel in that moment. So the event has been cancelled or the department has been closed. Keep calm, assess the circumstances and accept the facts on the ground, as this will now form the basis of what you can do next. We may not always have control over what happens to us, but we can control how we respond.
- Assess the situation: As I mentioned above, it is so important to assess the circumstances you find yourself in so you can appreciate the ‘damage’ so to speak. And with that information, start to think of what you should do differently now, to get you through this time and ultimately, to your desired goal. If you’ve lost your job for example, that will mean a reduction in your income. Take stock of all the things which will be affected by that and what the priority areas you need to focus on are. An appreciation of the facts will also empower you to see clearly and make decisions.
- Make the changes: One vital ingredient for surviving challenging times is flexibility. The willingness to embrace change and adjust accordingly to your new circumstances. While it may be uncomfortable, life can’t be business as usual in those times. So perhaps your normal grocery shopping is a full trolley of stuff. It may be time to question if you really need 3 types of bread and 4 types of cheese every week. Or if you were planning a wedding, can you make the adjustment from 300 guests to 50 guests instead? Get clear on the priorities and make the required sacrifices. Go back to ground Zero so you can start to rebuild from there.
- Remain Hopeful and positive. There’s nothing quite like going down memory lane when faced with setbacks to see how you handled previous challenges and came through those seasons. If you’re an adult, you likely have gone through some things at some point or the other, and if you’re reading this now, it means you came through it! Life is never a smooth sailing journey. Which reminds me of the saying, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.’ So hurdles are expected, but remain positive. Keep sending out those resumes, keep planning for that business. Do you remember the time before you got your current job or started your business? You successfully handled those challenges, and you can handle these ones too. No matter how big the setback, don’t fall into self-pity, but remember that you can always get up and start over. Stay positive!
- Lean on your support system. Everyone needs to have a few go-to people in their lives that you can turn to in both bright and dark days. The sort you can be vulnerable with and tell if you do not have enough money for gas. The sorts of people that will lift you up and breathe life into you when you feel deflated. The ones you can bounce off ideas with and help you prepare for your comeback. This is not the time to hide behinds a façade of strength and pretend everything is ok. Sometimes the weight of the world can be crushing, and it will require the help of others to remove that boulder of your back. Be humble enough to accept that help when it is offered. You’ll need it.
- Take Action. So you’ve assessed the situation and made some adjustments, what’s next? Step out and do something. It may be something completely from what you were doing before, or it may be a revised version owing to the new circumstances, but either way start taking some steps. Remain focussed on your end goals and deaf to what people will think or say, as well as your own fearful voice saying, ‘What if I fail?’ But what if you succeed? Courage is feeling the fear and going ahead anyway. Decide on a course of action, count the cost and start taking incremental steps towards that goal. Assess your options often along the way, and resolve to be persistent until you start to see results.
- Take your faith with you. Because we are limited to what we can perceive with our senses, sometimes even the best laid plans can go awry. And this is where our Faith comes in. The substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. What better time than now to pray? About what you’ve been through, where you are now, but more importantly, where you want to go. When you’ve done all you can and given it your best shot, you just stand. After all, there’s 2 sides to the success equation. Your part, and God’s part. Do yours, so He can do His. He doesn’t always operate on our timeline, but He’s always on time nonetheless. Trust Him.
To conclude, here’s a gentle reminder that there was life before the Corona virus outbreak, and there will be life after the Corona Virus outbreak. Ours is to remain hopeful, positive and ready for the opportunities that lie on the other side of this storm. 😊
This too will pass. 💕