I want you to think back to early 2020.
Be in that place where you listened to the world leaders telling us that we were heading into “lockdown”.
Remember, for a moment, those feelings rushing through your body. Fear? Panic? Relief? Sadness? Happiness? Scepticism?
Now step back into your space that you are in today.
Looking back, relish and celebrate that resilience that you built. That strength that you mustered during what was, what still is, an epic moment in our history.
Without a doubt, we are far more resilient as a community than what we were heading into 2020 and here’s why:
- We changed our stories.
I remember as if it were yesterday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa appeared on television and social media channels to let us know that we were heading into “lockdown”. Admittedly, I recall little else about that announcement because I tried to process what this all meant for me.
There was little time to be ruminating on the effects of this lockdown because it was going ahead in 48 hours.
It was a spring to action kind of 48 hours.
Planning what we needed at home, getting to grips with a new lifestyle that would have us locked indoors, how the younger ones were going to cope without the structure of the school day, and what that actually meant.
All the while, it was about changing the story that we were being faced with.
It was setting up plans and managing days that were now home-based. Finding alternatives to exercise regimes when gyms were closed. It was seeking out the best outcome for what was a situation that we had no precedent for.
We changed our stories.
We changed how we saw things, and I would suggest that we found lots of things to be grateful for when we were searching for answers.
2. We faced our fears.
With no time to ruminate on this global pandemic, we faced down any fears that we might be having. We really didn’t have a choice, did we?
There is a beneficial process for overcoming fears that I wrote about in a previous blog. I might add for this situation, that process happened pretty much in first gear!
I remember being fearful about what my godsons were going to do without their school structure. So too, what was my best friend going to do about her own work commitments and then manage two young boys at home?
How would I best show up for others, and was I even equipped to do so?
When I reflect on that time, we all did so amazingly well! It wasn’t about our skills that we might have lacked and overcome in a short space of time.
No, it was about our upbeat spirit and how we constantly sought out fun and caring things to do for each other. How we celebrated each other as the days went by and homeschooling became the “new normal”.
If I was taught about resilience during this time, it was from two young boys aged three and five who did everything they were asked to do, and then some.
There are incredible lessons that we can learn from our young-ones.
3. Self-compassion became a talking point.
I remember being online with a group of people during the lockdown, and we were all sharing what was going on in our respective worlds.
The story didn’t change much as each of us spoke about what lockdown meant to us and what effect we were experiencing.
We spoke about mindfulness.
How workdays had, in fact, gotten longer. Everyone working from home was spending more time at their laptops because it was now easier and more convenient.
The golden thread through all conversations was around how we all needed to be more self-compassionate. Mindful about the time spent doing the work and how best to create balance around homelife.
There was discussion around teams being separated from each other and how leaders could best support those teams. How to create connection around disconnection.
Knowing that we weren’t all alone in these efforts, was a great comfort.
We learnt that we could be kinder to ourselves, and we learnt that in so doing, that we could be kinder to others.
4. Being present in the now
I experienced a massive turning point in my online business during this time. It came from my own realisation that was worrying about the future and being concerned about my past was unproductive for me.
We all know very well that we experience pain when we are not absolutely and whole-heartedly in the present moment. We are in the present moment when we are reflecting on everything that we can be grateful for.
There was and is so much that we can be grateful for coming out of the pandemic.
5. We connected and supported each other
I connected with people all across the globe who inspired me and supported me in my journey. I, in turn, did the same.
I still look to those people today for that same inspiration. I learned wonderful things about the world at large, and I saw nature revitalise itself during a period of calm.
I was, and still am, grateful for all of those things and every person who touched my life during the lockdown.
There was a massive move in the online community towards connection and support. Business networks were booming; new skills were being learned, and people were growing exponentially because of this connection.
We were becoming resilient; we were changing our narratives and facing down fears.
We were developing our ability to withstand adversity.
The big question is will we continue to grow in this powerful way as we head into the world equipped to face the “new normal”?