We are all still being propelled to a global common place – how will I operate and contribute in the next normal? The concept of ‘new normal’ is fading, as we have passed that mark somewhere in 2020.
2021 brought its own hardships, with a pandemic that now stretches over the calendar mark of 2020 and extends, whilst the world holds its breath to observe the long-term success of the vaccine. This does not make the existential question any easier and there are several focus points to explore, in order to find your individual next way.
If there was ever a time to invest in the statement Be true to yourself, it is now. So much has been proclaimed around finding your passion, purpose and pursuing your dreams…. with the real change and action often lagging. In my journey as a developmental coach, I have had many clients come to me with this request: “I have read books, listened to talks and even worked with another partner before you; but I am not truly moving forward – I need help with that.” Sounds familiar? The call to action is simpler than you think. Let’s look at a few fundamentals to catalyst real change:
- I am all for dreaming, but beware of too much thinking and no action around it.
- How do you break out of this chrysalis?
- Get an accountability partner to help you set your path. Two heads work better than one
- Establish your objectives, together with the anticipated rewards. Having this actual glimpse of the end satisfaction, is something to pull you through when the process wears you down.
- Give back to those behind you, that can learn from your journey.
- You may ask: “Where do I find energy for this, considering what we are living through?” The answer is the simple concept of, instead of just expanding; become the expansion.
Let’s talk about this concept of expansion – this is an attitude, with small actions built into it. Beware of trying to do too much, too soon! Plot out small actions with your accountability partner, which can be a daily practice to shift you to living expansion. You may also give five minutes of your day to others in the smallest way – repeat this regularly and one day the penny drops… You are living your giving! The day will come soon enough where you realise… you have more energy and focussed time to expand, as it has somatically become part of you. Trust me, you will have that moment of awareness and hence your true impact takes off. With this impact, comes real internal change and living it expands to the rest of the world. A stronger sense of being grounded and sensing joy (not happiness); will fill your life – all of this is a solid energy boost, as you will experience over time. Not to even mention the reward found in helping others too.
What is the difference between joy and happiness? As per my own experience with watching coaching clients shift, joy is the everyday and lasting feeling we get from the work we pour into ourselves; maintaining it and not giving up on it when we feel low. Pressing forward with one tiny step in front of the other on the difficult days. Happiness can be fleeting and fickle – momentary episodes of fun and enjoyment. Not that there is anything wrong with that; but let’s use joy to maintain it when times are not so fun-filled and exciting.
I know basically all of us have experienced big losses during this harrowing time – it has come in various forms; such as health issues, losing loved ones, lack of income, general instability, burnout and the inability to plan.
In all of this, we can have a mechanism to pull us through and that is mindfulness. This proves to be a helpful strategy for stress management too. Highly successful people master the art of living in the moment, by simply showing up and focussing on what is in front of them to do for each minute, hour and day. Yes, we plan; but we live for today. During these times, a longing for a safer pre-COVID past can be addictive and toxic. It is OK to mourn that loss and then step into what lies ahead – a new dawn of freshness and possibilities
How can personal leadership development aid to all of this?
The word ‘existential’ points to an awareness of the greater whole of existence and how it relates to the situation at hand, in the present moment. The most forward-seeing leaders are those who can project beyond the systemic benefits of change. They can tune into what is best for the whole and make decisions from that place. Self-awareness is knowing what you believe in and value what deeply motivates you. Once again this speaks into realness and YOUR truth.
I will leave you with the question: “How does my own world lean in to impacting universally and expanding to the upliftment of not only myself, but also others?”
If you seek a partner for this journey, I am here to guide and walk beside you.
It is also an option to take this conversation further via group facilitation at your business place, together with my collaborative partner, Milena Gevers.