As we emerge from the Covid lockdown, we should be feeling happy, right? We get to see friends, go to the beach, kids go to summer camp…it’s all good!
Yet somehow there’s more cranky than happy. “I should reach out beyond the five people I’ve been regularly talking to.” “I should get those Covid pounds off so I can fit into my clothes again.” “I should go for that promotion; after all, nothing’s in my way.”
Lots and lots of shoulds. Shoulds are a sign that our expectations and our motivation are out of synch. They are a sign that the inner critic is having a field day.
So a Covid silver lining (yes, another one ), is that the last year has brought to light a dynamic that has always been present.
I work with hundreds of professionals every year. And even though most of them are doing well, they live in the land of shoulds. They overlook accomplishment after accomplishment and only focus on what isn’t done or what’s not done well enough.
And being in that space all the time costs a lot. A lot of energy. A lot of balance. And in the long run, a lot of success.
I’ve heard that the difference between the Hollywood actors who make it, and those who don’t, is how quickly they recover from disappointment and move on.
What does that look like in real-time corporate life?
1. Know your triggers. The more you understand the voices that get you down, the more you can interrupt them when they come up. When they do, just remember that they’re only a feeling, not reality
2. Build bench strength. I meditate throughout the day (once in the morning and in 2-minute bursts every few hours). Meditation and breathing are about more than calming down in the moment. They are about building bench strength so that you can respond positively faster, and more often.
3. Be kind to yourself. And to others.
4. Related to that, ask yourself, “What if what I believe about this isn’t true?” What is a more accurate description?
5. With a more realistic assessment, give yourself some time to think of a few more possible courses of action, then decide what you want to do.
Remember, this time may be fraught with expectation. Go easy, and use what you learn from the experience to do the same once we come roaring back.
All my best,