Anyone who knows me realizes that, well, “I talk to everyone”. The hardest place for me to stand is an elevator. Convention says you don’t talk to people in an elevator, goodness, I find that challenging. But to my shock, and glee, the other day someone said "hello" on the elevator. I felt like I had won the lottery!! I returned the greeting, and then I asked "how are you doing?" Well, this young man said "Honestly, I hate Covid. I am so ready ready to get back to normal!"
Now I wanted to get into the weeds with him about it, but he got off on his floor. It would have been odd to follow him (not to mention rather creepy). So sitting in an outdoor park near my residence, I decided to do a completely unscientific poll. Respondents were asked to identify their mindset towards the next step in what I have come to call the COVID Chapter. The poll found that people fall into four distinct categories:
45% Vaccinated and ready for a return to normal
25% Vaccinated but not ready for a return to normal
25% Unvaccinated and ready for a return to normal
5% Unvaccinated but not ready for a return to normal
Now I guess a major element of this question is: What exactly is ‘normal’? For the purpose of our brief discussion today, let’s just say it means ‘returning to past practice”. That past practice might be returning to the office, the classroom, the boardroom, or just going about a routine of life that seems ‘normative’.
I am sure the above figures are different region by region and sector by sector, but if we all give it a good think – it’s probably pretty spot on. So what is stopping people? Well that was also part of my question (remember I talk to everyone).
As we got to the heart of it… well it seems to be one simple thing…. “Fear”. Fear of the unknown. Fear of when this will be over? Fear of what ‘normal’ will look like? Fear of whether we will be shut down again and repeat this ‘chapter’ as a new endless loop?
Now those of you who are in One to One Coaching with me, or who are part of our Group Coaching Mastermind Community, know that a big element of what I teach is that there is a big difference between a ‘feeling’ and a ‘choice’. I can feel like not getting out of bed in the morning because I don’t see the sunshine, but I have to make the choice to get out of bed or I will miss out on my day (not to mention my job).
So here is a phrase to repeat a lot “Fear is a feeling. Afraid is a choice”
Fear is outside your control, but staying Afraid is a choice you do control.
Sometimes we latch on to fear because of something we sense or experience that we did not originate (e.g. being told that we can’t go into the office anymore). So we find ourselves filled with uncertainty, having to adjust, and even isolation associated with not seeing colleagues and friends. We didn’t make the decision, and now all of those emotions culminate into fear. A lot of that is out of our control. But now is where the ‘control part’ begins.
You can choose to stay ‘afraid’ (meaning to give into the feeling) or you can choose to be ‘our own boss”. A boss sets the tone… so make the choice to set the tone of what you want to do with the feeling (which has come from the circumstance) you are faced with. Circumstances aren’t your boss. Feelings aren’t your boss. The past isn’t your boss. As I often teach, Circumstances are neither negative nor positive. The feeling can be, but the choice we make definitely is. Process the fear (over time), don’t let it be your boss.
So how do we process the fear?
Well here is one step in the process - Name it, so you can Claim it. Claim it, so you can Tame it.
Now, admittly this sounds easier than it sometimes can be, but its important. Name the fears. Write them down. Be honest in your journal (yes you should have one guys). Just like you write down the balance on your bank accounts, or figure out the costs on your new hobby, and write it down somewhere, well do that with what fear is trying to be 'your boss'. This simple process is 'claiming' the fear. Now, its time to "Tame it" and that is a day to day process of looking for it. Becoming aware of when you sense the fear, or feel the fear, or are exposed to the fear in someway. When you do, then Choose, not to give into it, not to allow it, to become your boss!
I would love to tell you more about how to do that. Why not consider a short connect call, or make the choice and join either One to One Coaching with me, or becoming part of our Group Coaching Mastermind Community. Isn’t it time for you to be ‘Your Own Boss”?
Remember, it is possible to start living in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow - so let's #makeitso!