We are in the midst of the worst global pandemic in a century. In the past two weeks, we have witnessed the shutdown of our entire way of life. We are all trying to adjust our footing to the current reality—- how to work, how to parent, how to support others, and how to stay well.
I admit to sometimes feeling fearful, anxious, and overwhelmed by how much time it takes just to take care of activities of daily living right now. Yet when I really dive deep and ground myself, I am mostly grateful. I check in and ask myself to first, focus on my own well-being. “Am I safe, am I well, am I present right now?” I check the news once in the a.m. and once at the end of the day—never before bed. I focus on getting outside for at least a walk and Vitamin D most days. Staying physical active helps me feel my best.
For my emotional well-being, I allow myself to feel whatever I feel, without shame or apologies. I feel sad. I am grieving for the joyful things that I cannot do right now. I am discovering ways to do something that gives me a similar feeling. As I focus on what’s in my circle of influence, I discover there is still a lot I can control. I set up Zoom calls with family, friends, and others in order to see their faces and feel connected to those who matter to me. I reach out to a few folks everyday to see how they are doing, and to ask if is there anything I can do to be helpful.
As a leader, I am consciously exploring: “what might this moment be offering?” Ask yourself these questions:
- Can I stay open and curious vs. contracted and fearful?
- How do I model resilience and self-care for my teams so they feel supported?
- Am I using this moment to grow myself and my team so that when we come out on the other side, we are poised to lead the way?
I see some leaders giving in to the first reaction of fear. Do whatever you can in order to sit with that emotion until its intensity diminishes. You have had big challenges as a leader before this one. Yet likely no moment will give you a greater opportunity to shift your very perceptions as this one is doing right now.
I invite you to post your comments here. We coaches can hold space for leaders to grow in even the most difficult moments. Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what I could do to be in service to you and your organization.