After the Crisis, Opportunity

‘I feel like I’m standing at the crossroads of change.’

This was how one client summed up her feelings to me last week during a Power Hour session.

And her words have been echoing around my head ever since because she voiced a sentiment that many of us seem to be feeling right now as we cautiously emerge into the much heralded ‘new normal’.

If there IS a positive takeaway from the pandemic, it’s that it’s given us a space for reflection…. time to consider reconsider, re-evaluate and reconfigure aspects of our lives that no longer serve us.

Before going any further, I want to stress that I am VERY conscious of the significant privilege of being able to choose to make a life shift right now, at a time when so many people are facing changes they most certainly didn’t ask for.

But  among those lucky enough to make them voluntarily, it seems many are starting to question if they even CAN return to their old selves… or perhaps more importantly, if they even want to.

Perhaps you’re feeling it too?

Perhaps you’re at a ‘crossroads’ of your very own right now, trying to decide whether you want to stay on the same road that you were on before the pandemic or if you want to choose a new road that involves changes to who you are and the life you are leading.

‘Crossroads of change’ somehow captures so many of the feelings involved in making this decision – feelings of anticipation, hope, opportunity, fear and resistance… to name but a few!

For me, the pandemic has prompted all these and more, plus a lot of introspection and re-evaluation. And why wouldn’t it? Things FEEL different. I FEEL different. I AM different!

A chance to do things differently

Almost all the coaching conversations I’ve had recently have been focused on exploring potential new opportunities for ‘when this is all over’.

Now that restrictions here in the UK have started lifting, it would seem that many of us really don’t want to snap back into our old routines after the intensity of the last year.

Opportunities can present themselves in the most unexpected of situations and lockdown is one such extreme example offering us opportunities for a fresh start.

New ways of being and doing.

But these opportunities and new ways of being and doing seldom appear fully formed and ready to go straight out of the blocks! After all, we’re talking about CHANGE here!

Your feelings are information

New opportunities usually present themselves as feelings first off and if you’re experiencing strong emotions that you don’t quite know what to with, your first task is to try and articulate exactly what it is that you’re actually feeling! Your feelings are information – get curious and start listening to what they’re telling you.

As we move out of lockdown, I’ve been encouraging my clients to reflect on their pandemic experience…. who they were before, during and who they are now, before moving on to how they are different and how they want to evolve.

What’s your method for figuring out your feelings?

The top two for me are writing and talking. Journaling is a great way in which I literally write my way through to clarity, perspective and understanding. But it’s probably talking – with a trusted friend or a professional – which gets me to this place the fastest.

So I invite you to take some time to reflect on your own journey over the past few months – both personal and professional – as a way to process and understand the challenging feelings that may have surfaced. The aim is to get them out of your head so you can ‘see’ what these feelings are telling you.

So take your journal and make a start by writing your pandemic story…

  • What did this time teach you about you?
  • What parts of you are different now?
  • What are you prepared to let go of?
  • What do you already know about how you want your future to be different?
  • What are the risks in staying with what you’re doing compared to trying something new?
  • What might your feelings be telling you?

Opportunities for renewal and transformation

If you’d like to explore the potential opportunities that might be emerging for you, I invite you to book a Power Hour conversation and together we can tease out your feelings and identify the opportunities within them.  Voicing your feelings can be such a powerful catalyst – once you identify and name them, you can then start to understand and DO something with them.

A final word…

The past year was one that no one could have predicted or wanted. And yet, despite the many challenges that affected us personally and collectively, I write this with optimism and hope because I really do believe that inherent in all challenges are opportunities for renewal and transformation.

I’d love to hear how this lands with you and whether it resonates with your own experiences, so do please let me know in the comments below. Thank you!

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