Say Goodbye to NormalDec 09, 2020
There are moments in life that shift our future. Sometimes we choose them. More often we don't. A global pandemic was likely not in your plans for 2020, yet because of it your future looks different. As the year crawls to a close, it's time to say goodbye to normal.
Before we move forward, let's reflect.
The word "pause" has been used to describe the inflection point we universally experienced as life around us shut down in March. For possibly the first time in history, this monumental shift was global, impacting every corner of every nation. One invisible virus so small it's measured in nanometers shifted the collective future of the earth.
We lost normal.
That's the bad news. But it's also the good news.
When we stand on the threshold of a transition, we have a choice. We can look back in mourning and pining for what we've lost or we can release our grip, open our hands, and embrace what's yet to come. One choices keeps us stuck. One propels us forward.
It's okay to grieve. It's normal and healthy. We've lost traditions, careers, and people we loved.
But as you ping-pong between Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance (the Kubler-Ross model of grief), moving forward requires that you reach that final stage of Acceptance.
Take your time. Feel it. Acknowledge it.
Then, take a slow deep breath, exhale, and say goodbye to normal.
Do you feel yourself rapidly cycling through overwhelming emotions with a lack of clarity about how to move toward acceptance?
Here are 3 ways to say goodbye to normal so that you can embrace your new future:
- Be flexible. Adaptability is the posture of the season. Nothing is predictable. Plans change. While this can be incredibly discouraging and frustrating when the best made plans need to be adjusted and your hard work set aside, your own mindset is the biggest detriment to your emotional wellbeing. Behavior science tells us that if we expect that we will face detours and problems, we are much better equipped to roll with it when it comes. Instead of expecting everything will go perfectly, have a "what-will-we-do-when-the-worst-happens" plan. When we set this intention ahead of time we are much better at executing on and flexing with a problem when it happens.
- Be gracious. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. You are learning a new way of being, living, and working and you will fail. Expect it. Things won't go your way, nor will they for the people around you. If you choose a posture of grace over judgment, you will be more forgiving of yourself and others when things don't go well. Each of us has our own lens through which we see the world and our opinions and emotions are living just below the surface. We will be quicker to react and leak all over one another if we're not living with a posture of grace.
- Be a problem solver. You will face challenges. You know this. What used to work no longer does and what used to be familiar no longer is. Moving forward means detaching from the status quo, traditions, or maybe even people who no longer fit the future. Be a creative problem-solver. Step outside of yourself, your work, your family and observe what's working and what's not. Don't judge it. Just observe it. Then, keep your next step simple. Don't overhaul everything. Brainstorm a few solutions and make small shifts that will serve you better in the future. Remind yourself to "be flexible" so that you can iterate and adapt in an ever changing world.
I talked about all 3 of these tips with my good friend, Tanner Pinkerman, in our most recent episode of the Side by Side podcast.
How are you doing?
Are you ready to say goodbye to normal? Are you embracing the future? Or are you somewhere in-between?
Life is never normal. It can feel like it for awhile. We have routines and ways of living that are consistent for awhile, but they never last. We are always adjusting and adapting to life from day to day. Normal is always shifting.
This time we didn't choose it.
We were forced to respond quickly and sometimes against our will. Everything shifted at once instead of subtly and imperceptible over time.
Now, we are at a crossroads.
Which road will you choose? The path to your future or the one that keeps you stuck looking back over your shoulder?
It's time to say goodbye to normal.
- Listen to "Confidence to Be Creative" with guest Tanner Pinkerman on this week's Side by Side Podcast.
- Start moving through your crossroads with instant help with this FREE resource to learn how your CliftonStrengths (StrengthsFinder) give you a unique advantage when you face important decisions.