Honestly (ashamedly), these words have been muttered by me a few times in this season. In exasperation, out of exhaustion, or perhaps from a bit of the-grass-is-greener-mentality.
Honestly (ashamedly), these words have been muttered by me a few times in this season.
In exasperation, out of exhaustion, or perhaps from a bit of the-grass-is-greener-mentality.
Perhaps, Friend, you have felt similarly.
I wish I hadn’t been furloughed.
I wish I was working.
I wish my kids were back at school.
I wish my kids weren’t back at school.
I wish I wasn’t trying to juggle everything.
I wish I wasn’t putting myself at risk.
I wish I had more job security.
I wish I could have some space.
I wish I could be with people.
I wish this wasn’t happening.
This pandemic has created a whole host of fresh reasons for us to look to the left and to the right and feel wanting. I won’t bore you with my own personal wishes and comparisons, but needless to say on not-so-finer moments I have grumbled and complained.
We talk a lot about leadership issues in these weekly bulletins (I think I’m going to call it the Sidetrack – do you like that?). But we have to learn to lead ourselves before we can lead anyone else. These feelings and responses are quite normal and quite usual but we must lead ourselves through them and find a way to keep them in check. Otherwise they steal our joy and rob our peace.
Someone I really respect once said, ‘you can’t stop a bird from landing in your head, but you can stop it from nesting there.’ Thoughts of this nature (especially in challenging times) come to us all. But we have to do our bit to stop the nesting.
What can we practically do? Good question. Here’s a start.
1. Practice gratitude. Start the day finding at least 3 things that you can be grateful for. Pick all sorts of different things. Today I am grateful for a good night’s sleep, having a garden, and tea. There are so many easy ways to add in some gratitude: this article is full of them.
2. Be generous. When we feel short-changed, we can find ourselves clinging on to what we have. Actively do the opposite. Give away your time, your resources, and your words of praise. I guarantee this will do more for your soul than you can ever realise.
3. Find the right people to surround you. I have some amazing people in my life. They will pick me up, tell me I can do it and give me a good talking to when I am out of line. Be the right person, find the right people. More on this idea here.
4. Curate your social media carefully. You can’t engage with social media neutrally. You interact, and you leave feeling better or worse. Be careful with it. Be who you really are on it. Gentle reminder: you don’t have to look at things that leave you empty or inadequate. Engage with what leaves you hopeful, challenged, motivated.
What from the above can you build into your life to help you to avoid falling down the lacking-and-moaning rabbit trail? I’d love to hear what action you’re going to take.
But I am going to practice what I am preaching right now and say how grateful I am to all of you for your feedback, and that you are choosing to let me accompany you each week with a few Wednesday words of wisdom. You are brilliant. And did you know, you can do things better than tens of thousands of others. Honestly. (And if you want me to help you find it, do get in touch for some coaching!).
P.S. Two weeks ago, to grow our gratitude as a family, we completed the Live Below the Line challenge.
We had a budget of £1 per person per day for 5 days.
It was pretty tough, but it also cultivated such thankfulness and perspective. Highly recommend it as a reality check.