There’s no sugar coating it – challenging times are confronting and confusing. In the midst of such times (ahem, 2020, I’m looking at you!), one could be forgiven for thinking they’re in a never-ending (and not very fun) game of dodge the curve ball.
If you’ve done any of the following this year:
- cried with frustration, fear, and anger
- felt judgement, even hatred towards people who think differently from you
- future-tripped all the way to a doomsday scenario (or three)
- wondered what little ol’ you can possibly do in the face of such adversity
You’re not alone.
But here’s the beautiful thing about challenge – it can be a great catalyst for positive action and change – if you choose to pick up the gauntlet. It’s not for the faint-hearted to be sure. But if you’re reading this, I know you’re up for it.
If your will is there, but the way isn’t clear, don’t despair.
I’ve got you!
For the rest of this month we’re going to talk about reflection and integration (or turning the lemon that is 2020 into lemonade). And in December, we’re going to talk about how to take what we’ve learned (and hopefully are continuing to learn) into a plan for consistent and effective ACTION.
For the visual folks, this is what that looks like:
If you’re ready to build or evolve a creative business that is aligned with your values and vision for a more just, safe world, I’m going to share how to frame your process and next steps.
The most important thing to remember about the reflection and integration pieces of the cycle is they’re NOT about action. And that can feel really uncomfortable in our productivity obsessed culture. But, if you take the time to do this work, I promise the business you build will be more purposeful, clear, sustainable, and successful, so don’t skip this part, K?
1) Do an audit of this year’s events and your response to them
Go ahead, list all the events of this year. From the pandemic and all its related fallout to the climate crisis, civil uprising, justice system, and democracy. I guarantee your list will give you plenty to work with!
Now, circle what really resonated with you. It can be something that fanned the flames of your purpose or passion, or something that made you so mad or upset, you had to do something.
2) List the actions or decisions these events inspired to take
For example, just a few decisions and actions I took include:
- Broadening my reading, podcasts, feeds and viewing lists to include different voices, lived experiences, and points of view.
- Being more involved in politics and civic action than I’ve ever been before
- Using my platform and space to explore issues that might be perceived as outside the scope of “business coaching”
- Educating myself on topics I’m woefully ill-informed on
- Learning from teachers and leaders in spaces I wasn’t in before
Bonus: As you do this exercise, maybe some actions you could have taken will come to you. This is a process and it’s never too late, add them to your list.
3) Identify and enhance why the events you circled matter to you
The enemy of action is apathy and comfort. As immediate crisis passes, our tendency is to slip back into comfortable routines and habits. If we’re truly going to integrate and learn from the events of 2020 and use them as fuel for something better, we need to sustain our attention. And in order to do that we need to add personal meaning. Because where there’s meaning, there’s action, even (especially) when that action requires us to put our neck out and do hard things.
Try using the following prompts as a journaling exercise:
- Why is this important to me?
- What would it mean to me if I could be a part of positive change?
- What would it mean to others?
- What will happen if I don’t take action?
- What will happen to my family and loved ones if I don’t take action?
What’s coming up for you? Do you feel inspired by something? Scared witless? Committed, but unsure about next steps. Good, that means something good is brewing!
How can I help? If you’re tired of trying to figure it out alone and need a thought-partner in your corner I’d love to chat. Click here to get the ball rolling.
2 thoughts on “Who (or what) are you committed to? [pivotal moment alert!]”
Thanks for your insight and inspiration. I am an unemployed Graphic Designer in my fifties, on a hopeful journey to re-employment.
Keep the faith Mark! Your age and experience are assets and I’m confident there are many years of value you can still offer. I’m rooting for you!