Personal Consulting and Coaching

Pandemic Wisdom: Individuals and Personal Consulting

Here’s an audio (posted in the Spring of 2020) for folks who are listening to everything coming at them about the pandemic, but have private feelings about it all.

Now is not the time to put unnecessary impediments between you and your best self. Start where you are and head toward where you know you want to be.

Here’s a transcript of the audio:

Obviously, our current situation simplifies a lot of things. Wash your hands, practice social distancing, flatten the curve, stay home… Not only has this pandemic been going on awhile, nobody has a clue when it’ll end. Even more than other crises in our lifetime (Kennedy assassination, September 11, financial meltdown 2008) this one really challenges the tendencies and habits that have mostly served us – even with the drawbacks: selective attention, partitioning our mind, just pushing through to get past things, denying, avoiding self-awareness and introspection. Putting one foot in front of the other and doing what needs to be done without a lot of reflection seems to be what works – mostly.

But now we’re looking at the need for all of us to keep an extra grip on ourselves for an extended, undetermined time. Our family is counting on us to, our community, country, and the world needs us to, and we almost certainly do know we’ll want to look back on this time and be reasonably proud of how we handled ourselves. So – yes – we begin being already severely stretched, and now we need to really step up.

So, of course stress and anxiety are relentless topics everywhere – from the nightly news to the New York Times to the grocery store flyer.   I haven’t seen a “tip” yet that isn’t essentially right. But here’s the thing. Helping others is much easier than helping oneself. Individuals have a layered, nuanced relationship with their own “true” feelings. They’re constantly hearing, and do know it’s right, that emotional self-care is necessary, but many go in and out of actually believing that it’s worth it to go there.

It is.

But if your plan is to keep muscling forward by just pushing even harder, you may find this pandemic’s open-ended timeline may not cooperate with that.

Honestly. Just a tiny – but real – internal shift can make all the difference. Quick example: I remember being pleasantly surprised when a client told me our sessions had given her lots of ideas and encouragement, but the most helpful thing for her was almost an afterthought: as we were wrapping things up, and just trying to be encouraging and positive, I’d said to her, “You’ve got this.” It happened to land just right for her. That’s what she needed to hear right then.

It’s not always that easy, of course, but humility in a crisis is good. (I say that a lot.) It clears away emotional debris and helps simplify how to navigate forward with the right focus. Yes, some can “just get on with it.” But others don’t need to apologize for knowing it will help to talk with someone about what’s really on their mind, what pops up even though they’ve been good at holding the fort until now. It may be exactly the right time to talk with your personal consultant, think out loud, and nudge yourself into the space you know is where you want to be.

Shaun Kieran

(207) 767-3864

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