What a year.
So many people coming out of this whole experience and what I’m finding is the sort of different responses to how people are coming back into the world.
Some people seem to be like let’s just smash this, rocket launch fantastic and they’re really bouncing back powerfully.
Others not so much.
I’m finding quite a lot of people are in this quagmire.
This really shitty apathy that hangs around. Have you heard of island fever?
If you spend too long in the islands where everything is chilled out often people get very relaxed. Go to South American countries. Some of the vibes around those countries are like that as well, I know as I have lived in some of those countries.
When people have become unemployed I used to coach actually with a jobcentre many years ago and I would help the people. They’d go to unemployment and I’d be coaching people and what I found was that if they hadn’t got the momentum in the first three to four months they’d slow down.
The psychology is fascinating and someone was getting fed, i.e. getting social support, and it was weird because that same buzz they had before they lost it. I think Covid, lockdown has done that.
I think furlough being locked down, people being constrained, TV getting by, especially if you’d been on a furloughed salary not having to do much to gain an income it’s quite scary.
Actually in education I’m seeing this on a magnified level. More so in the last recession we went through where people were like fuck it, let’s see.
Fear is driving them and apathy, but the flipside is frustration. I’ve coached a lot of people over the years and sometimes just understanding one or two powerful questions can change your life dramatically.
Or maybe some you’re working with or business partner, so three things I want you to consider.
Number one, what’s an emotion that you are noticing and observing about yourself? The best way to do this is to write it down on paper. Are you feeling pissed off safely, angry, frustrated, apathetic, and anxious?
Whatever it is, capture it on paper as if you’re sticky, meaning you want to get shit done but for some reason you haven’t got that same mojo, that flow you had a year ago or less, you’ve got to establish what it is first.
First thing is to write down the situations and the feelings that you’ve got going on around you. That’s very important. As a lot of people go, you don’t understand my job, or you don’t understand my financial situation, or you don’t understand my family situation or whatever it is, and that’s typically what they might say to somebody else who is encouraging them, even if it’s a coach.
The point here is that by writing something down on paper, you immediately get to a situation where you’ve got a sense of clarity of what your situation is. I cannot stress the importance of this.
This is actually critical to do this properly and it’s a game changer because now you see it on paper. When it is in your head it’s like noise, you direct that frustration towards other people. It’s an external kick at somebody else. And try group it into general emotions. If I’m working one-to-one with somebody I’ll ask them of these things you’ve just written down which emotion is the most dominant?
I’m feeling angry all the time.
Now we start to shift to number two, which is what have you got control over and what don’t you have control over?
Every single one of us, me included, will have a set of situations around us that you actually have control over versus those that you have no control over whatsoever. The trouble is if anger is directed towards something you have no control over it makes you angrier. It also satisfies that need to try and get some kind of feeling inside you which is like, at least I’m feeling something I’ll get angry towards them. That’s really frustrating and very damaging.
So identify what you’ve got control over and what you don’t have control over. Park the thing you have no control over and then identify the things you do have control over. I have control over this. It can change the way you feel about this. I could do something about it, I can bring a friend in to get some guidance, coach, whatever it is. You shift your focus towards those.
Number one: capture it on paper. Number two, what have I got control over? You just do one step at a time.
What can you do? Is it a phone call? A coach that’s going to help you? The minute you can change the fact that you feel in control of the things that you’re emotionally charged over, now you can make small steps. But all the time you’re in the pot of the spaghetti and all the other things like a massive pot of emotions you’re fucked.
If I allow myself to get into a mess of stuff going on around me you won’t sleep, you’ll be stressed and it will wind you up.
Simple rule of thumb, capture it on paper, identify what you’ve got control over, park what you don’t have control over. See the problem as it is and not worse than it is and then focus on what the next thing is that you can shift.