Soul searching for the year end
The only question worth asking yourself is:
Did I like the version of me that showed up in 2020?
Did it make me happy, give me joy and fulfillment?
2020 has been a year like no other, a year of curve balls, paradoxes, enormous challenges, and unprecedented crises. We all react differently in crises. Staring into the snow, in the warm glow of the fireplace, I am reflecting on the year gone by. So many questions rush to my mind, and I try to be honest with myself as I think ; Who am I in a crisis? How do I show up? What gives me hope? What drives me to despair?
I am asking myself these questions and I hope it helps you as you reflect on this unprecedented year.
Yes, I know, these are a tad corny, …with just a touch of profound. #Because2020!
Am I a Giver or Taker?
We saw selfishness and selflessness on an epic scale. Some saved lives, others fueled the toilet paper armageddon! What did I do? Did I help? What did I do to make things better?
Am I driving towards my personal purpose or being driven by to-do lists and activities?
It is hard to feel like we have any control in a crisis, where our to-do lists reached for the sky, while we found it hard to soar.
Am I moving forward or spinning in place?
It is hard to tell the difference, in a crisis. Being busy, having a lot on our plate, can have a weirdly soothing effect, bringing a familiar sense of predictability and normalcy. It is wonderfully distracting. Did I manage to clutch onto and move forward towards my life goals? Am I focused or fragmented? Am I on the open road, or in quicksand?
Am I doing more of what I love, or what I have to?
Am I still me, in crises?
We are at our best, and unfortunately, quite often, our worst, when we are under pressure or in survival or self preservation mode. Did I live upto my leadership brand in every interaction and every decision?
Am I feeling the feelings, or hiding from it?
We protect ourselves from emotion, in a crisis. We worry about being vulnerable, run from activity to activity to avoid feeling pain, grief, sorrow, disappointment and fear. Emotions are not a derailer, they are a powerful motivator. Did I allow myself time to process the emotional toll of getting through this year? Am I telling those who had an impact on me, just how much they meant?
Am I centered or am I the storm?
It is incredibly hard to channel the anxiety, worry and fear into something positive and constructive, in a crisis. For those of you who live far away from your family, you know that feeling of helplessness of not being there for them. Driven by worry, I tried to remote micro manage my loved ones far away. They just ignored me…, and it served me right!
Am I an island or a bridge?
The pandemic has shown us how inextricably interconnected, interdependent and international, our lives are. Realizing the power of our diverse collective genius is the only path forward. Did I listen to, and seek to understand diverse voices? Did I reach out for help? Did I bring people together? Did I connect people? Did I help people with diverse views find common ground? Am I an integrator or an isolator?
Am I a rainbow or a cloud?
There are a million reasons to despair, in a crisis. Every ‘breaking news’, zoom call, insensitive tweet, random interaction can be a source of stress and frustration. As hard as it is to do, did we dare to cling onto hope and be optimistic about our future?
Am I a maze or a map?
At our best, we make our circle of trusted relationships bigger and more meaningful. Unfortunately, in crises, we tend to put up defenses and walls, get triggered by simple things, and go beyond the reach of those who care about us. Did I make it easy for people to reach me, without my defenses?
Am I inspired by the promise and potential or scared of failure, when faced with uncertainty and rapid change?
Where do I get positive energy from?
Am I an over thinker or an under thinker?
Hmm, my excel spreadsheets have spreadsheets (I wish I was joking)! So, you know…
Am I learning everyday?
Did I learn more about myself, others around me, and the world? Did I learn or try something new? Am I a better person than I was a year ago?
Am I working in a company that gets me?
These questions are more important than ever. Did you feel supported by your company through the pandemic? Did your boss have your back? Did your colleagues care?
Am I a net consumer or net exporter of positive energy? And why?
What did you learn about yourself in 2020? What is on your mind?