Some people may feel they have lost their original sense of purpose with recent events. Have you thought how life will be as we move forward out of lockdown and with a new awareness of the state of politics, racism and global health? Will it be business as usual, or are you looking for a new, maybe more meaningful, purpose? If you fall into the latter category, here are some ways to renew your sense of purpose.
When the Covid-19 lockdown came into effect, I must admit I had a few sleepless nights and reflux, which I haven’t had in years! There was an immediate halt to my in-person sessions and, within a week, online sessions also disappeared. Then….the unexpected happened. I started to get emails inquiring about my services and people started booking courses and one-to-one sessions.
A steady number of people got in touch, seeking my coaching help. Shut off from many of the usual distractions of life, people were re-evaluating their careers and relationships – and many were realising they wanted more meaning and purpose. Some decided they wanted to return to pursuing their original career dreams.
In my coaching sessions some common themes that emerged, they may resonate with you.
The first was that lockdown had brought longstanding issues to a head. Doubts that had been swirling around in the background for years were suddenly front and centre. With life stripped back to basics, it was no longer possible to keep ignoring or burying feelings of discontent or anxiety.
Feeling lost post lockdown
Clients could identify what they wanted to change but didn’t know how to change. This is because there is a difference between knowing something is not right, and having a clear plan to move away from this place. To succeed, we need a sense of purpose and meaning.
In my work as an RTT Therapist and Resilience Coach, I deal a lot with this issue. Purpose and meaning come under the second Pillar of Resilience, Future Focus.
People who have a clear idea of what they’re striving for and why, are much more likely to stay strong when things get tough. Research shows that finding meaning in what you are doing means lower stress levels and higher resilience. But it is easy to lose touch with your sense of purpose or get blown off course. Life gets in the way; there are distractions, you find yourself bowing to the pressure of other people’s expectations, and limiting beliefs erode our confidence and self-belief. Or sometimes financial restraints mean that we take a “steady” (and mind-numbingly dull) job to pay the bills and slowly get ground down.
Before we know it, we’re not following our heart’s desire.
Whatever the reason, there are ways to get your groove back and get in touch with your Future Focus. Here are a few tips
Read and watch
If you want to change your life after lockdown then I thoroughly recommend you seek out the work of Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why. He’s written extensively about what helps us to find purpose and what great leaders and organisations have in common.
He’s also given a great TED Talk. Watch it here.
Set post lockdown goals
Another key part of Future Focus involves setting clear goals. If you figure out where you want to be, you can reverse engineer a strategy to get you there.
You need short, medium and long term goals to keep moving forward and recover post lockdown. If you only have long term goals, you could lose motivation over time. Fail to plan for the future, and you could find yourself drifting.
Don’t get too hung up by what you can’t control
Sometimes we watch the news or scroll social media and feel powerless. There are all sorts of things going on in the world (Covid-19, economic downturn) that we can’t change so why bother trying to change anything, right?
Ahem, wrong! You can’t control every situation you find yourself in, but you can control how you respond to these challenges.
For example, you can control lifestyle factors that will help you have the energy to focus and deal with setbacks. And you can consciously decide not to define your day or week by things that have gone wrong.
What went well?
Psychologist Martin Seligman devised a useful exercise that explores this idea. It’s called What Went Well?
Spend ten minutes every night identifying three good things that happened in your day. They don’t all have to be big life-changing events and could range from your boss dropping you a positive email to enjoying a nice meal at home. Once you’ve identified your three good things, get into the habit of asking yourself what made them good?
Soon you’ll come to realise that often the reason something goes well is that you in some way facilitated it (albeit sometimes subconsciously). So the reason you had such a nice meal was because you planned the menu, took the time to get the right ingredients and prepared it. It didn’t just happen, you made it happen.
Other ways to help you recover post lockdown
This is a powerful tool. By picturing what you would like to change and achieve in your life after lockdown and then identifying the stepping stones we need to cross to get there, we can form a plan.
Practice gratitude. Each morning before you start your day list three to five things that you are grateful for. You might just be thankful you got to the end of the day without losing the plot! You’ll be amazed at what a good kickstart to the day this practice is.
Take a little time to look back at what you’ve achieved over the past few years – it may be more than you think. Cut yourself some slack and stop focusing on what you haven’t done and recognise the small steps forward that you’ve taken. Progress can be a gradual thing.
Find pictures and quotes that inspire you and display them on a board in a prominent location in your home or office. This way, when you start to falter, looking at the board can help draw you back to focus on your goals. Use images that reflect your purpose and inspire you and include positive affirmations. Add more meaning by tying these goals and dreams in with your values and a few global goals. Check out the UN Sustainable development goals for inspiration.
Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT)
This is a powerful form of hypnotherapy that accesses the subconscious mind and the root cause of your unwanted beliefs, habits, behaviour and feelings. Through RTT I have helped many people address longstanding issues such as lack of confidence, anxiety and procrastination. I can also help you recover post lockdown by eliminating the beliefs, thought patterns and emotions that are hindering your recovery. Read more about it here.
How I can help if you want to change your life after lockdown
I’m a Resilience coach and WRAW Master Practitioner. When working with clients, I start with a 15-minute WRAW test that provides an insight into a person’s resilience. Once you’ve done the test, I provide a 90-minute coaching session centred around your results.
I also use Rapid Transformational Therapist (RTT) to eliminate and reframe negative beliefs.
So if you’d like to learn more about any of the issues in this article get in touch.
This article is the second in a series on the Five Pillars of Resilience. Read part one, which focuses on Energy, here.
This article is based on a webinar I delivered as part of my Get Over It series.
Want to watch the full webinar replay, “Building Resilience”?
To access webinar replay click the image or HERE
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