My Covid story – Heaven, Hell and Hope (all in a days ‘work’​…)

How’s your lockdown been I hear you ask. All things considered pretty good…that is, except for my work situation…

Finding myself having finished my last big project mid March with nothing substantial in the pipeline, I have had to face up to the fact that continuing trying to build my nascent coaching business may not be a goer with no income currently or in prospect.

Taking absolutely nothing away from those who have suffered personal loss, who knew you can grieve for businesses too – feelings of sadness, loss, guilt, denial, anger, regret all competing for their share of mind in between home-schooling, panic buying and spurts of sometime productive, sometime reactive activity.

But above all this has been AN EDUCATION – at times uncomfortable, distressing, almost unbearable, at others uplifting, revelatory and awe inspiring – about the potential of our mind to create a heaven or hell of whatever circumstance we find ourselves in.

In hell I have had times filled with insecurity where every news report, social media post, conversation feels like a re-enforcement of personal failure, naivity, ineffectiveness and impending doom.

Times where I am revved up with a draining sense of urgency to do more…know more…fuelled by a perceived need to get out of this mess to feel ok again. Times where I am almost paralysed into inaction by overthinking what I should be doing or how to go about it.

Times where I think I must be deluded or foolish in ever thinking the path I’m drawn to could work out. Times where I will agonise for days over job applications that I am over qualified but probably underskilled for before receiving an impersonal, feedback free ‘no thanks’.

In heaven I have times where I trust in my inner sense of direction, excited by the new possibilities opening up and flowing as I build new connections and create new opportunities.

Times where I feel at peace, inspired by the cosmic invitation for the world to think again and the change that could ensue. Times when I feel deeply connected to my family, totally present and up to the job of engaging my kids’ curiosity.

Times when my mind slows down to the speed of life and I just get on with the things that make sense, knowing I will figure this out. Times when I am inspired with fresh ideas and the next clue to help me on my journey emerges.

A friend put this beautifully to me the other day – he observed that deep down inside he knew there was a flame that never went out burning with hope, possibility and a trust that wisdom would emerge in its own time. Our conversations had reminded him of this, but also clear is that when our mind fills up with all the thinking that arises when we feel all our happiness and security rests on us WORKING THIS OUT, that flame can very easily get overlooked.  

Speaking to friends, clients and contacts in a similar boat making significant career changes at a moment where everything is up in the air I sense that most of us are on our own , doing this in isolation, possibly slightly embarrassed and awkward to be in this position and feeling like somehow most of our peers seem to be doing better – still in their jobs or deftly pivoting their businesses.

I have benefitted hugely from the insights, advice, reflective time, connections and sense of shared experience I have gained from the group and individual conversations I have been in over the past few months to help me navigate the rollercoaster I describe above with as much grace and wisdom as I could muster.

Huge thanks to @Kendal Parmar and all at Untapped AI who popped into my life and gave me the opportunity to be a guinea pig for their impactful coaching. This really helped me let go of some of the self-judgement and sense of failure about where I was with my business, and regain the freedom and clarity to pursue a new direction that built on everything that I’ve been doing so far.

I also need to express huge gratitude to @Michael Neil who generously opened up a group coaching programme called ‘A new way of thinking about success’ to be accessible to all comers, and provided a daily dose of wisdom, grounding and connection to settle me down and distinguish between what I knew to be true about my situation and aspirations in my clearer moments, and the red herrings born of fear and insecurity.

Many I know are not so fortunate to have ready access to such conversations, so one of those magical sparks of invention has prompted me to start the Unstoppable Together Network for those in mid-life rethinking or reinventing their professional lives. This community will combine group coaching, shared learning and wisdom, networking and hopefully a lot of laughter and hope to help us find our way to creating a work life that has the meaning, enjoyment, rewards and lifestyle that we are now looking for.

matt@unstoppable-together.co.uk

#covidstories #feelgoodfriday #fridaymotivation #fearlessfriday #careerchange #mindset #entrpreneur #flexibleworking #pivot #openforwork

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