It's May 1st. Is it just me or did April go by much faster than March did? I'm surprised given the reality of life these days. On a personal note, my son and his partner left this morning. They are moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia where she will be completing her MFA. It's been an emotional time saying goodbye to them without being able to mark this milestone with some sort of family send-off. It's these types of losses that making physical distancing so difficult. And here we are moving into week 8. We are adapting even if we don't like it.
I was talking to a colleague this week and she mentioned that one of the biggest challenges she faces as a CEO is the long-standing narratives that people have about the organization and how things work. When I worked in corporate we often quoted Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.’ I’ve seen this play out in many organizations. Everyone wants the benefits of change and growth but no one wants to do the work of changing themselves to see the desired outcome.
Are you thinking, " That isn’t just an organizational problem?"
In a separate conversation this week the topic of ‘self-limiting beliefs’ came up. Timely, since I am reading Marie Forleo’s book “Everything is Figureoutable”. She writes, “All beliefs are a choice, and choices can be changed.” Our beliefs and narratives can keep us stuck in old patterns that hold us back from doing the things we want to do.
You know this is true in your own life. It’s true in my life as well. Our beliefs, the thoughts we have about our situation are the things that cause us the most pain and suffering. We believe people will be hurt or feel rejected by our choices so we stay in our box. We’ve told ourselves we aren’t good at certain things so we don’t try. We believe life will improve or be easier when we get through whatever struggle we are facing.
It’s been a week of deep conversations for me and I’m passing these thoughts along to you because I think you’ll relate. I was talking to another friend about needing to get on with life in this Covid-19 reality that is not going to end anytime soon. We started unpacking the belief that we are on hold right now and looked at it more closely. We explored the thinking that we can only live the ideal version of ourselves if the conditions are perfect.
I call that ideal version of myself ‘Summer Sandy.’ If you’ve been around here very long you have met her already. Summer Sandy gardens and enjoys salads harvested from the vegetables she grows from heirloom seeds. She never eats junk food and exercises regularly. She dines al fresco every night with her quirky and loving community. Summer Sandy wants to live the beautiful village lifestyle of Frances Mayes in “Under the Tuscan Sun” in Hamilton, Ontario.
Here’s the truth - you have a version of Summer Sandy. You have post Covid-19 version of yourself that is ideal. I suggest you give her a name. Maybe she is Future Frankie - the person you’ll be when life is perfect. Introduce your friends to her. One of my closest friends will call me out and say, “Sounds like Summer Sandy talking to me” when I start talking about what I am going to do when this is over.
When this is over, you’ll be the same person you are now. You might even be busier than you are now with less time to reflect. You won’t magically be that future version of yourself who is doing all the things you say you want to do but can’t because of your current reality.
So why wait?
Think about what is missing in your life right now. What do you want? How can you start to work towards it now? Are there conversations you can have to prepare for that dream? Are there plans you can make? Is there research you can do? Steps you can take?
It’s a new month and we’ve been stuck for long enough. I’m starting a mastermind group for 5-6 women who want to integrate that future version of themselves and get started on creating the life she is dreaming of. I've put together a page to explain what a mastermind group is and give you all the details. You can check it all out here.
And virtual hugs to all of you right now. These are difficult days. We can do hard things.