“Coping During Coronavirus” Series, Part 2 of 10.
You’re smart and resourceful. You can afford to waste a little time if you choose to, because when you work, you work ten times faster than most people in your position.
You think and plan for a wide range of outcomes; you are reliable, and your work is impeccable.
You account for the fact that many people around you don’t operate at the same level and pace as you do, so you preemptively pick up the balls that others will inevitably drop. Also, you probably find it surprising that the world still goes around, despite so many people [seemingly] half-*ssing through their commitments, right?
You’ve got everything covered. But then, something breaks.
Your colleague gets another job, leaving you with a double load right before the deadline
Your partner hits midlife crisis, “10 years too early”.
Your child isn’t accepted into [insert the name of the program], and moreover, he couldn’t care less about [insert the subject you believe your child must know deeply and work on passionately].
You don’t get the promised promotion you’ve earned.
Or, uncharacteristically, without realizing it on time, you screw up… (The chances are that if you didn’t see a problem coming, most other people didn’t either, because you’re as good as it gets; this doesn’t make you feel better, though.)
Or, a pandemic happens in the world, and it is your responsibility to hold the world on your shoulders (while taking care of your family in the meantime).
Even if the situation is technically out of your control, you still own the outcome. What’s your plan?
Think of it this way: what you are trying to control is like a double or triple pendulum, chaotic and unpredictable, not a single pendulum, which you can proactively analyze.
(If you want a small distraction, you can experiment with a double pendulum here as you contemplate how many life factors outside of your control you’re trying to tame: https://www.myphysicslab.com/pendulum/double-pendulum-en.html )
Plan B for high achievers entails a change of perspective:
“I know this is not where I planned or wanted to be, but I’m dealing with a chaotic pendulum, so here I am. ‘Messy’ is exactly how things are expected to go. This is normal for a chaotic pendulum.”
Life and death, pandemics, weather, other people’s personalities and agendas, politics, genetics, luck and many other factors significantly contribute to your life becoming like a triple pendulum.
It is simply impossible to reliably make the movements of chaotic pendulum controlled and periodic.
You can allow or not allow the sunflower seeds to grow into sunflowers, and a marigold seeds to grow into marigolds; nature will do what nature does, whether or not you “allow” it.
When things are not working out the way you planned despite your best efforts, think over the following questions:
- Am I dealing with a “single pendulum”, or a chaotic pendulum (metaphorically)?
- For what can I realistically take responsibility in this situation, and of what should I let go?
- What authority do I need to have in order to support all the responsibility I’m taking?
- How can I learn to be at peace with the fact that things outside of my control are what they are, and not what I think they should be (the pandemic, sunflower seeds, children, co-workers)?
We are all dealing with the chaotic pendulum of Plan B right now. Welcome to Plan B. This mess is normal for the situation.
I’d love to hear your stories of getting through this seemingly impossible challenge of working, learning, parenting and creating under quarantine. How are you making things work? Please, share your story with me, Alina@AlinaBas.com . Also, please, sign up for my newsletter if you’d like to see new posts like this in your inbox.
FIGURING IT OUT TOGETHER:
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Much of my executive coaching work is done remotely via video conferencing/phone, as my clients are all over the map. While it may not be wise now to stick your hand into the Boca della Verita in Rome, we can still search for your deep truth through coaching, via Skype, Hangouts, or Zoom, http://AlinaBas.com/get-started . We can talk about your priorities, managing virtual teams, co-working with your spouse from a home office, and strategies for moving through uncertainty.
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I did a workshop called “Emergency Coaching Response” for leaders during the People’s Recovery Summit in NYC after hurricane Sandy. I offer a similar program now (remotely) for corporate leaders, lay leaders, and managers. Please email me at Alina@AlinaBas.com if your company or group may be interested. Learn to: Help a person in distress regain focus and calm on the spot, Ask questions without intimidating or frustrating a person in crisis, Shift the person in crisis away from spinning stories and focus on the present, and Guide a person in crisis to allow for new possibilities in a post-crisis life.
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One of my favorite workshops to teach is “Intuition: Myths, Science, and Practice”. I’ve taught it to software engineers, financial analysts, entrepreneurs, lawyers – analytical thinkers interested in developing their sensory capacities to understand and use their intuition more effectively. One-on-one skill development, private groups, corporate workshops. Understand what scientists and practitioners know about intuition, and learn to use the body as a sensor for information that is not accessible through step-by-step reasoning. Please pm me or email at Alina@AlinaBas.com for more info.
Coping During Coronavirus Series:
- Working while parenting on quarantine
- Plan B for high achievers
- A way through uncertainty
- You are a BBC Dad now
- When we can’t bulletproof our lives
- What’s not broken
- Recalculating the route
- When to take the easy path
- Restless While Waiting? Do this.
- “Things should be different.”