You’ve likely heard of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief. They include Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
I’ve had lots of time to do some deep thinking during our current environment of isolation, stay-at-home orders and social distancing. I’ve come to the conclusion that all of us have undergone grief in one form or another, even if we haven’t lost anyone to death. Let’s face it, this pandemic has created a situation that makes loss of some form or another inevitable... relationships, jobs, businesses...even freedom.
So, I’ve found a certain positivity, freedom, and yes even power in embracing acceptance. This isn’t a matter of throwing my hands up in resignation and saying “I give up - what’s the point?!” It is the first step in a process of new growth and new direction as I realize things HAVE changed, and there is nothing I can do about what has happened.
What’s next then? That’s where Acceptance becomes the red carpet to the rest of your new journey. I’m sick of the term “new normal,” mainly because nothing should be normal about an exciting new possibility for your goals, your business, and the people you will need to develop new relationships with. It’s not a time for sagging shoulders, but for those squared and ready for the next step. Acting with purpose and intention is inherently uplifting and energizing!
While it’s human nature to want to simply pick up old habits, this is the time to think more creatively and analyze what we can and must do differently to succeed on this new path. It’s time to let go of what’s past, and if that means you abandon a business that has crumbled, it can be incredibly scary...but perhaps there is a different incarnation of your business that you CAN succeed with, whether you’re free to walk about, or have to remain at home for the next several months.
Understandably, some personality types will flourish in these circumstances more so than others. If you are a person that thrives on change, the unknown, or creativity, this has been YOUR time, no doubt. I probably can’t tell you anything you don’t already know, or have already started to do.
If, however, you dread the thought of interruption in your usual pattern, fear not knowing what’s coming next, or have difficulty creating a vision, this is your personal nightmare. So acceptance becomes a little more of a challenge to grasp. For you, it’s time to revisit what motivates you and how you can recapture that in this new, strange world.
Just remember while we’re all at home, we do not have to be disconnected. Technology has taken that excuse away from us, and it’s never been easier to keep in contact with resources, mentors, and even clients, to maintain your sense of purpose and direction. While we realize we can’t change the past, we are always in charge of the present and scripting what our future will be. Acceptance is a state of letting go for sure, but also for reaching FORWARD by establishing new relationships.
Now is the time to pay close attention to our needs, and how we must change within in order to meet those needs. You now have lots of time on your hands, so spend at least an hour revisiting your goals, your strengths, and where you will need help. Personal development has no finish line, but is a continual evolution toward a better YOU. That doesn’t mean you abandon everyone you knew before you heard of Corona outside of beer, but that you deepen the relationships you have that are positive and beneficial.
Job one in Acceptance of course is to begin with yourself...it’s really the most important relationship you have, after all. I’m here to help you emerge better and stronger than you were than when you first went inside.