From What if to Even if – A practice of positive action
Things are tough right now.
Regardless of where you live, the impact of the decision for Victoria to effectively close up shop will be felt by us all. It’s just a matter of degrees. Victorians will of course feel it more acutely.
It is human to be despondent when so much of who we are and how we feel about our contribution is about what we do: the businesses we’ve created, the responsibility and accountability of our roles in organisations. And for a quarter of a million Victorians, this aspect of their identities is impacted for the foreseeable future. So it’s an opportune time to remind ourselves of the distinction between doing and being. What we do is a subset of who we are, but how we’re “being” consistently is what matters most. Especially right now.
Now I don’t know about you, but these questions have crept into conversations I’ve had over the last 6 months…
“What if COVID hadn’t happened this year: where would we be now?”
“What if we’d gone into stage 4 back in March, would we be back to a more normal life by now?”
“What if I didn’t work in travel/retail/beauty/fitness/music….”
Don’t get me wrong. Asking “What if” can also be positive if we intentionally create all that might be possible for ourselves in our mind’s eye. And if you’ve not asked any of the above questions out loud, then you may have allowed yourself to ask them if even only to yourself in a private moment…if only for a moment. To dwell on the What If though, doesn’t change anything. In fact, it can keep you stuck and reinforces that lack physiologically.
Instead, I invite you to begin with “Even if….” as it pre-frames deliberate, intentional action. “Even if….I will…….” “Even if….I am….”
Grit is a skill we must cultivate for ourselves and for those we lead. It’s about getting back up and focusing on what we can do in a world that is filled with examples of what we can’t do. It’s about staying in the day, and asking ourselves what can I do where I am, with what I have, with the people I’m with…
Which brings us back: doing isn’t just your job. Being is the way you did your job. How do you want to be remembered during this time? Let that inform your Even If statement so that when people think of you, they feel hopeful, they feel inspired and connected by and to you.
There are approximately 45 days of Stage 4, and all we have is the day we’re in.
Make it count by focusing on how you’re being, and when you take action, may it announce your being so loudly that you don’t have to.