There’s no sugarcoating it: Challenging times are confronting and confusing. In the midst of such times (ahem, 2020, I’m looking at you!), you could be forgiven for thinking you're in a never-ending (and not very fun) game of dodge the curveball.
If you’ve done any of the following last year…
- cried with frustration, fear, and anger
- felt judgement, even hatred toward people who think differently from you
- future-tripped all the way to a doomsday scenario (or three)
- wondered what little ol’ you can possibly do in the face of such adversity
…you’re not alone.
But here’s the beautiful thing about challenge: It can be a great catalyst for positive action and change – if you choose to pick up the gauntlet. It’s not for the faint-hearted, to be sure. But if you’re reading this, I know you’re up for it.
If your will is there, but the way isn’t clear, don’t despair.
I’ve got you!
Ready to build or evolve a freelance business that is aligned with your values and vision for a more just, safe world? Great! I’m going to share how to frame your process and next steps.
1) Do an audit of this year’s events and your response to them.
Go ahead, list all the events of last year. From the pandemic and all its related fallout to the climate crisis, civil uprising, justice system, and democracy. I guarantee your list will give you plenty to work with!
Now, circle what really resonated with you. It can be something that fanned the flames of your purpose or passion, or something that made you so mad or upset, you had to do something.
2) List the actions or decisions these events inspired to take.
For example, these are just a few of the decisions and actions I took:
- Broadening my reading, podcasts, feeds and viewing lists to include different voices, lived experiences, and points of view
- Being more involved in politics and civic action than I’ve ever been before
- Using my platform and space to explore issues that might be perceived as outside the scope of “business coaching”
- Educating myself on topics I’m woefully ill-informed on
- Learning from teachers and leaders in spaces I wasn’t in before
Bonus: As you do this exercise, some actions you could have taken may come to you. This is a process, and it’s never too late to add them to your list.
3) Identify and enhance why the events you circled matter to you.
The enemy of action is apathy and comfort. As immediate crisis passes, our tendency is to slip back into comfortable routines and habits. If we’re truly going to integrate and learn from the events of 2020 and use them as fuel for something better, we need to sustain our attention.
In order to do that, we need to add personal meaning. Because where there’s meaning, there’s action, even (especially) when that action requires us to put our neck out and do hard things.
Try using the following prompts as a journaling exercise:
- Why is this important to me?
- What would it mean to me if I could be a part of positive change?
- What would it mean to others?
- What will happen if I don’t take action?
- What will happen to my family and loved ones if I don’t take action?
What’s coming up for you? Do you feel inspired by something? Scared witless? Committed, but unsure about next steps?
Good, that means something good is brewing!