Kimberly Farwell: Westwood Intl.
Attempting to live your life during a global pandemic takes resilience and flexibility. You need a willingness to surrender to policies and procedures that keep us safe, but those same guidelines also prevent us from being able to function at the level we were at when 2020 began.
So many friends and coworkers agreed, "2020 will be MY year. To make changes, to grow, to reach goals and make new ones". Many of us planned -- or at least hoped -- for a year full of success. Yet none of us knew the severity of the illness we were only hearing whispers about from the other side of the world.
I, like many others, thought it wouldn't reach us, and that if it did... it would pass quickly.
Nine months later, 260,000 people have died, and we are heading into another season of unknowns and isolation.
In this darkness, it is hard to achieve our goals the way we used to and even harder to define our success from a Zoom call, a bulleted email, our makeshift home office, or a finely crafted PowerPoint presentation.
These are not normal times, so we cannot hold ourselves to what defined success for us before all of this happened. So let's not. We don't have to. This pandemic has taken so much from so many... so let's take a few things back.
Not everyone defines success in dollar signs, Instagram followers, or record times. Success for some can mean saying you're going to take some time for yourself, and then actually doing it. It could mean finally finishing that book you started last year. Or finding one thing in each day that makes you happy.
TODAY, give yourself permission to define what success means to you. Within your own standards and parameters, reach your goals and find success. There are no timelines, no deadlines, no budgets or proposals. If those things drive you, then write a proposal to yourself with a deadline, timeline and budget. Make yourself your biggest client. This is your new normal and these are your rules.
What if a coworker, family member, friend or partner see your actions as self centered or off base? Ask yourself what having them disagree with you really means. They are confused or unhappy with the idea of doing things for yourself? Don't take it personally. Just take a step back and ask yourself, "if they are upset with me.... then what?"
Once you answer that question, and it brings you to a negative scenario, ask again "and then what?" By the time you reach the last negative thing that could come from them not agreeing with you, you have discovered that their opinion can only impact you for so long and in so many ways. Because at the end of the "and then what?" questioning, you are left with you. Your standards, your needs and successes. Never let anyone tell you that your successes are selfish or not big enough. You define them, and you own them.
Once you find the things that define your success, nurture them. Even when life goes back to the normal we knew in 2019, always remember your personal successes. When you can honor those, you are more in tune with who you are and what makes you tick. What drives you and what sustains you. When you have the confidence of self defined and self made success in your back pocket, you can do anything. Believe that.
We can no longer feel like we are failing because we are unable to live the same life we were living before. These are no normal times. These are not normal conditions. So now is the time to make your personal priorities into your successes.