None of us get to escape the storms of life. But when things get really bad, it's time to remind ourselves why mindset matters.
Recently my life has felt like a sh*t storm.
It was bad. So bad it brought me to tears.
But it made me wonder: how many other business owners have moments in their journey where they feel like their life is falling apart, and they need to dig deep into their tools and survival strategy skills to come out the other end?
When I started this podcast, one of my mantras was that I wouldn’t put up any pretence. I promised myself (and my listeners) that I would keep it real. Warts and all.
My friends… IT’S WARTS TIME!
My Recent Sh*tstorm
The lead character (moi!): small business owner, sole income earner, mum of 3.
The crisis: Like much of the rest of the world, New Zealand has had some pretty unusual weather lately. For us Kiwis, it came in the form of a series of unprecedented storms. One after the other. During one of these windstorms, the roof of my house came off. (!!!) The wind… was followed by rain, lots of it, which caused damage and flooding.
It was bad. But it got worse…
A roofer made a temporary fix, but before we had time to come up with a permanent solution, another storm rolled in. And… you guessed it, the temporary fix didn’t hold. Damage galore and leaks all around the house.
At this stage, I didn’t know if the roof was salvable, and whether we would have to evacuate the house. I allowed my mind to wander down the worst-case scenario trail. Bad Idea!
At the same time…
I was going through the final stages of a house purchase and was organising a move with my family to a different part of New Zealand.
AND I was recruiting 2 new staff members for my business in anticipation of a busy period ahead.
I guess there is no need for me to point out the level of chaos and overwhelm.
And while the crisis happened on a personal level, there was definitely fall-out on a business level. But also, the survival strategies I needed to tap into would be identical for any crisis, business or personal. WHICH MAKES MY EXPERIENCE AN IMPORTANT ONE TO SHARE. Because none of us gets to escape the sh*t storms of life.
SO,… what did I learn about overcoming challenges in life?
How To Face Life’s Challenges When It’s Really Coming Down?
When life started raining lemons by the bucket load, I felt beaten, overwhelmed. I had no idea where to start. All I wanted to do was curl up in bed, have a hot bath, have a good cry, and watch a Netflix series. WHICH.. I DID! And you and me both, my friend, are totally allowed to do this. I give us permission! It’s ok!
BUT here’s the catch: YOU CAN’T REMAIN STUCK IN THIS MINDSET.
Once you’ve had your moment with tears and a tub of ice cream, it’s time to remind yourself why mindset matters. I admit, it wasn’t easy, and I’m not saying it will be for you, but IT CAN BE DONE. I did it. You can do it too!
So here goes!
MINDSET: After the initial shock, I had to remind myself why mindset matters. Deep down, I knew I had to put a stop to the mad panic and get my mind and emotions in check. So, I made a promise to get out of bed every morning and Just. Do. My. Best. I made myself focus on the next best step, and on keeping a positive attitude.
VISUALISATION: After a crazy attempt to control the situation (which, of course, was doomed to fail), the insurance adviser kindly reminded me that my best strategy right now was to catch the water in buckets and wait for the rain to stop. He continued to tell me it was ok to just do the best you can do.
THIS was the moment I accepted the situation. Interestingly, it also calmed my mind.
From that moment on, I started seeing the road ahead: we would wait, THEN we would clean up, and THEN we would get things fixed. I could visualise the result after the fix. But even better, I started to imagine some home improvements I had already been considering, like painting the walls and replacing the carpet.
I could visualise a positive outcome out of all the chaos and negativity!
FOCUS: Some days I couldn’t decide what needed my attention the most. Then I realised I just needed to practice what I preach in a business situation. My next survival strategy needed to be avoiding context switching. I needed to stop the jumping from one problem to the next, ultimately getting nowhere.
Instead, I needed to focus. So, I dedicated a couple of hours each day to tackle each of the challenges. Every day, I worked on each problem separately, until I had reached the obvious next step. And although not every step was a win, it kept me moving in the right direction.
SELF-CARE: While I was in the centre of the storm, I knew that as an essential part of my survival strategy; I needed to look after myself. When things became too much, I would step away from my desk for 5-10 minutes to go for a walk or do some breathing exercises. I made sure I was eating regularly and as healthy as I could muster. I also made sure I had a good night’s sleep.
Why Mindset Matters?
True to my warts and all commitment, I need to admit; it wasn’t all pretty. I have this life philosophy to be a role-model for my kids, and I can’t say I nailed that during this stressful time. I’m especially thinking about a situation with my daughter that I didn’t handle as well as I could have. But then again, I did my best during an extremely stressful time and I can’t beat myself up over that.
Right now, I’m in the recovery phase, where it’s not quite all behind me yet, but I can see the end of the tunnel and I feel like I’ve regained some level of control.
Within the not too distant future, when the storm has settled, I’ll allocate some time to reflect on my thoughts, my behaviours, my emotions and my actions.
I strongly believe that when we level up our mindset, we level up our life. And when we spend time on our personal growth, our business will flourish.
Which is the perfect segway to remind you that just like I turned to the experts for advice when all I could see was chaos, it’s during stormy times like these a coach can remind you why mindset matters. They can help you see what you can’t in the moment. They can help you establish what’s important and where your energy should be focused.
If, like me recently, your life is in utter turmoil, and all you can see is chaos and overwhelm, then I invite you to book a coaching session with me. Together, we’ll work our way through the survival strategies to get to the other end. Simply head to my website, sandrajulian.co and Book a Chat.