Navigating Life’s White Water

Look closely at this image above.  Have you ever felt like this in your role as a leader?  I know I sure have.  All of us felt like we were in turbulent waters during COVID.  Have you come out of that churning white water, or are you still trapped? 

Let me ask you some important questions to get you back in the game of leadership and in life and in business.  You are trapped.  We are constantly fed doom and gloom and the world is coming to an end and guess what, it is all your fault!  When you are constantly looking and searching for good news and all you get is bad news; this is call “Doomscrolling.” Really? Have you sunk so low that is your existence today?  You do not believe this do you?  If you do, then you shouldn’t be in leadership.  Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true.  Leaders are the ones who go first, they brave the harassment, the arrows, the doubters, and remain true to their vision and mission regardless of the obstacles in their path.  Obstacles and challenges are “Hard Work” in disguise.

What derailed you exactly?

Let’s take this deeper here:  What derailed you in your professional life?

What derailed you in your personal life?

What has rebounded?

How did that rebound happen?

What did you stop doing before 2020 that you have begun again?

How did you do that?

A mental mind shift had to have taken place, you know that right?

What happened to make the mind shift?

Okay, so let’s see how much of your life prior to 2020 has returned to a normal or semi-normal state. 

List them.

One way to combat this feeling of dread and doom and gloom is to stop listening, reading, surfing the internet or nightly news or from whatever source you get news from. Disengage with the usual group of friends.  Why?  Because you all see the world from the same perspective.  Escape the city if you can, even if it is for a day, a weekend, or a vacation and stay disconnected.   

What’s your plan?

How soon can you execute that getaway?

You see when you unplug and stop reading, listening, and viewing doom and gloom your entire perspective changes.

Life, professional or personal isn’t about “doing,” it is about “being.”  Everyday I talk to personal friends, family, professionals, peers, and clients and they are still STUCK in the COVID MENTALITY! 

A friend of mine named Jeff Henderson wrote a wonderful book called: FOR.  In his book Jeff has a great quote: “A business is no longer what it tells customers it is. A business is what customers tell other customers it is.”

Let’s tweak this to a personal note by saying “A person is no longer what they tell others they are. [i.e., “I’m fine.”] A person is what others tell others who you really are.”

I know before 2020 you had plans, dreams, on a roll so to speak and now what are you doing? 

What’s your plan to get out of the “doldrums?

Let’s put a plan in place right now shall we?

  1. Go back and look at your December 2022 end of the year review.  I post this exercise each December for my readers to complete.  What was there that you completely dropped?
  2. Recalibrate.  What does this mean? It means you see what is on that list that you wish to reengage with, what you want to drop from your plan and what new dreams, and goals you might have thought of since the world had a restart.   You know there have been and will continue to be those who see life and serving a career as a great adventure. 
  3. What am I passionate about that I have never tried or dared to venture   thinking about doing as a job.  “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~ Chinese sage Confucius [image courtesy of ].Can you imagine such a life?  I can.  We cannot get what we want immediately, what we can do is think about where our passions are naturally suited in this big world, we live in.  Bakers love to bake, measure, create, see people smile, celebrate life events with them and so on.  People who celebrate their physical bodies love to eat healthy, work out, get enough sleep, and drink enough water and are always moving.  There are millions of jobs out there to support your passion. 
  4. Life and living are not all about money and how much you can get for not doing anything.  This is the trap our nation finds itself in today.  There is a saying which is centuries old, and it says this:   “If a man will not work, he will not eat.” Harsh, no I don’t think so.  Today, where I live almost every business window has a “Help Wanted” sign hanging.  Why is there a need to receive and handout instead of taking a hand up?
  5. Get with happy people who are forward thinking.  If you are surrounded by doom and gloom the sky is falling friends you need new friends.  Join a support group.  Join a group in your community in the area you work or want to work in.  Look into your Chamber of Commerce or Community College and look at the courses or training that they offer to lift you up and out of the pit you are in.
  6. Get out and go to family celebrations.  Call a family member, college buddy, or friend and reconnect.  Not via technology that is impersonal.  Take someone out for coffee or lunch or pay for the next person in line.  You will be surprised at how much your spirit will be lifted.
  7. If you are the leader of your team, organziation or a business, when was the last time you celebrated your emloyees?  When did you walk the floor and  just chat with them?  When was the last time you volunteered to mentor one of them?  Do you know who is struggling in life?  Do you or your HR people know who needs a vacation and never takes one?  Who need time off for brevement?  Do you know? 
  8. A shameless plug here!  You may need medical help.  You may want to hire a coach to get you upright and back on the rails of life.  No shame here.  Everyone needs a friend to listen and to ask questions that you may have never thought of. 
  9. Perhaps you need to reconnnect with your faith, whatever it is.  Do not downplay this one.  Many lose their way when they stray from faith or faith disappoints them in some way.
  10. Be Aware of the big bad wolf called FEAR!  This means:  False Evidence Appearing Real!  These derails people so often.  They get a fear-based belief in their head, and they go there every time anything is presented to them.

So, what now?

The choice is 100% up to you.  You have Free Will.  Just remember, whatever choice you make, you are 100% responsible for that choice and the consequences your choice brings!

My name is Janice Bastani. I am a certified coach, mentor, trainer, speaker, and published author since 2003. My joy is to help others work through their challenges and realize their dreams. If you are looking for a partner to walk beside you, please contact me.