Thrive Under Pressure — What 2020 Has Taught Me
When you feel pressured by others or adverse circumstances, you may feel like all you can do is tuck your head in and weather the storm until it blows over. While it’s good to find a safe place from which you can make an assessment of your present circumstances, 2020 has taught me that waiting out a storm like COVID isn’t practical to the lives we live today. We can’t stop making a living or shopping for food. And we definitely can’t stop caring about others and reaching out to connect in meaningful ways. It has brought home to me clearly that to thrive under pressure is possible when we keep our heads up, facing the wind. It is only then that we will see obstacles and avoid them or see opportunities and take them.
Painful at times, too.
It takes courage, self-discipline and inner strength to stand up for what you believe in the face of pressure, loss, adversity, or popular opinion. Moments such as we’ve experienced throughout 2020 strip away what’s superficial about our lives and show us what really matters.
This year may have caused you to revisit past trauma, yet, if you’ve developed mindfulness and self-awareness, you were able to use these times as opportunities for healing and creating inner harmony. However, as the year progressed, it became crystal clear that “This Moment” is all that matters because you can’t change the past and you certainly can’t guarantee the future. Focusing on the past or worrying about the future is a pain-inducing exercise that accomplishes little.
Life is too precious to waste on regrets or waiting for more favorable circumstances to pursue your Big Dream and “find” your happiness. Your happiness comes only when you create it. Self-care is not a luxury or act of selfishness. It’s essential if you are to thrive under pressure.
Back in 2013, I started my blog by writing about the benefits of mindfulness and how it enriches our personal and professional lives. After traveling through 2020, it’s become more apparent to me that mindfulness and living intentionally are essential skills for thriving under pressure.
2020 gave me more time to slow down and be alone with my thoughts. Not all of them were comfortable, but I welcomed the opportunity to make friends with them and see what they were trying to teach me. Did you find that true for you, too?
As a lifelong learner, I welcomed the extra time and fewer distractions, so I could learn new skills and formulate new trainings for you, like the Embodied Coach School, which begins at the end of January. (You still have time to enroll!)
I said goodbye to one business venture and opened myself to another.
I was faced with the loss of all my material possessions when my home was threatened by the Alameda wildfire. While my home didn’t burn, the possibility made me clarify my views about my possessions. And I rejoiced in the resilience in my community, as they all came together to witness each others’ stories.
I concentrated on greeting each day with gratitude and a sense of wonder and curiosity. When I actively looked for positive things, I found them. I chose to see each “negative” as an opportunity for learning something about myself and about others. I gained a heightened sensitivity to what’s going on around me. Doing this lets me release 2020 with gratitude.
My biggest takeaway from 2020 is that we must handle the privilege of choice with compassion, wisdom and love. We can either make ourselves a victim and give away our power to others by blaming them for where we are in life; or we can take responsibility for our own actions and chart a course that takes us to our highest version of ourselves. The choice is up to each one of us.
Therefore, I enter 2021 with joy. I’m here to help you do the same. I see we’re at the crossroads and the traffic light is still green… I draw this analogy from Matthew McConaughey’s book, Greenlights:
“We read, we wrote, we prayed, we cried, we listened, we screamed, we spoke out, we marched, we helped others in need. But how much do we change for good? It’s sake and forever? For those of us who survived, when and how we see the benefits of what we went through during those turbulent times is relative. But if we work individually to make justified changes for more value driven and righteous tomorrow, the red light year that 2020 was will one day in the rear view mirror of life inevitably turn green. And perhaps be seen as one of our finest hours.”
A tool that can help you thrive under pressure is my free ebook, 10 Steps to an Embodied Practice. You’ll clearly see how to fine-tune your internal focus in the way you feel about yourself and how you relate to others. I invite you to download your free copy today.