Delta Messing With Your Mindset? Live The Life You Have, Not The One You Want
“In an ideal world we’d all be back in the office in September,” a client said to me last week, bemoaning the rising anxiety surrounding the Delta variant that’s driven many companies to push back ‘return to office plans.’
Of course in an, in an ideal world, we’d not have had this pandemic to begin with. In an ideal world we’d not be witnessing the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Afghanistan or the hurricanes that have left thousands homeless in Haiti.
In an ideal world…
How many times have you heard that phrase… and how many times has it left you feeling deflated, frustrated, resigned, resentful, or ‘all the above.’
The fact is that life is not perfect. And you know what? It never will be. Ever.
Of course 18+ months into this pandemic that we had hoped would well be behind us by now, life feels particularly unsettling, difficult, and disappointing for many people. As someone who usually travels frequently to speak at conferences, the Delta variant has definitely thrown a spanner in my own ‘back to events’ plans.
Yet having had my well laid plans derail many times over many decades I’ve learned this:
We must live the life we have, not the one we want.
That doesn’t mean you should sit back, chuck in the towel, and passively let life happen to you.
Rather it means that you should stop cursing and complaining about what you cannot control and instead, focus your attention on making the very best of what you can.
And there is always plenty that you can control.
For starters, you can decide to show up today as the kind of person you’d want to work and live with.
You can invest time in those rituals and activities that help you feel stronger physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
You can go out of your way to lend a helping hand to someone who is doing it even tougher than you. Many are.
You can disengage from conversations that fuel negativity and talk only about more creative ways of solving the problems at hand.
You can get vaccinated.
And you can decide to stop making comparisons about the state of your life today versus that state of what you think it ‘should be.’
Because when you let go of all comparisons with how it ‘should be’ or ‘used to be’ or ‘hoped it to be this fall’, you liberate your energy to get on with making the very best of how it is. President Theodore Roosevelt said that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I’ll go a step further and say it is also the crusher of creativity and courage and compassion and connection in the testing moments you need them most.
So whatever you’ve got going on right now, focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t.
And when you find yourself venturing down the path of ‘woulda-shoulda-coulda’ thinking , gently catch yourself, take a sacred pause, and surrender to ‘what is.’
To quote Yogi Berra, “If life were perfect, it wouldn’t be.”
It’s in rising to the challenges (and challenging people) in our imperfect, not-ideal life, that we can discover our greatest strengths and life’s most precious gifts.
And one of the most valuable of all is realizing that you are here for no small purpose and that those situations which challenge you the most – requiring you to dig deep and summon courage that may otherwise have lain dormant – are required for you to fulfill it.
In short: Life isn’t happening to you, it is happening for you. And if you zoom up high enough, the same is true for all of us. Individually and collectively.
After all, you wouldn’t be half the person you are today if everything had always gone your way.
So embrace your emotions for learning they hold.
Give yourself permission to feel them fully.
But don’t let them linger.
Rather let go comparing, competing, and complaining. Let go blaming and finger-pointing. Let go those stories that keep you stuck, sell you short and fuel self-pity.
They serve nothing and no one. Least of all you.
Instead, decide to show up in the world as the big-hearted person you aspire to become, trusting that whatever challenge you are facing right now, you can handle it. But not only can you ‘handle it’, that this experience can be used as a catalyst for you to grow into the fullness of your true potential and to make your highest point of contribution to the world.
A big claim? Sure. But if it resonates, even a little, then maybe it holds truth.
As I wrote in You’ve Got This! , embracing life as the wild adventure ride that it is and opening our hearts wide to the full spectrum of human emotions is the ultimate act of heroism.
The next leg of your ‘hero’s journey’ starts today.
As you reset your mindset for the fall, let go your attachments to how life ‘should be’ and decide to operate the mindset that ‘you’ve got this.’
Live from that place. Love from that place. Lead from that place.
It will make all the difference.
And not just for you. For all of us.
So thank you in advance.
Dr Margie Warrell is a keynote speaker, leadership coach and bestselling author of You’ve Got This!