What do curiosity, getting feedback and making a positive personal pivot have to do with a world that seems to have lost its way?
Collective anxiety is like a leaky bucket and one of the places it leaks is in the way we relate to others–and ourselves.
If you’re feeling stressed and finding it hard to concentrate, you are not alone. According to a new survey from the American Psychological Association, more than 80% of Americans said that the invasion of Ukraine and inflation are significant sources of stress. That’s higher than for any other issue asked about since the survey began in 2007.
Stress makes it harder to start and stick to what matters. We all have our favorite distractions whether it’s raiding the fridge, vacuuming, couch or internet surfing, or something else.
Let’s face it…
Politics and the years-long pandemic have left us exhausted. Many of us feel separated–from ourselves and others. We long to know our better selves. And belong, again.
If you are feeling a whisper or an ache to pick yourself up and engage, but have been short on muster, consider using FEEDBACK to get going again.
Those of you who know me and coach with me know that I’m a huge advocate for slowing down to take time to reflect and listen to the wise inner counsel.
But what to do when you can’t sift through all the noise? When feeling at-remove is blocking what’s inside?
My reply: Ask for help.
You might be tempted to say, that shows weakness or I should be able to figure it out by myself.
Well, in case that isn’t working for you, consider the empowering approach of Asking for Feedback.
It’s what my esteemed, courageous client did.
She assembled a Dream Team and asked for feedback–with the intention of getting clear on how a handful of others she trusted viewed her strengths, priorities and professional skillset. She explained the format and sat–in silence–while they filled in gaps and described her in ways she hadn’t recognized in years.
Make no mistake. It took curiosity, willingness to engage and move through discomfort to begin to see herself as others saw her, as she wanted to see herself.
The beauty of what she allowed herself to ask for and receive is that it helped reveal herself.
The Dream Team’s words rang true as a bell, helped her to own the values and distinctive traits that she then leveraged for a career pivot. It fueled renewed confidence and hope.
Next time you find yourself forgetting who you are or thinking you’re too small to matter, I hope you’ll consider leaving blame, shame and shutting down behind. I hope you’ll light the spark of curiosity and see where that takes you. What would be possible?
GG’S SPRING FAVES
Article: The 25 Best Productivity Hacks. I don’t know about you, but my productivity’s not what it used to be and I discovered tips I will use.
Activity: Traveling again within the states. I was more comfortable than I thought I’d be and the rewards of seeing friends and family, new and old places–it’s still fueling me.
Fiction Books: Booth, by Karen Joy Fowler. Ever since I attended her session at a Writing Conference, I’ve been enjoying her books. This new release is fiction that blends historical perspective and develops a family story of origin surrounding John Wilkes Booth. I found it a riveting read. And Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. It will place you right in time and place and offers experience through story you won’t soon forget.
Non-Fiction Book: The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel H. Pink. A highly readable book about what people regret most and how to optimize regret in your own life.
TV Series: The Diaries of Andy Warhol on Netflix. A life marked by ginormous success, rejection, loss, self-doubt and re-invention. The clips feature NYC and the glittery art scene from decades gone by. A genius at branding before there was a word for it. His influence and enterprise stretched far wider than I realized.
Podcast: The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos. Based on the most popular course in Yale’s 300-year history, the podcast will take you through the latest research and inspiring stories for how to well…take a fresh look at feeling happy.
Recipe: Vanilla-Fruit Smoothie by Mark Bittman [NY Times Cooking]. It’s really a non-recipe because smoothies are very “forgiving.” I toss in whatever I have on hand, don’t measure. Often, ingredients such as banana, spinach, almond butter, frozen cherries, and chia seeds are in the mix.
What’s on My Mind: The safety and survival of President Zelensky, the Ukraine and Russian people. Find myself checking first and last thing of the day to make sure President Z is still alive and leading. Have a strong sense I’m not alone on this.
Work-a-day Snack: Celery. Before you groan, it provides a crunch I crave midday. I will also mention a square of dark chocolate, without which most days would be incomplete.
Quote–on the importance of rest:
“I always forget how important the empty days are, how important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce anything, even a few lines in a journal. A day when one has not pushed oneself to the limit seems a damaged, damaging day, a sinful day. Not so! The most valuable thing one can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room.” – Mary Sarton, from Journal of a Solitude