About a week into our current shelter-in-place order in Illinois, I was in the kitchen making scrambled eggs when I suddenly realized that odds were good that my June 6th wedding was going to have to be delayed. The possibility of temporary shutdowns, hiring freezes, and furloughs were already becoming realities for many of our clients. It became very clear very quickly that life was not going to carry on as ‘normal’ any time soon. I started crying. I was overwhelmed. Looking back, I can name it more easily — I was grieving. It’s not hard to place my experience within Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ five-stage model of grief. Acknowledging these difficult emotions has been a blessing in and of itself, but it has also allowed me to move forward with greater peace and freedom.
I know there are countless others who are struggling to get by right now; struggling to balance their usual responsibilities with a few more likely added, under far more difficult circumstances. The quick and easy fix is to distract and anesthetize ourselves from the challenging new reality we are all facing and the emotions that come with it. And while the comforts of Easter candy, binging on Tiger King on Netflix, and a stiff cocktail or two might take the edge off, they certainly won’t offer the same strength as talking and working through this difficult experience with trusted individuals and communities. In the stages of grief, the goal is to arrive at a place of acceptance. This frees up valuable energy and resources from coping to capitalizing on otherwise ignored opportunities to improve your life and the lives of those around you.
For example, if I was still stuck in fear and denial, I probably wouldn’t have started researching and implementing best practices for deepening my relationship with my melancholic 8-year-old, helping my fiancée to fulfill her dream of writing and recording music for an album, or driving our company’s accountability and productivity to move from maintenance mode to a level of hunger for success that wasn’t there when we were still in the office!
What opportunities are you missing because of fear, anger, or denial related to COVID-19? Is there a skill or a trade that you’ve wanted to learn but have been putting off? Is there a book you’ve wanted to read? How about that New Year’s resolution? Now is a great time to recommit to those dreams! This can either be a time to slide back into, and reinforce bad habits, or it can be one of tremendous strength and growth for you, your loved ones, and your various communities. One of the best places to start is being real and honest about how this pandemic is affecting you, embracing that reality, and taking concrete action toward improving it, however small those steps may be. My hope is that we can look back at this period of time with reverence and sorrow for the heavy toll exacted on so many individuals and families, but also with gratitude for all of the different ways that we rose to the challenge and grew together. May God grant us this grace.
CEO, Spirit Consulting
About Spirit Consulting
Spirit Consulting is a boutique management consulting firm with clients across multiple industries and regions of the United States. We offer expert consulting in Executive Search, Business Strategy, and Work Psychology. Rooted in our relational, client-tailored approach, these service lines work synergistically to maximize your organization’s potential. Call (630) 621-3411 or email [email protected] for more information on how Spirit Consulting can help create the best version of your business. If you are interested in applying to jobs we are retained on, please visit www.spiritmco.com.