I can handle it. I’ll be fine.

Liz Sumner Courage, Fear, Trust Leave a Comment

We’re still fine. 

For the first few days of the heavy restrictions here in Italy I couldn’t manage to do anything except check news sites and play online bridge. I didn’t even have the patience to read a book. I’m now able to focus a little more on my coaching practice and thinking about what time management means under these circumstances.

I’m remembering a workshop I taught a number of years ago entitled, How To Keep A Positive Attitude During Times of Uncertainty. It was commissioned by an insurance company that was going through a merger and the HR department was managing a lot of layoffs.

My central premise was that a positive attitude is not some naive, happy-no-matter-what way of ignoring reality. Instead it comes from a balanced feeling of Power and Trust. Power in the sense of “I can handle what comes.” I am capable, resourceful, I have choice about how I respond. And Trust in the sense of “I’ll be fine.” Everything I care about will ultimately be okay. I’m not alone. I have resources. I don’t need to panic.

If you believe you can handle it and end up fine it doesn’t matter what comes along.

Now granted, a global pandemic is different from a possible layoff. It’s easy to feel helpless against unseen microbes, but the same actions can apply.

1. Gather information. What is known and unknown? What do you need to find out? 

2. Lack of clarity only has the meaning you give it. Be aware of the conclusions you’re making.

3. Choose the interpretation that gives you the best balance of power and trust.

It’s unreasonable to expect yourself to stay cheerful and productively engaged every minute during this intense cycle. But you can recognize when you’re spinning out into fear and find your way back when you’re thrown off course. 

What are the essential elements to your peace of mind? What can you do to increase your power, to take responsibility and feel more at choice? What would make you feel more trust and less defensiveness and fear? What comes up for you when you say, I can handle it and I’ll be fine?

If you’re not feeling powerful or trusting I invite you to schedule a free call.

IMAGE: On Friday, March 13th at 6pm, people all across Italy came out on their balconies to make music together. This was our contribution to the flashmob.

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