As the media is screaming about how this or that is not “normal”, it’s worth considering that sometimes the realities of our own lives are played out on a national stage. (Including what’s considered “normal” or not!)
In case you hadn’t noticed, “normal” (as you knew it) is done! Rather than trying to cling on to what you’ve known in the past, you’re being challenged with the task of creating a new normal.
Can you do it? It’s up to you!
Let me explain:
Almost 30 years ago, I was free climbing and fell about 12 floors down, landing on the boulders below and face planting hard. As you can imagine, I was not “okay”. After more than 10 surgeries to fix, heal, and reconstruct my body, however, I realized that people desperately wanted me to be just that…”okay”.
“How are you doing?”, they would ask.
And even when my jaw was wired shut and I was bleary with pain meds, do you know what I would say?
I’m not sure who I was trying harder to convince, but it was a big fat lie. For some reason, however, I stuck with it. When I had the energy to follow it up, I’d add “I’m coming back!”.
I may have wanted that to be true, but it was an even bigger lie than the first one.
In reality, I was hurting bad, and not just physically. My body had been smashed to pieces, but my psyche was the most damaged. You see, everything I’d held as true, and so many messages I’d told myself every single day were now broken, and no glue could fix them. Things like; I’m confident, I’m smart, I’m on the right path and many more positive “normal” things I’d believed had been crushed on those rocks.
Eventually I made it home from the hospital, and not long after I found myself curled up on the floor, bawling my eyes out, face to face with the reality that I was not okay and there was no “coming back” – normal was over.
After all, life is a one direction ride, and it kept going full steam ahead, regardless of my feelings.
At this point, I had the choice to either continue wallowing in my hurt and pain, or begin to find my way and learn to get on board with whatever my new “normal” was going to be. Rather than fighting against reality and building up a reserve of hate, anger, and resentment, I had the ability to embrace the reality that nothing was ever going to be the same.
The way I used to be, look, or feel was no longer a reality for me.
At this crossroads, I could accept a new reality and evolve into something different…or hang on to the old version of “normal” and be a victim of circumstance.
(That’s it. There isn’t an option to rewind, and no amount of anger is going to reset the clock.)
If I chose not to get with the new program and accept what was, the person I was going to end up hurting the most was myself. By refusing to evolve or engage in the creation of something new, I was holding myself back from potential growth.
Reality being what it is, you’re asking for trouble if your only accepted version of “normal” is always in your rearview mirror.
What crossroads have you been at that required you to make a choice between holding on to something that no longer existed, and growing into something new?
Have you come to the point of realizing that refusing the new normal isn’t going to make the old ways come back?
If you’ve been mentally living in the “glory days” of how wonderful things used to be for you, it’s time to wake up. You can’t regain your youth, undo that bad investment, reclaim the job offer you turned down, or take back whatever mistakes you want to pretend or deny away.
I’m asking you to consider that it’s time to let go of your anger, your confusion, or your plain old denial and look for ways you can personally create a new sense of normal. A new normal that despite its lack of familiarity, still involves you. A new normal where you are actively thriving, growing, and evolving into something bigger and better than you were before.
A new normal that allows you to take a deep breath and say, “I am enough.“
While you’re at it, consider this:
Research has recognized that our memories are far from perfect. In fact, the mind purposely deletes, distorts, and refines memories to save energy (and possibly save face). So when you dwell on the past and lament to everyone in earshot about how wonderful everything used to be…you’re not engaging with reality anyway.
Right now, I invite you to take a deep breath, and identify that thing you need to let go of.
Find something in the present to focus on, something that you can reorient yourself around as you begin to reshape what “normal” looks like for you. As you do, you’ll find that the ways things used to be doesn’t matter nearly as much as you once believed it did.
When you’ve been successful at recreating normal in an evolving world, there is no place you’d rather be then the moment you’re living right now.
The Mic is Yours..
I’m curious: Please tell us about an old normal you had to let go of, and share what good came out of doing so.
Dov Baron, Expert on Leadership, presents his Authentic Leadership Matrix!
My Authentic Leadership Matrix is free this link! Why? Because one of the questions I’m most often asked is; What authentic leadership is and how do we define it? As a result, with years of experience and extensive requests, I created the Authentic Leadership Matrix. It’s designed to give you a clear process of how to perform in each of the five main areas that are required for you to become a world-class authentic leader. Start your yes and no evaluation to discover your leadership traits here: https://matrix.fullmontyleadership.com
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