The past 15 months of coping with Covid in the UK has been a roller coaster ride to say the least, and I know it’s been the same in many other parts of the world too. Lockdown and the pandemic have delivered death, grief, and the inability to mourn, they’ve resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs and the destruction of businesses, and they’ve messed up the education and wellbeing of our children for a time, plus lots more.
Yup – it’s been pretty bloody bad!
But with that said, and albeit not wanting to tempt fate, it does looks as if we’ve at last turned a corner and are moving towards better times. We’re not there yet, but we’re definitely en route!
And yes – how long that road to recovery will be remains to be seen, but I think you’ll agree that we’ve at least started some way down the path.
Now, despite all of the challenges we’ve had (and I’ve certainly had and still am dealing with a few myself), I look back and realise there’s also been a valuable opportunity to grow from all of this (to be honest, there always is with every adversity we face).
Because the way I see it, life during this time life has shown us another valuable set of insights. Life has shown us that…
“we cannot expect to find true security and stability existing outside of ourselves – the only real security is that which we generate and cultivate from within.”
Of course we can certainly get help from outside, but that’s different from security. Outside help is transient – it comes and goes, whereas inner security is a permanent anchor point that we’re attached to, just like a ship in the sea.
You can think of yourself as the ship and the waves that buffet it from side to side as life’s challenges. So whilst the good ship You may pitch and yaw and move up and down with the waves as they hit, your anchor stops you from floating and drifting away and being left at the mercy of whatever comes along next – be it calm waters or a storm.
Life, then, has taught us to look inside, find, and drop our own anchor!
So in anticipation of your next question, one technique you can use to find your inner is anchor, is to clarify and focus on your values.
Because your values are the principles that help define who you are, give your life meaning, and enable you to make it through the tough times.
Yes, you may have lost;
- Your job
- Your home
- Who you thought were some good friends
- Your confidence
- Your positivity
- Your partner (through separation)
But YOU still remain.
And listen, don’t get me wrong – some of these are BIG ticket items that can hit hard when they land. I get it – I really do! However, the mistake we tend to make as humans is that we get into the habit of letting ourselves be defined by these external factors, as opposed to seeing them as part of our life tapestry.
- You are not your job – a job is something you have
- You are not your home – a home is wherever you live and call home
- You are not your partner – they have always been their own individual person with their own life path that you cannot control
YOU are none of these things – they are aspects of the life you have chosen to live.
So again, I’m not saying they’re not important – because they are. And so much so that we’re sometimes devastated when we no longer have them.
Life is always moving and changing, and a lot of these elements will invariably come and go – that’s it nature. And so discovering how best to move with its ebbs and flows is part of what we have to learn in order to be more adept at navigating it.
That navigation becomes a lot easier when we get clear on what our values are.
So I invite you to go through the following exercise, refer to your answers at least twice daily for the next 21 consecutive days, and then see how you feel at the end.
Look at the following list of key life areas (feel free to add more if you like – this is not definitive), and write down at least 3-5 core values that you have in regards to each area;
- Friends & Family
- Finances & money
- Social life
- Skills development
- Leisure & interests
- Personal development
Use your answers to help remind yourself on a daily basis; what makes you, YOU, what you stand for, and what you give to and expect from life.
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments on the values you’ve rediscovered and how this exercise helped you regain more inner security.