Name, Claim, Tame
It’s hard not to think of all the graduates who envisioned throwing mortar boards, hugging friends, and celebrating with family and loved ones. At best, these culminating events have been postponed and for some canceled. Those graduates are not alone in their sadness.
Have some of your dreams and goals been put on hold?
Or no longer are possible because of COVID-19?
Maybe you had dreams to see the world before turning 60.
Maybe it’s as simple as the realization that your profession has been derailed.
In goal-setting theory, there is a concept called “lost possible self.” If you were to google Laura King’s work on this type of journaling exercise, you’ll see examples such as the dream of lasting marriage ending in divorce, the athlete permanently sidelined due to injury, or the promotion that was given to someone else.
I can’t help but think that we have to adjust to the new norm for the foreseeable future and maybe have to let go of aspects of life we enjoy and help us thrive.
I invite you to take the time to reflect. Are there any aspects of the pandemic that forced a shift in your goals? Are there goals that are no longer viable? Or maybe a little voice inside your head is nudging to go after something you’ve always wanted or let go of things that no longer have meaning?
The simplicity of the “Name it, Claim it, Tame it,” often used in grade school as a tool to cope, may also be helpful as we let go of “lost possible.”
Acknowledge: We are better when we recognize our losses and our lost possible selves, but are not consumed by them. Acknowledging them can be an opportunity for growth.
Allow for sadness: It is important to allow for emotion and closure to move forward. Write a letter to “lost possible self” or come up with your own creative closure activity.
Frame it differently: Put a symbolic new frame on it — make peace with the situation. We didn’t want this, but it happened anyway. Let yourself feel the liberation that may come with possibilities and allow a growth mindset to take root. There is magic in our resilience and ability to redesign ourselves. It’s an ideal time to reassess, regroup and reprioritize. When the time is right, consider writing a letter to your “future best self,” also a journaling exercise studied by Dr. King. More on that letter next week.
The pandemic has given renewed energy into growing The Walking Book Club as a supportive community with a healthy-body happy-mind ethos. While we’re not in the millions, we are global and now connecting virtually.
I miss teaching group fitness and may not return to the silly musically driven group energy of a shared workout, but connecting online with people all across the globe is new, exciting and fun.
I’m still wrapping my head around wearing masks, not being able to comfortably jump on a plane without worry and so much more. My anxiety is still high. Truth is, I probably needed to write this letter to myself.
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