How has your last month been? I would imagine very varied for everyone depending on your individual circumstances.
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster month for me since my last newsletter. At the start of lockdown, after the initial phase of, “WTF-is- actually-going-on-here??” and being glued to every update, I settled down and started out with lots of live videos and being pretty engaged with work.
Then as the school closures kicked in, and also some stuff came up in my personal life that was quite emotional and tough, I’ve actually needed to go within and do lots of self-reflection and mindset work.
This required a lot of surrender of the, “I should be doing x,y,z….” voices and comparing to what other coaches in the online space were doing, in order to tune in and listen to the needs of my own mind and body.
Whenever there is change, challenge or uncertainty on the horizon, it will often be the time that any old, negative thought patterns can rear their heads.
It’s relatively easy to think positively and practice healthy mindset techniques when all is well in your life, and much, much tougher to stick to them when it isn’t, which ironically is when you actually need them the most!
Thankfully after years of practice, I am aware of this and so I’ve taken some time to reflect, work through some stuff and really tune into what I feel called to do next as we navigate these next few months as a profession.
So after 4 weeks of focusing on doing my own mindset work, finishing delivering my Veterinary Career Mastery group coaching course and nurturing my existing clients I’m ready to get stuck back in!
What has come through strongly for me while I’ve been reflecting, is the need to meet yourself exactly where you are right now, rather than wishing you were feeling differently.
That’s my new vision and mission for supporting my community and clients over the next few months – to help my clients navigate through this time feeling in a good place whether you’re at 2/10 or 8/10 in how happy you’re currently feeling!
I’m seeing every variation of situation in my clients:
- Some are loving lockdown, taking time to exercise, rest and escape the pressures of work.
- Some are enjoying lockdown but wracked by guilt for doing so and therefore unable to fully embrace it.
- Some are frustrated that they can’t do more to help the situation.
- Some are frustrated with themselves that they HAVE more time but are feeling tired or unproductive.
- Others are really up against it, fighting to keep their practices running and staff protected and weather the storm.
- Some have more pressure and less time from now having to juggle home-schooling, work and lower income.
- Others are feeling expansive and have space and time to reflect and work out how to move forwards.
All of these responses are valid.
All are ok and acceptable.
There is no one ‘correct’ way to make it through this situation that is somehow more worthy or valuable or meaningful.
The mindfulness work here is to take time to tune in and work out for yourself where you are right now, and then give yourself what you need. Or ask for it from others if necessary.
For some of you, what’s needed right now is a life-raft. Something positive to hold onto to bring hope, support and a way of coping. Perhaps that’s coping skills, anxiety-management, a reminder of your inherent skills and abilities or some direction on how to weather the storm.
Maybe it’s therapeutic support if this time has brought up old wounds or stories that need releasing, or interpersonal or work-related situations that are feeling really challenging.
When you’re in need of a life-raft, it’s the time to be very self-compassionate and watch how harshly you’re judging yourself, or what you’re expecting from yourself while going through this.
On the other end of the scale, maybe you’re fortunate to be in a stable situation with some time on your hands.
What would be really helpful right now is a lighthouse to guide you on how you can be maximising this space to think about your next move, or to work on an aspect of yourself you’ve been looking to change.
The point here is to meet yourself right where you are, stop comparing to what others are doing, and look at what would serve you most currently.
For me in April, that meant actually disconnecting from social media and the world a bit at a time when everyone else seemed to be connecting on it more than ever, in order to go within and work out what I needed, without judging myself negatively for it or making up unhelpful stories in my head about being different or missing out.
It’s ok to not be ok. We’ve never been through anything like this before.
It’s also completely ok to be ok and not to feel guilty about that!
When you cannot change or influence any of the bigger things going on around you, it’s time to focus on the one and only thing you DO have complete control over, and that’s yourself and your mindset.
Give yourself permission to give yourself or ask for what you need right now – whether that’s a life-raft or a lighthouse, or somewhere in between….
I’ve needed all three intermittently over the last 3 months!
How I can help right now
Lockdown came as myself and my 26 Veterinary Career Mastery course participants were half way through my 3-month group coaching program. It’s been interesting to see that the coaching tools and techniques that they were learning to help them navigate their next career or life move have been equally applicable to finding some balance and grounding during the pandemic as well.
The feedback from the course so far has been amazing, and I’m looking forward to hopefully running another intake later this year.
We had so many brilliant questions come up in the live Q&A sessions so over the coming weeks I will take some key themes from those sessions and share the major take-home points with you as free content via these newsletters.
If you’re looking for a life-raft at the moment, don’t forget Vetlife are always there for a confidential chat. On the coaching front, during lockdown I am offering one-off Strategy and Mindset coaching sessions for £97.00 (less than half the normal price).
I’ve done a few of these so far, covering diverse topics such as:
- Being unsure how to set 3-6 month goals currently plus recovering from challenging client complaint
- Interpersonal challenges and lack of trust among veterinary company directors meaning a new direction may be needed outside the business
- Being made redundant quite harshly and needing short term support and a longer term plan
- Navigating being a single mum vet with sudden loss of locum income and needing support on evaluating the options for moving forwards
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a lighthouse right now and want to take advantage of this time to do some deep mindset work and figure out your next move or navigate with confidence through your next move, then actually my normal three coaching packages are highly relevant as they are designed for increasing self-awareness, building confidence and finding your way forward.
You can book a free 45-min Exploration Session with me here to talk through your needs and see if I’m the right person to help, or to be signposted in the right direction.
Right folks, I’m off to write a lecture for the Surrey Vet School final year students that I’m giving on Monday so that’s it from me this week.
Stay safe and well wherever you are and please reach out if I can help support you in any way.