Updated: Mar 2
When the core of your future existence is brought into sharp relief, as mine was, you have to learn humility and practice detachment
I recently spent two weeks in hospital as a result of a health issue that brought me to the core of my future existence – no, not the coronavirus, problems with my heart. While the problem has been addressed and I can now get on with my life, the two weeks gave me the time and head space to do some in-depth reflecting on how I handle my business and how I deal with the everyday challenges that life brings.
At first, I found it very stressful to be unexpectedly kept away from my business. Other niggles were eating away at me: Covid-19 was causing a global emergency, the uncertainty of how Brexit will turn out was in the background, and the formation of a new government was looking impossible. Many reasons to be anxious before we even consider a fairly serious health issue.
I had to take a dose of my own medicine
“Walk a mile in my moccasins” is an expression I have used in the past to encourage people to understand the pain that other people go through when they are trying to navigate their own  challenges. But the question I had for myself was how to take my own advice. How to apply that empathy to myself and not get overburdened with change or slip into frustration or over analysis?
Life goes on
What I gained from my enforced absence from my business was humility. I realised that the world does not revolve around me. If I don’t facilitate another forum or write another blog then my clients will find some other way of solving their issues.
So, I might as well live in the moment and make the best of the current situation.
Noting the worst possible outcome
What else did I gain from my hospital stay? Well, the realisation that one of the key ingredients in being able to make better decisions is the ability to gain greater emotional detachment from the situation.
I can’t believe it took me so long to come to that conclusion given that at the peer-to-peer leadership coaching sessions it is usually when they get distance from the challenge or issue that is consuming them that my clients make a breakthrough.
I experienced this myself. When I realised that the worst possible outcome for me was that my heart would give up and I would die, then my work and business challenges took on a different perspective.
There is a real value to learning to detach ourselves from our issues and worries so that we can put them in perspective and prioritise.
The Global Village in action
More thoughts! With the Covid-19 pandemic we have been experiencing the global village in action; what happened in China affected all of us in a short space of time. This interdependence has both upsides and downsides. We are now confronting the down sides.
However, a big upside is a greater sense of collaboration rather than individualism. Look at the speed with which virologists across the globe worked on a treatment and a vaccine. Sometimes taking action is asking for help, or at the very least getting others’ views on our situation. Right down to local level with neighbours looking out for each other, this is a positive change that the coronavirus has gifted us.
My final thought on this, and the advice I am giving to myself, is to accept each situation as it is, not as I wish it could be. Have no regrets or blame, see it as an opportunity for growth and change. Involve others where necessary and then deal with what I have control of. None of us can on our own solve the bigger problems like global warming, the coronavirus, Brexit and so on; however, we can each contribute to creating a better world by creating a better world around us.
Speaking of dealing with what I have control of, my two weeks in hospital gave me some training in self-isolation. It’s a breeze to me now!
Whose own challenges? The other people going through pain or the people you are coaching?