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Guilt and Resentment from Pandemic Life

I'm sure most of us can recall, with great clarity, where we were when the world "stopped moving" – 18 months ago in March of 2020. Two weeks to flatten the curve! That's what they told us, then. Of course, none of us could have known or been prepared for just how wrong those projections would be.

I'll admit, there were days where I woke up feeling completely disoriented. I had a plan for myself, for my business. I had goals – they seemed to stare me down from my vision boards, asking when I might get back to them.

But how could I focus on myself? My daughter is immune compromised at severely high risk for COVID. My son had a job that he had to leave the house for every morning. I moved my daughter and me to my mother's home where I knew I could protect her best, away from the big city life of KW Region – but this meant tons of time spent away from my husband.

Evening chats cuddled up on the couch had been replaced with face-time calls that really didn't feel the same.

One Saturday morning, I decided to follow along with one of the most prominent trends to come from "lock-down life" – making bread. To know me is to know the kitchen and I are not exactly friendly, so this was quite the undertaking. I was determined, though. This bread was a goal I could work toward and achieve – and I so needed to achieve it.

You can imagine the ugly cry, tear-stained shirt, meltdown that occurred when I made it to the pantry and realized I didn't have any yeast. Or when I learned that the yeast wouldn’t have been kept in the pantry, rather the fridge, to begin with?! I'm not a baker. There is no reason I would have ever had yeast. Yet, at that moment, I felt utterly defeated.

That was when I realized the fear, the guilt, the resentment – it wasn't because I didn't have yeast, and it wasn't because I wouldn't be making bread that morning.

It was for everything else.

I resented having to put my life, goals, and the things I wanted to achieve for myself on hold. I then immediately felt guilty because I knew my situation was much better than so many others. I knew that I was doing what had to be done to keep my family, relationships, and business afloat. How could that ever be something to resent?

Resentment, guilt, these are emotions that manifest in so many ways in our daily lives. They show up as procrastination, self-sabotage, imposter syndrome – making it that much harder to release when we can’t easily identify the drivers behind these behaviours.

What I've come to learn, between then and now, is that guilt and resentment are wasted emotions. They are perfectly normal and judging yourself for feeling these things – natural human responses to trauma – are what continue to hold you back.

With every push forward, the world shows us it is ready to resume some form of normalcy. That means it's officially time to leave the guilt and resentment behind and push forward.

The pandemic disproportionately impacted women. Significantly more women than men left careers, closed businesses, and put dreams on hold to keep things flowing at home. You are allowed to feel frustrated about this. But you also need to be willing to reclaim YOUR space. Your goals. Your ambition.

Where to start? Excellent question! When considering how to piece this blog together, I wanted to share tips that have longevity. Things that will work for anyone, at any time, who needs a boost to refocus on their goals.

Below are three quick tips to help motivate and re-energize yourself to get back on track for success.

1. Spend time at the end of each week, prioritizing what the following week will look like. Make sure to prioritize the key critical tasks you need to be working on to achieve your goal and build them into your schedule. These are your non negotiables that must be prioritized to move your goals forward. Everything else fills in around them.

2. Take time to review your effectiveness for the week – be brutally honest with yourself. Did you do what you committed to, and is it having the impact you expected? We can be so quick to blame and change the plan when often it isn't the plan that needs tweaking but our commitment to our actions. However, if you are consistently doing what was planned and not seeing the required results, then it's time to go back and review and adjust the plan.

3. Start your week with some accountability. Seek out an accountability partner, a coach, or a group of like-minded peers. I personally start my week with an accountability call with a group of three other business owners. We share our actions score for the last week, our YTD progress on our goal, and our intention for the coming week, as well as any potential roadblocks to mitigate. Spoiler alert: Accountability is OUR ownership of our choices.

As I always say, nothing changes if nothing changes. Holding onto emotions like resentment or guilt will only serve to keep you stagnant and stuck. Accepting that these emotions are/were part of the journey – embracing them – and letting them flow through you to help motivate your next chapter is how you will start back on the road to success.

I'm also here to help! My one-to-one coaching covers a combination of mindset and strategy that sets you on course for success and helps you start achieving AMBITIOUS RESULTS. I believe in you, and now it's your turn to believe in you.


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