Strict Lockdown Rules Can Help You Flourish
We’re in the grip of the Coronavirus pandemic, and whether you’re a freelancer contemplating financial hardship, one of thousands facing job loss as the economy unravels, or struggling to make sense of a world turned upside down, it’s important to try to remain positive and constructive.
Each of us is having to abide by strict rules to minimise the spread of infection. Whilst these rules could stifle your creativity, you don’t have to let them.
When I was an English teacher, I loved teaching students to write sonnets. There were rules to follow – 14 lines, 10 syllables per line, alternate syllables stressed, three quatrains and a rhyming couplet to finish.
When my students were forced to keep within these boundaries, some of the poetry they wrote took my breath away. Abiding by rules meant they’d been forced to take their thinking to a different level. They’d tapped into the brighter, creative parts of their minds and the results were amazing.
And strangely, there’s a link between crafting a sonnet and giving yourself the chance to thrive in the current crisis.
Being forced to apply the rules of social distancing has meant that Karen and I are having to change our approach. Like my sonnet writers, a situation that is proving difficult for most of us has led us to rethink things and we’re learning new skills as a result, skills that will stand us in good stead once this is all over.
For example, because we can’t run the residential version of our Future Fixers Purposeful Business Start-up Programme, we’re working out how to set up the course online. We’d always intended to do this, but as we now have a little more time on our hands, we have an opportunity to create and launch this earlier than expected. As well as the business start-up, we’re assessing ways to diversify by putting together other online courses that are really going to help people.
Also, due to the wonders of technology, we’ve been able to keep our Future Fixers Coaching Circle going. We’ve gone virtual with that as well, and we’re happy, at this difficult time, to be providing the service free of charge. We’re delighted to be able to offer a space where people can help and support one another. And it’s great to be able to stay connected with some of our past Future Fixers, as well as a few of our Future Fixers Business Forum members.
Speaking of which, many of our members are still managing to do great things during these uncertain times. They are adapting and remaining flexible – a real hallmark of resilient behaviour. The triple bottom line we keep banging on about here at Future Fixers is clearly evident, with a big focus on people and on how businesses can help.
At Shed 1 Gin Distillery in Ulverston, for example, they are making hand sanitiser and are distributing it to organisations who need it. Ragtag Arts are taking some of their events online, and Love Art’s Crafty Beer Nights, where you can meet with others who are working on their own craft project, are still going ahead, albeit virtually. The fabulous Low Sizergh Barn are helping out by offering to deliver their produce to those in the area who are self-isolating, and direct from The New Union Tavern in Kendal, landlord Phil is running Phil’s Virtual Pub. He even hosted a whisky tasting event recently with many tuning in and raising their glasses to celebrate a fantastic new idea.
We realise that for many employees and business owners with young children, the current state of affairs presents huge challenges, especially if you’re used to the children being at school. After all, how do you find the peace and quiet you need to get all of your work done? With family members constantly demanding your attention, sticking to the rules in this situation must feel particularly difficult.
But for those who do have a little more time, this could be the moment to nurture goodwill and potentially grow your customer base. Staying connected and forging new links is vital, and can help you maintain the kind of forward momentum that all human beings need.
Of course, being forced to follow rules ‘could’ leave you feeling frustrated, but you can also choose a different response. It’s possible to think outside the box and come up with effective solutions to the challenges you have been presented with. None of us wants to be in this predicament, but challenges can be good for you. It’s about trying to be adaptable.
We’re not yet sure how we’re going to clear all of our own hurdles, but the Future Fixers Coaching Circle is now established on Zoom, and going well. We’re also getting help with setting up online course content.
Actually, seeing our challenges as mere hurdles to be cleared is important. Words matter in poetry and they matter in life as well. We all have an inner voice that chatters away in the background, and the words you use when you ‘talk to yourself’ have a significant impact on your motivation. If you’re struggling to overcome an issue, tune in to how you are describing that issue. The more positive you can make your language, the better.
And on that note, are we experiencing a lockdown, or an amazing moment in time where we can focus on what matters? The situation itself doesn’t change, but the way you describe it can limit or free you.
So, rules needn’t stifle you, and can actually be liberating. Focus on what you CAN do, rather than what you can’t. Tap into the creative part of your brain. Mind your language – keep it positive. Acknowledge the rules, then take any small steps you can to move you towards a brighter future.
Tight spots call for creative solutions. Life is full of ups and downs, and whilst the spread of the coronavirus is a massive low point, you can decide how you respond to it.
Join us at our Future Fixers Coaching Circle online here and get further tips on how to stay positive, focused and creative. In spite of the rules. Sessions are FREE.
To find out how the Future Fixers Forum members, mentioned above, are adapting to change, click the links below: