To some degree or another we’ve all suffered loss in 2020. It’s not helpful for you to disregard your loss because someone else may have suffered more. One is not dependent upon the other. Avoiding your loss and your feelings about it does not help those who might be suffering more. So the first thing you must do before making the necessary mindset shift to triumph in 2021 is to acknowledge, with compassion, the extent of the trauma you have suffered.
In This Podcast
- Unlock Your Most Powerful Mindset to Triumph in 2021
- Loosen the grip on the expected picture you had of 2020
- Move away from all or nothing mentality
- Gain clarity on what you want
- ask these 5 important questions to roadmap it
Loosen the grip on the expected picture you had of 2020
Stop holding the pictures of what we expect our lives to look like so tightly. The pictures often look like what we expected our lives to look like and what we expected to happen. We tend to hold onto these tightly with an emotional and mental attachment to them. We need to take these tightly held pictures of what we expect our lives to look like and loosen our grips. You can still hold them, but hold them loosely so that your picture can be flexible and evolve so that you can also change and evolve. Once we move away from thinking, this is how it has to be, or this is how it should be, we can begin wondering what could it be?
Move away from all or nothing mentality
Rather than seeing everything that has happened as a black and white picture, consider all of the shades of gray. This is going from psychological rigidity to psychological flexibility.
All or nothing thinking is a major obstacle to having a powerful, instead of helpless, mindset. 2020 was harsh for many, but there were some silver linings in 2020. What do they have in common? The individuals and companies that made it through in 2020 are those who loosely held to the picture they had of themselves and envisioned being something else. Early in the pandemic, GM began producing thousands of ventilators. GM did not say to itself, we are car makers and we are only car makers. They were able to pivot because they held that story loosely and because they considered all of the possibilities.
Gain clarity on what you want
Making the above mentioned two critical shifts in mindset has primed you for determining the direction for yourself. Ask yourself some of these questions:
- Who do I want to be? You get to decide.
- How do I want to show up for those that I love? Think about the picture of how you want your relationships to look like in 2021.
- What do I want to be known for? Envision how you want to leave your mark on the world in 2021.
- What do I want to accomplish? With obstacles set aside in terms on mindset, your path is clear. Think big, the sky’s the limit.
- What actions will it take for you to get where you want to go? Once you land on your dream, don’t just sit on it for too long. Your brain will get overwhelmed and try to talk you out of it. Instead, reverse engineer the small steps that it will take you to reach that large goal.
Start taking imperfect actions each day toward that goal. Now you have removed the obstacles of 2020. You have loosened your grip on your stories or pictures that you have created for your life to leave room for growth and possibility. And you are equipped with the questions that you need to gain clarity about who you want to be and where you want to go.
20 Minute Mini Mastermind Mondays
This group or groups will meet twice a month on Monday evenings. Each group is limited to ten members. Everyone gets two minutes each to share a win and make one ask from the group – involving next steps for which they need support or help. The intention is to nudge each other and give each other the support to make moves and accomplish goals we have not been able to accomplish on our own. DM @ImperfectThriving on Instagram if you want to join the group.
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Meet Kathryn Ely
I’m Kathryn Ely and at age 50, I’m enjoying my very best life. I spent years as a lawyer and then stay-at-home mom helping others go out into the world and live their best lives. While this was very important to me, I did not realize that I was losing myself in the process. I followed all of the “shoulds” like “women should always care for others” and “taking time for yourself is just selfish”.
As two of my children were getting ready to go out into the world I realized I was lost, without my next purpose, and it was scary. So I went back to school and over the course of several years, I not only found myself, but I designed the formula for women in midlife to achieve their most fulfilling lives. It is my mission to equip as many women as possible with this design and the tools to make this chapter of their lives the best chapter.
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I think, no matter how we have each experienced 2020, I can say with confidence that we are all happy to see it go, but where do we go from here? Before we can determine the direction that you want to head, it is important to first recognize the trauma you experienced in 2020. Our traumas large or small are uniquely experienced by each of us.
I have so many clients belittle or minimize what they’ve been through this year. If they have not lost a loved one to COVID or racial injustice, they tell themselves what they have been through this year is insignificant. While it is true that some trauma affect us more than others, the loss of a loved one, the loss of your livelihood or extreme economic loss, the loss of your health, these traumas can be devastating.
If you have suffered this type of trauma or loss, my heart goes out to you and I really pray that you have the support you need to get to the other side. But if you have not suffered extreme trauma, that does not mean the events of 2020 have been insignificant to you and have not affected you.
To some degree or another we’ve all suffered loss in 2020. It’s not helpful for you to disregard your loss because someone else may have suffered more. One is not connected to or dependent upon the other. Avoiding your loss and your feelings about it does not help those who might be suffering more. So the first thing you must do before making the necessary mindset shift to triumph in 2021 is to acknowledge, with compassion, the extent of the trauma you have suffered.
If you aren’t aware of it and can’t really see it, then you cannot leave it behind in 2020, which is exactly where we want it to stay. So how can we become aware of how your own individual trauma has affected you? Start by taking inventory of what you’ve missed out on. The milestone events: graduation, weddings, celebrations,
Momentous occasions that were left uncelebrated, at least in the way that you wanted to. We all have pictures in our minds of what we hope a situation will look like. We envision what we want to happen, what we hope will happen. And when the picture or that story we have had for our lives does not come to fruition, it doesn’t happen like we think it will, it hurts.
I’ll give you an example from my personal life. I had a picture in my mind of what I wanted my daughter’s senior year in high school to look like, and this was a couple of years back. She was a swimmer, still is, but she was being recruited actively by colleges for her to swim once she was in college.
She had goals and was taking steps to reach those goals. She was swimming her best swimming ever in her junior year. She had excellent grades. She was thriving socially with her friends. Really her life could not have been any better. The summer before her senior year, she started having problems.
It was difficult for her to get out of bed, difficult to swim, difficult to study. She could not compete in meets. She could hardly go to practice. Her grades suffered, and doctors could not figure out what was wrong. I took her to doctor after doctor and this went on for months and it was difficult. It was not just difficult for her.
It was difficult for me as her mother to watch my child who had it all the year before start struggling on every level, not just physically, but struggling emotionally because she did not know what was physically going on with her. She was finally diagnosed, but she’s continued to struggle physically throughout college testing, swimming, school, social events.
It affected every aspect of her life. And even though she had a diagnosis, the physical issues that came with it carried over into her freshman year of college. Nothing about her senior year turned out like I had expected it to based on how it was going her junior year. Now I tell you the story for one reason.
The tighter I held to the picture of what I expected and wanted my daughter’s senior year to look like for her, and for me, the more upset and anxious I became. Luckily my daughter’s condition was not life-threatening. And for that, I am extremely grateful.
But at the time it was still heart-wrenching to see her lose so much of what she had worked for for years to accomplish. It was not helpful for me to tell myself just the buck up because others had it worse. When I acknowledged the difficulty of the situation, the suffering and the loss involved for my daughter and for myself and let go of the picture of what I wanted her life to look like for her, I was able to see a new picture of what it could be and what I could do to help.
What was actually within my control. 2020 has left a mark on all of us and none of the stories or pictures in our minds or expectations we held happened the way that we hoped. Nothing has been as we expected it to be. But we have made it through. We can start to see the finish line. We aren’t there yet, but we can finally see an end to it all.
So acknowledge your trauma, acknowledge the loss of the picture you had for your life in 2020. And if you did lose a loved one, I am not suggesting that you just acknowledging your loss will help you move on. Your grief is unique to you and will affect you in a completely unique way. Please let yourself feel what you feel when you feel it, without imposing a timeline on yourself and without judgment.
And if you feel like you’re getting stuck in one of your stages of grief or you’re having trouble with your normal functioning, reach out to loved ones or a professional licensed counselor to find the help that anyone would need in your situation. Before we move on with the show, I do have a couple of announcements about some upcoming events and episodes that I want to share with you.
First I want to talk to you about some exciting things we have coming up in January.
First of which is 20 minute mini mastermind Mondays. That is a mouthful. This group or groups will meet twice a month on Monday in the evening and each group is limited to ten members. Everyone gets two minutes each to share a personal win and then make one ask from the group. Something you want a little help on or need some support to take that next step. The intention is to nudge each other and give each other the support to make moves and accomplish goals we have not been able to accomplish on our own…I cant wait for this. DM me @ImperfectThriving on Instagram if you want to join one of our many mastermind groups. Oh yeah, it’s completely free.
Now I want to share a little bit about some upcoming podcast episodes that I’m cooking up for January.
January is going to be all about decluttering our lives and our minds so that we can stop procrastinating, you can take action toward your goals and be who we want to be.
I don’t want to give away the details, but I will have 5 solo episodes in which I will explain step by step how to declutter 5 different areas of your life. To clean the slate and set the stage for you to make 2021 your best year yet. Your year to do big things. The year you become the best version of yourself. Stay tuned for worksheets, handouts, and Instagram lives with even more support to remove the obstacles that have been holding you back or keeping you stuck….no more getting in your own way. You’re going to clear the path so that nothing will stop you.
Are you with me?! I hope so because we can do great things together. If you haven’y already, subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode. These might be weekly or might be bonus episodes.
Now let’s get to it. We’ve acknowledged what 2020 has taken from us and the trauma it’s caused in our lives. So let’s begin looking at 2021 and what we want in the year ahead. The look back was to become aware of the baggage that might be weighing us down, preoccupying space in our minds. This is where the mindset shift comes in.
We want to shift our mind from 2020 and what it was not, to what 2021 can be. We want to shift our thoughts from feeling helpless and out of control to thinking about what we want and how to get it. So, how do we make this shift? Well, let me tell you, here is step one. Step one is to stop holding the pictures of what we expect our lives to look like so tightly. These pictures we have about what we expect our lives to look like and what we expect to happen.
We usually tend to hold on to this picture like a toddler gripping a sucker. We need to take these tightly held pictures of what we expect our lives to look like and loosen our grips. Now you can still hold them, but hold them loosely so that your picture can change and evolve so that you can change and evolve. Move away from thinking, this is how it has to be, or this is how it should be, to wondering what could it be?
So step one is to loosen your grip on the pictures of your expected life that you have created. Allow some room, loosen that grip. Let’s move on to step two. Step two, I want you to begin moving away from all or nothing or black and white thinking to considering all of the shades of gray. Going from psychological rigidity to psychological flexibility.
And all or nothing thinking is a major obstacle to having this powerful, instead of helpless, mindset. Let’s think about all of the success stories in 2020, and yes, there were some as harsh as it was, there were still success stories. What do they have in common? Well, the individuals, companies and corporations that made it through and even thrived in 2020 are those who held loosely to the picture they had of themselves so that they could envision being something else.
They did not think an all or nothing terms. They considered the possibilities. According to Forbes, General Motors made one of the most successful Coronavirus pivots of 2020. Early in the pandemic, GM began producing ventilators at its plant in Kokomo, Indiana. Tens of thousands of ventilators.
And at another factory in Warren, Michigan, they began creating FDA cleared level one surgical masks. 50,000 a day. GM’s shifts made such a meaningful difference in the number of ventilators and masks available to our healthcare workers and our population. It generated $489 million in revenue, just from the ventilators alone and allows GM to bring employers back to the factory.
In Kokomo itself, 3% of the city’s work force works for GM. So GM held the picture of itself loosely and let go of all or nothing thinking, which enabled it to pivot. GM did not say to itself, we are car makers and we are only car makers. If we can’t be car makers, then that’s it. We’re done. They were able to pivot because they held that story loosely and because they considered all of the possibilities.
So step one, loosen the grip on the picture of your life. Step two, let go of all or nothing thinking and look for shades of gray. Consider the possibilities. Now we’re about ready to move on to step three. Your mind is primed and ready because you have shifted from holding tightly to what was and thinking an all or nothing terms.
Your mind is now flexible, allowing it for change. So let’s move on to step three, which is gain clarity about who you want to be and the direction that you want to go. The sky is the limit now that you have made these two critical shifts in your mindset. Now to determine the direction for yourself, ask yourself the following questions:
Now go ahead and get the notes app on your phone. Ready? Because you’re gonna want to write these down. Question number one, to ask yourself, who do I want to be? Now that you are holding loosely to the pictures of yourself and your life, you can change them. Who do you want to be now? You get to decide. Question number two, ask yourself, how do I want to show up for those that I love?
What do you want your relationships to look like in 2021? Question number three. What do I want to be known for? How do you want to leave your mark on the world in 2021? Question number four. What do I want to accomplish? Your path is clear. We’ve moved the obstacles over to the side. Start to think about all of the possibilities, really dream big here.
Question number five. What actions will it take for you to get where you want to go? Once you land on your dream, what you want to accomplish. Don’t stay there for too long just thinking about the big goal, your brain will get overwhelmed and try to talk you out of it. Instead, reverse engineer the small steps that it will take you to reach that large goal.
Then focus only on the next step. And you guessed it. Start taking imperfect actions each day toward that goal. Now you have removed the obstacles of 2020. You have loosened your grip on your stories or pictures that you have created for your life to leave room for growth and possibility. And you are equipped with the questions that you need to gain clarity about who you want to be and where you want to go.
In 2021, you are equipped with the mindset to have a triumphant year. Can you feel it? I know I can. I hope you have enjoyed today’s episode. I will see you right back here next week, but until then go out and take imperfect action toward the life that you want.