As quickly as I was hit with bad news this week is as quickly as I turned it around. That my dears is what we call a pivot in the coaching business.
August was looking really bright to me because I was about to embark on not one but TWO vacations! I was going to make my annual trip to Lilydale to see my beloved friend Joseph and stay at his guesthouse (Southern Comfort Inn) and then my kids and I were headed to the beach to celebrate my son’s birthday.
WELL! The audacity of COVID19 to upset my plans! (some humor here). I found out that both NY and SC required Virginia residents to quarantine for two weeks if we went. There goes the vacations.
On top of that, my mom was suppose to bring my kids back from Florida and she was now a little apprehensive about making the trip to Virginia and being stuck with us, leaving my dad alone. Turbulent times for sure.
We had a group phone call with my partner, my parents and me on the phone. My dad suggested that we come get my kids and in that way, my parents could see me.
I ran with it because i knew that my spidey senses were telling me to get my kids home quicker than I planned so I contacted and apologized profusely to my friend about not coming to New York and I contacted the travel agent to cancel the Myrtle Beach trip. I then shifted all my classes to allow us to drive down to Florida and head back before any more state closures happened.
I am racing against the clock but strangely enough, I feel calm. Part of my work as a spiritual coach is to help people through difficult situations in a calm and thoughtful manner. In a way, I guess my years of coaching people through these situations allowed me to stay calm as well.
What did I do? Three things to be exact and I share them here with you:
1) Remain Calm
When things don’t go your way, be honest, your IMMEDIATE reaction is to freak out. I get it, I do it too but now we are going to change it.
First you are going to allow yourself that initial freak out because well, its a natural response from you to stress. Once you had the experience, you are going to talk to yourself by asking questions to lighten the mood.
Start with, “How does it get better than this?” then go into “Okay, what is the good in this I am not seeing but would like to see?” and finally end with, “How can I pivot this to make it fun and a success for me?”
Even saying it, I feel lighter already. Don’t you? 🙂
2) Be Flexible
The important thing in a pivot is to not hold too tightly to the importance of the previous plan. You have to let that ish go. It’s done, dead in the water, kaput.
Remind yourself that you have choices and if you make the right choices in the right timing, this can actually work out in your favor! So be open to hearing other viewpoints and once you hear one that LIGHTS you up, there! That’s your answer! Run with it to step 3.
3) Don’t Hesitate-Make the Moves
My dad can be credited for the suggestion of us coming to Florida to get my kids yes! But I can be credited to moving quickly to have little to no casualty.
As soon as he made the comment, I felt light and I ran with it. I contacted the two hotels to cancel our reservations and ask for our refunds and then I rescheduled my classes to allow for drive time. I informed my partner as quickly as I could so he could shift his schedule too.
I had to move quickly because if I didn’t, this unfortunate change of plans could have become bigger. I could have had clients and students on the books who would have been upset with me for the last minute notice. I could have qualified for no refunds. It could have been worse.
When you find your way in the pivot, it is important to make the next steps quickly. You can’t second guess yourself now or allow others to taint your drive. Get it done and then after you can think about what you did.
As did I and you know what? I found even more hidden little gems.
After all plans were made, I had time to reflect on the experience. I was still a little sad at not seeing my friend and missing the beach so I did a YES/BUT exercise. This is what I do when I am down. It’s a way of BUTTING out of the sadness. It looks like this,
“Yes I will miss seeing Joseph this year BUT I can see him next year! Also we spent some good time this year working together and he plans to assist me with my current class so I get to see him again!”
“Yes I will miss going to Myrtle Beach BUT I went earlier this year in June and had a great time! I will look forward to going again in 2021 when things are safer.”
“Yes I am sorry my mom isn’t bringing my kids back and staying with me for a bit BUT I still get to see her and my dad. eat her delicious cooking, hang out at their pool and see my kids!”
See? It gets lighter.
I found myself pivoting like crazy in 2020. If you have been resisting change, I hope you can find these suggestions helpful and try them out. Who knows, you might actually start to enjoy the changes as it gives you a chance to exert your pivot power!
This week, be open and ready for change and when they come? Pivot like crazy!