Choosing kindness instead of panic in Confinement
Written by Senior Coach and COO of Equilibria, Laura Senior Garcia
Today is my 6th day in confinement due to the famous virus and I feel compelled to share some reflections for those of you who may be going through this now or in the near future.
My name is Laura, I live in Spain, I’m the COO of Equilibria and about a week ago my whole life changed. Things started shifting very quickly, last Tuesday I was at the gym explaining why I didn’t want to give people two kisses to greet them (something very common here) while being laughed at by some, and a couple of days later the whole country was in enforced confinement.
Initially, the shelter in place was communicated as a recommendation, and due to people's lack of listening and wanting to accept the inconvenient situation we are facing, things switched from a recommendation to a government edict, very quickly.
My E-Colors are Red/Yellow, which means that I’m impatient, solution-oriented, task-focused, fast-paced and when my limiters take over - "a little bit" of a control freak.
Imagine for a minute what it felt like when I realized that I had lost (at least temporarily) most of the things I thought I had control over in my life - freely leaving my house, taking my daughter (who is on the Autism spectrum) to school, traveling for business, seeing my fiancee (who lives in another country), going to the doctor for a regular check-up, going to the gym, eating out, going for a walk and the list goes on.
The first couple of days, I felt like I was drowning in doubt and self-pity and I kept thinking “vamos Laura” you’re bigger than this. People are dying and very sick and here you are letting yourself get overwhelmed while you are healthy, have a nice bed to sleep in and your family around you. I had to regain control over something - myself.
I coach people to use our tools. One of them is called Personal Intervention, it is the simplest concept in theory but extremely easy to forget how to use when you are under a true exploding VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) situation.
It’s about hitting your internal imaginary Pause and Play buttons to choose better responses to reactions that are driving you to undesirable consequences or an unwanted emotional state.
In my case, the undesirable emotional state came on day 3. I was crying, felt overwhelmed and that’s when I remembered, the only thing I have control over is myself - the way that I choose to handle my emotions and reactions within this period of enforced confinement and to the stream of information coming our way.
The formula that I have adopted and is working so far, is every time I start to feel desperate because of the lack of control, or negative thoughts enter my mind that sound like I am feeling sorry for myself, I replace them with a thought of kindness for those who are suffering or an act of kindness when possible. An example is I got my elderly neighbor's phone number when this started and I call her daily to see if she needs anything (we take turns in the house going to the supermarket once every few days). Also, I text people whom I know are going through this alone, or call, to make sure they remember someone is thinking of them.
We have many days in lock-down ahead of us. For many of us, we will not get to choose 80% of the things we usually get to influence in our life, but for me, I am choosing my mindset, a mindset of kindness and gratitude.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am happy to answer questions or provide insight into how I'm personally managing this situation with a family of 5, while still working remotely, coaching leaders around the world and developing our business, to go to the next level through this time and beyond. Happy to answer these messages privately.
If you want to find out your E-Colors go to - https://equilibria.com/PDI-home