So, You are Feeling Squirrelly?
Squirrelly? What have the world events done to my brain over the last two years, you ask? Let me start with …
Once Upon a Time
For more than twenty-five years, I have owned at least one if not three dogs at any one time. Frankly, I can’t imagine life without two fur critters underfoot. And my dogs are exactly like every other dog in the universe. They love chasing squirrels. See a squirrel … after it like a shot — barking loudly.
Now for all the beautiful qualities of our fur babies, not one has ever successfully caught the squirrel. Once one came within two inches of a squirrel. And he FROZE in his tracks. Dumbfounded or perhaps awestruck!
I think the real fun is in the thrill of the chase!
So why on earth am I going on about squirrels? Great question! This last week I have been spending a lot of time with business owners going squirrelly.
The latest world news is more than frustrating and cringeworthy, right?
While I don’t pretend to have all the answers, I have a few suggestions. Suggestions that seem to work.
A few ideas to help you stop feeling so squirrelly
1. If you have succumbed to the insidious ‘sleep in, get up whenever, and just throw on the same stuff you wore yesterday’ rut, develop a disciplined daily routine now. Use the old-fashioned yet very effective paper calendar taped to the front of the fridge trick. Mark your day for groceries and essentials. Mark the day you will have a date night/together time with your honey.
Then put in daily blocks of time for getting up and getting dressed, making phone and zoom calls, making and eating meals, dealing with the kids, going for a walk or some personal exercise. You know. All the stuff you used to do by rote. Make a schedule for yourself. And follow it. Because the fastest way to feel in control is to take control. Of yourself.
2. If you are like 99% of the rest of the world, your head is filled with worries and anxieties. The truth is we can’t turn them off. But we can dull them down to focus on less squirrelly things. This exercise works. For me and for everyone I have talked it through to.
a. Write out the negative thought you have. (like, my business will never get back on track or I am going to lose everything)
b. Now, ask yourself, is this true? (the answer is either NO or I don’t know.)
c. Then write out how you feel about the negative thought. (like, I am scared, I am afraid, I am a failure, I am unworthy)
d. Now, write out how you would feel if you didn’t have that thought? (like, positive, upbeat, triumphant, on top of the world.)
e Write down what the opposite of that negative thought is. (like, my business will survive, or I will keep what I need.)
Now, map out ways for that last statement to occur and then take a small step every day to make it happen.
3. Regardless of the status of your employees (laid off, still working, temporarily abandoned their posts), reach out and call them. Check-in and see how they are coping. Offer what help you can (even if it is just a friendly voice) and remind them that they are still valuable to you.
4. Take stock of everything that is RIGHT in your life today. Remind yourself of everything you still have and how you are luckier than most. In other words, count your blessings and be grateful that things are not nearly as bad as they could be.
5. Play a game of what if? Think about all the changes in business, education, health, government, non-profit and even in our own relationships when we are finally allowed to play together again. Those changes will be massive and permanent. Unleash your imagination and think about what you can contribute to the new world we will all find ourselves in. The world will need your ideas and your energy. Think about what you can do to make it better.
The moral of the story
My dogs have taught me the real thrill (and pleasure) is in the chase. I get that we all are going a bit squirrelly these days. However, we still hold the power to make that chase productive. Or not. In a couple of months, I would hate for you to say, ‘if only I had ….’
May I help you? Call me.