• emmaforbescoaching

Confidence in the time of Covid - a reflection on 2020

Looking back on a year that has really tested our confidence and self-belief.

To be honest, this year hasn’t panned out exactly as I expected or hoped for. I had huge business and personal goals that were very clear going into 2020, with set outcomes I was aiming to achieve. As for many, Covid changed this and as much as we can’t blame a pandemic for everything that has not gone our way since early 2020, it certainly has changed the way we have had to navigate this year.

Don't worry if your dreams didn't materialise... you're not alone

It is always a disappointment when you set yourself a goal and don’t reach it. Sometimes the weight of that dismay is lifted when you ask yourself if the goal really was realistic and achievable. Making my fortune in 2020 would have been a bloody tall order in the best of times and totally unrealistic, but when you feel you have evaluated and gauged correctly and then it goes pair-shaped, the disappointment can be acute. And it’s in these moments that we need find the confidence to take it for what it is and try and find some positives.

I can honestly say that not ALL of 2020 has been a shit show. There have been positives that many share; whether that be the new WFH set up that has allowed for a less stressful work routine, spending more time with immediate family, enjoying and appreciating nature more whilst taking a walk….. everyone I have spoken to has had something positive to say. For many it is the fact that being a key worker has made them feel more valued and valuable in a time of crisis when a positive light was shining on them.

But for all the positives many have had crises of confidence on several fronts; loss of work or work contracts, earnings dipping or dropping off a cliff, loved ones getting ill, the inability to see or be there for friends and family members, freedoms temporarily taken away, so many special occasions cancelled… all of that is not the norm and therefore so hard to process.

Don't let a weird year dent your self-belief

For me work has definitely not performed as hoped. But that’s ok. I absolutely understand why. A few times I have thought that perhaps it’s time to admit defeat, but I am confident as we move into a new year, which I feel more hopeful about, it’s better to stick to what I like and am good at and not succumb to the first big hurdle that has challenged me. And I’ve had some lovely clients this year who I know I have helped in their journey and I am grateful for the opportunity to have done so.

Personally, as with everyone, some huge birthdays, weddings and anniversaries have not been celebrated as we had scheduled, but we’ve made the most of an unexpected situation and partied in new and different ways or postponed to give us something to look forward to next year.

Focus on the positives, the good stuff and the uplifting, however small

This year has been a lottery of emotions as well. There are days I have woken up feeling great and confident and others where I have felt down and pissed off. The way I’ve navigated the bad times is to reflect on what I can be grateful for and try and muster some positive energy that all will come good soon. It’s not always easy; often you literally have to have a word with yourself. But focussing on the good stuff, carrying out random acts of kindness, sending a quick text, remembering a birthday, asking someone if they need help, will actually make you feel better.

If you are getting to the end of this year, looking back and feeling all the negative emotions, or just feeling angry, down in spirit or sad, just take a moment to think of what’s been good and positive. Really take time to flick through your mental calendar of 2020. How has this year helped you grow? How has it helped you reshape your future? How has it helped you focus on what’s important? How has this year made you more aware of who you are and what you really want?

I am confident there will always be something that is good when you take the time to think about it. And it’s those good things we must focus on. Those are our silver linings and glasses half full. And if there have been good things in the tricky year that has been 2020, then surely the next few years can give good or better things too?

Exercise your mind regularly - the confidence emotion needs a regular work out!

Remember, confidence is an emotion and it takes regular practice to keep the feeling alive. You need to find your own way of reminding yourself of all the great things that have happened when you have acted in a confident way, or the impressive results obtained when you stuck your neck out to be more self-assertive. Reflecting on these rarely comes naturally, rather it takes friends and family to remind you when you’re at a low point that, yes, you can do this – you did it before! Finding a way to get yourself reflecting on past confidences and successes is important; do whatever works for you.

If there’s one thing I have learned this year it is to try to appreciate all the good stuff that has happened and really never take for granted the great stuff that makes up my ‘normal’ life. Most of all, I am feeling confident that if I have got through this year, bring on 2021, you’ll be a breeze.

If you think you’d like to chat to me next year, have a look at what I offer and we can hook up soon.

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