Emotional Awareness: Your Feelings Are Valid
Emotional awareness is not only vital during a global pandemic but anytime you feel uneasy or unsettled. (i.e., like a meeting, pitch or client conversation.) To name and acknowledge your feelings, get curious about them, and take action to manage them effectively allows you to maintain a good relationship with yourself and others. And do good work.
Sometimes, as solo’s and small business leaders (aka: helpers and problem solvers), we need to press pause and acknowledge where we are right now in order to see a brighter day.
Here’s an example. Earlier this week I talked to a business colleague via Zoom. After the call she sent me the following email message:
Great to chat with you today! My take away: It’s ok to not be ok! And I needed that after they just called school for the reminder of the year.
She’s not the first person to share that sentiment.
Today, I want you know that it’s OK to not feel OK.
What we’re dealing with is difficult. New. Uncertain. Unsettling. Disorienting.
In business, we’re often met with difficult, new, uncertain, unsettling and disorienting situations. Loss of job, loss of client, difficult employee, “putting yourself out there”. Emotional awareness is vital no matter the size of the crisis or challenge. And it takes a whole lot of courage to be that vulnerable.
Emotions Are Heightened, And That’s OK
In today’s business world, emotions are heightened more than ever. Maybe you can relate to one of the following scenarios.
Scenario 1: Work/School from home
Parents pulling their hair out because they are trying to work from home AND home school children. Guess what? Parents are not teachers and most are not set up to work from home.
It’s OK to NOT Feel OK
Scenario 2: Loss of business
Small and solo business owners whose business came to a screeching halt when the pandemic hit. Guess what? They lost their purpose and their income.
It’s OK to NOT Feel OK
Scenario 3: Pushing through with your chin up
Friends trying to stay positive and be grateful for what they have, only to burnout and hit bottom full of anger and sadness. Guess what? No matter how much one friend practiced gratitude, it stopped working until she pressed paused and acknowledged her emotions. She retreated from her interactions for a day or two, collected and expressed herself and now she’s turned a corner. As she said on our call, “You’ve got to name it to tame it.”
It’s OK to NOT feel OK
Scenario 4: Zoom video exhaustion (it’s real)
Now that we’re not meeting in person, Zoom calls are on the rise. You might have 4 or more per day! Guess what? It’s exhausting. Even if you’re not doing all the talking. People are writing about it. It’s real.
It’s OK to NOT feel OK
Emotional Awareness: Your feelings are valid
I talk to people every single day who are riding an emotional roller coaster. Some days are bright and optimistic and some, as one friend told me this week, may make you want to crawl back under the covers. Your feelings are valid.
It’s OK to not feel OK.
It’s also OK to feel Ok.
And, it’s OK to feel both at the same time.
So, give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling. Cry, scream, press pause, feel hope, feel joy that you’re not rushing out the door to sit in traffic. Find a friend or colleague or professional to share what you’re experiencing. Verbal expression is important. You may even find these vulnerable conversations create a stronger, more meaningful connection with others. (Mine did.)
The world still needs you and your ideas
And you, the helper and business owner and problem solver, have a right to not feel OK. Acknowledge how you feel so you can work with it, dance with it, get curious about it (i.e., Where is this anger coming from?) or kick it to the curb. Then emerge as a stronger, more whole version of yourself ready to listen and provide genuine support to others.
Let’s get through this together so you can keep shining your light, supporting others and creating a better world for everyone.
Be well, stay safe, keep shining.
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