A good friend of mine recently gave me this sweet card for my birthday. She knows me well and always gets great cards which make me smile.

I laughed. She’d got me – again. Yes, as the inevitable ageing process creeps up on me, I can most certainly be ditzy and forgetful and I can be amazing too, busy coaching and training and single parenting my two teenagers, I put the card up on the mantle-piece, happy to laugh at myself and allow others do the same.

In recent days, I catch myself looking at it and it seems to have taken on a new meaning. Now it seems to be saying, “some days, I amaze myself, other days I’m a complete flipping mess. And that’s okay.”

I wonder – do you feel the same?

The Covid-19 situation has thrown most of us into a state of turmoil and uncertainty. I imagine you, like many of your colleagues, are wondering what on earth will emerge over the next weeks and months? What will happen to your users and beneficiaries, to your job, your organisation, the sector as a whole? I’m certainly wondering about the direction my work might be going right now.

And of course this uncertainty will be having an effect on how you’re thinking and feeling. How you’re responding and acting. Maybe your brain has gone to mush. Perhaps your thoughts are scattered. Perhaps you feel utterly and completely overwhelmed, unable to take action at all.

Now, where did I put my keys?

Its okay to be feeling overwhelmed right now

I’m with you. I have whole days at the moment when I don’t seem able to get focused on anything. At these times I do my best to remind myself, that, yes, sometimes I will put my keys in the fridge, metaphorically speaking – and that is just fine. I encourage my coaching clients to do the same and invite you to take this approach as well.

– It’s really is okay to feel overwhelmed, low or depressed.

– It’s okay to feel that you are not up to the job.

– It’s okay to want to give up and hide.

– It’s okay to feel deeply resistant to rising to this massive challenge. (It’s just not fair, is it?)

– It’s okay to not want this to be happening at all.

I invite you to feel those feelings! Accepting your reality, however apparently unhelpful it might seem to be, being open and welcoming of ‘what is’, instead of fighting, is a big part of being more personally resilient. Being open-minded is one of the elements of my six-step BOUNCE approach to resilience (which I’ll be blogging about soon, by the way). And it helps you to be an even better leader of your team,

What kind of leader do you want to be?

I believe this situation is an opportunity for leaders like you and I (people who – shock horror – sometimes put their keys in the fridge) to step up and serve in an even more powerful way than before. We need your gifts! When you show up as the messy, real, authentic human being that you really are, you’re more able to bring along all the other messy, real, authentic human beings that you lead.

Why? Because by being authentic you give your people permission to feel all over the place as well – and for it to be absolutely okay for them to put their keys in the fridge, too. What a great place to move into the creative, innovative, flexible thinking that this new situation requires.

What’s next?

If you would value my help with rising to the challenge of leading right now, please get in touch here. I’d love to talk to you.