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Three mindset moments for the week.

Mar 15, 2021

1. When you’re on the home straight - how you can push it across the line.

Speaking to a friend this week, she gave a really interesting analogy of our current COVID-19 situation. She likened it to running a Marathon and right now, we’re on mile 18. Mile 18 is very often when you can hit ‘the wall’ during a Marathon– when you feel like you’ve run out of all reserves – physically, mentally and emotionally. Yet you’re so close to rounding that corner into Pall Mall. You just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other…

Lockdown, in one form or another, has existed for a year now and COVID fatigue has well and truly hit. We have an end date for Lockdown in England and different countries are working to their own timetable, and so we know where that finish line is. But it does feel like we’re limping towards it. So, how do we push through?

During the Marathon, for many, by mile 18, you feel like your running is actually slower than your walking pace and so it’s your head that keeps you going. Your name on the back of your shirt, which spectators are shouting- cheering you on, willing you to keep moving - that feeling pushes you forward, not your legs. Sure, they move you but without the self-belief, your legs would’ve given up at the massage station!
And so to our situation right now. We keep moving forward and we do that with self-belief – self-belief that we’ve got this, that we’re on the home straight and if we keep moving forward each day, we get to the finish line. Our inner voice and assumptive affirmations are our cheerleaders – that mantra we repeat every single day that creates a positive outcome in our head, and which we believe is possible and work towards.

Visualisation is also another tool in our mindset toolkit – to visualise not just the completion of our goal – but the process to achieving it too.
For the Marathon, you not only visualise running down Pall Mall, crossing the line to get your medal and foil blanket (for me, the foil blanket was the Holy Grail – I felt I’d made it as a runner when that was wrapped around me!), you also visualise the process too. You visualise pulling on your trainers despite the slog of a commute home and walking home from the station when it’s hissing down with rain. You knew you were going out for the training run because you’d replayed that in your mind so many times already. Staying at home just wasn’t an option.

Right now, it’s important we visualise feeling calm, confident and in control. Calm and confident that in these final stages, we can do this. We are going to continue to do all we can to keep ourselves safe, well and sane. We will visualise feeling in control – of our thoughts, feelings and actions – being in control of our expectations of both how we handle the Lockdown easing, and our expectations of others, because not everyone will behave the way we think they should – that is on us.

For what’s the alternative? In the Marathon, if you give up, if you collapse in a heap, if you have an injury which means finishing is just not an option, the feeling is one of devastation.

During Lockdown, the hours pass by regardless of what you choose to do with them or how you choose to think about it. You can feel frustrated and disheartened however, I think it’s important to come out of this with self-respect intact that you’ve done what you can to keep you and your loved ones safe and well – physically, mentally and emotionally.

2. Why we shouldn’t ruin our day because of 10 seconds of someone else’s negativity.
My neighbour stood in line to be served when out shopping for essentials, this past week. As she waited, she felt the person behind was standing a bit too close and when she turned around, could see she was definitely not observing the two-metre social distancing guidance, so politely asked if they would stand back on the line behind them. The response she got: ‘Don’t be so neurotic.’ My neighbour replied: ‘You might not say that if you knew someone who had died from COVID’ (she doesn’t know anyone who has died as a result of contracting COVID-19, but I think she was so shocked by the first response, that was her immediate comeback). The woman replied: ‘Tough!’ My neighbour replied that that wasn’t a very nice thing to say and was met with: ‘Stop muttering behind that stupid mask and turn around’ (apparently the woman wasn’t wearing a mask).

My neighbour was so upset. She hates confrontation and what had been a lovely morning with her daughter – enjoying two hours sat either end of a bench enjoying a takeaway coffee and cake, felt wiped out by this incident.

When relaying this to me, I could see my neighbour was still visibly upset and so I gave her the following analogy – by whom I am unsure: If you had £86,400 in an account and someone stole £10 from you, would you be upset and throw all of the remaining £86,390 away in hopes of getting back at the person who took your £10? Or move on and not give any more airtime to your thoughts about this incident? You see, we have 86,400 seconds each day so we shouldn’t let someone’s negative 10 seconds ruin the remaining 86,390. It was an unpleasant situation but don’t sweat the small stuff - life is bigger than that. It’s about knowing you would never behave like that, feeling proud of your values and then moving on.

3. You sometimes have no idea the big difference a small gesture can make.
There’s someone in the village where I live, who thinks of amazing things to boost morale during these strange times. She runs a youth club and applied for, and was awarded a community grant, to put together activity bags for every child and young person in the area. I, along with four other Mums, help to deliver the bags. We delivered bag number three this past weekend and in it was a scone making kit, together with jam, clotted cream, tea bags and napkins; plus, a card they could decorate – all to celebrate Mothering Sunday – be it for a Mum, Granny or Auntie. Plus, the bag contained seeds, plant pots and compost so that they had an outdoor activity too. Oh, the look on the children’s faces when I knocked on the door and left the bags on the doorstep, saying they were something special to make, giving the Mum a wink and whispering not to look in the bag! There were smiles all round and we’ve had some lovely messages of thanks on Facebook. One message stood out though. A private message said that as a newbie Mum to the village, she was overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and generosity of this gesture. She said as a single Mum, she struggles but that this gift meant her children could busy themselves with something for her which was the boost she really needed right now.

Moments like this are life-affirming – we have no idea sometimes of the impact of what we do. This small gesture brought joy and let people know we’re thinking of them, thinking of them when they need it most. It helps morale and thus their mindset might be shifted to a different place if they weren’t previously feeling great. It helps too when you’re the Fairy Godmother – you feel pretty great too!

So, there we have it – my three mindset moments of the week. Have you had any significant mindset moments in your week?

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