Five years ago, when my mom and uncle were killed in a car accident, my life fell apart overnight.
I literally went from hopping out of the pool laughing with the kids and chatting with a friend, to sobbing for months on end.
My existence seemed divided into two distinct periods: life before the accident and life after the accident. Similarly, people nowadays are referring to life before coronavirus and life after coronavirus as two defined timeframes.
Coronavirus has caused a drastic shift in life as we know it (or knew it). In many ways, it feels reminiscent to me of the shift in my life after the accident. Which is why I wanted to share the biggest lesson I learned during that phase of my life.
I learned that I could trust that I knew best what I needed to do to get through difficult times. The answers were within me the whole time. I just needed to listen.
You also have the answers to what you need be doing to get through the current crisis. The answers are within you. Sitting there. Just waiting to be heard.
After the accident, I was bombarded with opinions from well-intentioned people as to what I needed to be doing to “get over” the accident. I should go to the gym. I should stay home and rest. I should go to work. I should take time off of work. I should go out with friends. I should spend time alone.
The relentless advice was exhausting.
Seeing any COVID-19 parallels here?
The only way through was to learn how to drown out the noise. To connect to what I truly needed. And to trust myself enough to do what I knew I needed, even in the face of contrary relentless opinion.
Because what I needed in that moment was not exactly the same as what everyone else needed. Or what they thought they might need if they were to ever find themselves in a similar situation. Although we had shared the same collective experience of loss, my siblings and I all made different decisions in how we dealt with our grief, that suited our individual needs.
Similarly, although we’re all experiencing this COVID-19 pandemic collectively, there are many variations to our own personal experiences.
Some people have already lost their jobs. Some are at risk of being laid-off. Those in high-demand essential industries are experiencing demand that far exceeds capacity.
How we are each experiencing this crisis is influenced by a tapestry of personality factors, life situations and personal experiences.
There’s A LOT of advice out there about how people should be handling this crisis.
That we should be homeschooling our children. Or that we shouldn’t. That we should send our kids back to school once they re-open schools. Or that we shouldn’t. That businesses should be re-opening in a few weeks. Or that they shouldn’t.
The reality is that each individual business, each individual leader, each individual person, will have to make the personalized decisions that they need to make to get through this.
And at the end of the day, your business, your family and your overall health will hold you accountable for those decisions.
So you’d better make sure that they’re the decisions that will suit you well.
What if the best way through this crisis is to learn how to drown out the noise?
To set all of the well-intentioned advice aside and simply do what your gut is telling you.
Because if you’re able to figure out what you truly need to get through this crisis, we’ll all get through this better, together.
If you liked this post, you might also like: