by Vanessa Cox

How are you ? What used to be a simple expression of courtesy and social etiquette, has taken on a new meaning in times of Covid. Now, when we ask the question we really need to know.

We ask the question now and actually mean: are you and yours healthy, what is your reality in our current context, how do you feel ..and what can I do to help. We ask the question with sincerity and genuine interest in the other´s answer and – when asked it by someone, answer it with openness and truth.

Collectively we are no longer “just fine”, “good” or even “great”. More often than not, we are “dealing with things as best we can”. We may be worried, stressed, overworked, disillusioned, disheartened, tired, sad, or even fearful. The most hardened optimist and “positive” thinker may even find it quite challenging to see the benefit of the situation.

Recently the longer term implications and impact of the pandemic on people´s mental health is deemed so important that the WHO has committed to evaluating it and providing advice around this subject in its briefings on the Coronavirus.

If I reflect on all of the coaching conversations I have had over the past 5 weeks, 2021 appears to have kicked off with an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion, lack of purpose and – for some, a lack of hope. This applies to both the individuals and the teams we coach. Everyone seems to feel they need to dig deeper within themselves to find the energy booster button we all have

There are in fact two buttons. I would like to call them the twin “G-Spots” just to make you smile while you read this.

The first button is Gratitude. Let’s take a moment to list the 5 things you feel grateful for right now.  Did your morning coffee taste particularly delicious? Did your yoga routine help you to experience a moment of tranquillity? Did something happen in your Zoom session that made you laugh ? Did some good news about someone you care about make you realise that not all news is bad? Are you allowing yourself to feel proud of who you are ? Just thinking about the little and big things for which we can be grateful gives you an immediate sense of light, of weight being lifted, of perspective. We take a deep breath and somehow find the energy to continue.

The second button is Grit. And we all have it inside of ourselves. The history of humankind is shaped by tenacity and resilience when faced with seemingly daunting situations. Success – in business or in a personal context – comes from the determined pursuit of the goal. Inspired by Angela Duckworth´s writings, here are 5 questions you may want to ask yourself to activate your Grit button: How can I triumph over fear here ? How can I increase my effort to be efficient and learn from this ? What do I need to do to stay on course towards my goals as they are determined by my own values ? Am I being truthful to myself and what can I do to be more forgiving of myself ? Am I doing the best I can to act on things I can control and let go of things I can’t control ? In answering these questions you will find a game plan for yourself to feel better equipped to move forward.

Instructions to deploy the G-Spots 

Now that we know we have the magic energy boosters within us, we need to use them wisely. Our Gratitude button is the quick fix. Reminding us of the myriad of things in our lives that are good, it allows us to feel free to utilise the Grit button – the action button, the harder one to use as it requires deep thinking.

So now that you have found your G-spots, dear reader…how ARE you ?