How to Thrive and Be Intentional During Uncertainty – Addressing Isolation with The EnerChi Architect
A 4-part blog series by Rebecca Thomas
As entrepreneurs we face our own set of challenges. That’s part of what we sign up for when we step out on our own. Now that we’re facing a pandemic, it’s easy to spiral even further into overwhelm, frustration, and isolation that are already commonplace for us. What can we do to shift out of these behaviors; not only right now, but FOR GOOD?
Who can relate to these things – burnout, isolation, overwhelm? I know I can. A year ago I quit my former work-from-home, salary position in email marketing to open my own Life Coaching practice. Have I experienced all of the things mentioned above? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I live a life full of purpose, sharing my gifts with others, to help them find the peace, purpose, and passion that so many of us yearn for. And I dare say those very things are what drive us as entrepreneurs.
But I don’t think ANY of us saw a pandemic in our futures; circumstances that would close so many businesses and opportunities down, while setting an unsustainable pace for others are our current reality. And with that comes a whole new dynamic for our unique set of problems. Let’s take a few minutes to talk about something that MANY of us are living through, isolation.
Isolation is already an easy pattern to fall into for many entrepreneurs. We can be so focused on accounting, websites, printed materials, legal needs, branding, marketing, connecting, trying to check off all the boxes, and trying to do it perfectly while we juggle our personal responsibilities, that we forget about the kinds of connections that actually feed us (just reading that last sentence is exhausting, isn’t it?). Filling your cup allows you to show up better for yourself, and for others. And that will look differently for everyone. What we need to remember is not to isolate ourselves more than necessary. How do we do that? I’m glad you asked.
1. Make a formal pact with a friend or family member that you trust to check-in, hold you accountable, and just be there when you need to vent, feel your feelings, and especially when you want to celebrate.
2. Pay attention to and incorporate more of what feels good, because THAT is still important.
That could mean taking 10 minutes for yourself to read in the morning, or setting some time aside to create a delicious treat or meal and soak in every joyful, happy, content bite of that special thing that you created for YOU, or making sure that you go outside to get some fresh air and simply BE. The focus here is to connect with YOURSELF. Don’t discount how far that connection can go, or what it can do to reframe what connection actually is right now.
3. Find some local or national VIRTUAL spaces to connect with others. There are a zillion of these spaces right now. What’s the best way to sort them?
*Are you more focused on “seeing” others and spending time, a more social space where you can experience a natural, informal conversation?
*Are you looking for a space where you can solicit (and provide) useful information? Like how to cope with home-schooling your kids, or where to find toilet paper on the regular?
*Would a professional, networking space serve you better? Are you trying to get the temperature on how other businesses are doing, what resources they’re utilizing, and continue to form new relationships at a time where “normal” networking isn’t possible?
*Does now feel like the time to focus on your side hustle and get it ready to hit the ground running? Do you want to focus on ideas, resources, and encouragement that will keep you on track without riding the struggle bus?
All of these spaces exist. You can find them in Facebook groups, webinars and trainings that are offered, organized by complete strangers, neighbors, and friends. Take advantage of these spaces in a way that will give you what you need. Only YOU know what that is. Even if you feel like you don’t know what you need specifically, you probably have an idea of what your struggle is or what the end goal is. You can still find the right spaces with that information.
When you take some time to figure out what you need, and what would help the most, you can decide what kind of space is the best for you. You can choose as few, or as many as you want. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed by too many spaces or too many interactions once joining, give yourself permission to let go of that space. Scale back or scale up as much as makes sense for you. No judgment.
This won’t be a perfect process. A lot of things feel weird or different right now. Our situations, feelings, and emotions can evolve moment to moment, and day by day. Accept that, and proceed knowing that. You get to decide what fits, what’s right, and have the ability to shape the process accordingly. That ability is power, and ALL of us have it. At some point we can fall back into a more familiar routine. Until then, do what you need to be okay. You’re amazing. Don’t’ forget that.