A Year of Loss and a New Year of Possibilities

This year has been tough. It’s been isolating. It’s been a grind. It’s thrown a spotlight on issues that may have been bubbling under the surface.

Yesterday I walked down an arcade towards Degraves Street in Melbourne. As I walked through this normally vibrant part of the Melbourne CBD I was saddened by the number of shop fronts that had ‘For Lease” signs up. It highlighted to me the significant loss that this year has brought us.

This year it might have been tough for many of us working from home and coping with the blur between work and living. However, for small business owners, those in retail or hospitality or the service industry, this has been a difficult time not knowing if their business will survive, whether they can pay their staff, pay themselves or even pay their rent. There has been devastating loss.

With every disruption or change there is loss. Loss doesn’t have to be the loss of a job or a business.   For those who have had to work from home for the past 9 months you have also experienced loss. Yes, the world has changed but it’s not the change that we are uncomfortable with, it’s the loss associated with that change. The loss of connection, the loss of familiarity, the loss of boundaries, the loss of purpose, the loss of energy and in some cases the loss of power and control.

I have felt loss acutely this year. In different contexts and experiencing that loss has not been easy. There has been loss in my personal life, particularly over a long lockdown period here in Victoria, and there has been loss professionally. My picture above reminds me the loss I have experienced – Not being in front of a group facilitating and learning.

So how do we deal with loss?

Dealing with loss requires us to recognise it in the first place. What have we lost? What is missing for you. Sometimes loss is noble like the loss of the energy of the workplace and sometimes it’s less noble such as the loss of power and control.

Secondly, we need to speak to our loss and get others to speak to theirs. This is where empathy, vulnerability and authenticity come in. If we want to connect with ourselves and with others we need to find the space to share with others how we feel. It helps you and others to feel less stuck and builds greater trust. It enables us to recognise what we don’t have and what has served us well but doesn’t define us as we make steps towards a new future.

This leads to my final point which is about the future. In any change there is loss but there is also renewal, possibilities and the opportunity for adaptation.  What future do you want to create? What can you imagine? How will the disruption of this year create a new normal for you?  What are you letting go of that is not serving you? What do you want to create moving forward? How do you want engage, act and think differently?

2020 won’t be remembered with much fondness but it can be the catalyst for creating a future that you imagined but never had the impetus to create.

If you want to speak about loss or creating a new future feel free to contact me for a no obligation chat. Let’s share our own stories over a virtual coffee.

 

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