• Janeen Shaffer, PCC

What an intense, short month – ready for a reset?

This month has been intense for almost every one of my clients. I’ve had a client lose their job, another client lost a loved one, and one is going through their third reorganization during the pandemic. Not all the news is bad – there was a promotion, a new baby, and a new job. The events have felt intense and impactful to each one’s life. How do you stay grounded, internally strong, and be your best during moments of intensity and transition?

· Recognize you have a choice. Every day I wake up and understand that I have a choice to make for myself. I get to choose how I show up for myself and others each day. I believe each one of us has a ripple effect that we create by our words and our actions. Each morning is an opportunity to declare the intention of your ripple effect for the day. For me, I ask for courage, patience, wisdom, and grace to walk through the day. To be an instrument for the greater good by providing understanding, light, and guidance. When you are in transition, being clear about how you wish to show up for the day allows you to step into new and unexpected situations with a sense of clarity and empowerment. You are better able to control your actions and reactions regardless of what you can’t control around you. What ripple effect do you wish to create today?


· Remember your courage. Expected and unexpected transitions imply that you are moving from something or someone you know into a new situation that has unknowns. This can cause doubts and nervousness even for the most confident individual. Remember that we all have the courage within us to take the next best action for ourselves in an unknown situation. The next best action creates the path to making a “new” normal feel safer. For example, one client is in a leadership role that requires her to speak more in global, large team settings. Public speaking makes her extremely nervous. She shared that she knows she is successful and smart, but she wasn’t sure she was courageous enough to conquer this fear. This is the same client who moved from another country to the United States at a young age after losing a parent and became very focused on educating herself to be a medical doctor. She is absolutely courageous. She has a determination and internal drive to help other families not lose a loved one needlessly and she became a doctor to achieve this personal mission. When she reconnected with her purpose during our conversation, she was able to see how her conversations and speeches in large team settings as an opportunity to align with her larger purpose. Her speeches can create an environment that reminds her team of their impact and call to action to help their communities with access to critical public health services. This alignment to her purpose reignited her courage to publicly speak despite her fear.


· Be clear about your purpose. Transitions usually involve conversations, negotiations, and actions to move from ambiguity to clarity. The clearer you can be about what you want to accomplish in your conversations and actions, the more you will create changes that are important to you and others. For the client who is going through his third reorganization, he is putting together a 30-60-90 day plan of what he and his team could do to adjust and positively impact the department through the reorganization. He is putting the plan together based upon the purpose of the team, what goals they could accomplish, what support they need as well what support they can provide to others. He is going to use the plan as a starting point for discussions in gathering more clarity and agreements with his peers and leadership. The plan is not based upon the team’s focus and priorities of the past, but what he is hearing is their purpose and focus given the new environment. Simply responding to change and chaos versus taking a step back and redefining his team’s purpose and goals is what has helped drive productive conversations and neutralize the doubt and anxiety these changes can cause for him and his team.


· Use movement and mindfulness. When it feels that things are intense or moving fast, it can be very helpful to move your body. The movement gets you out of your thoughts and moves oxygen through your system. It’s a wonderful “reset” button for the mind and body when you feel caught up in a swirl of unknowns and changes. Mindfulness or meditation for five minutes can be a wonderful tool to remember the world is larger than what is happening today, that you can ask the Universe for help, and there are blessings around you even in the midst of the chaos. I enjoy the Peloton app meditations. Headspace and Calm apps offer a variety of options as well. Tara Brach offers free meditations at www.tarabrach.com.


It sounds lovely to be your best during transitions and intense times, but it can be tough to practice. You won’t be perfect every moment. That’s not our goal. For many, the goal is to be our best in our choices, words, and actions so we are creating positive ripple effects for our loved ones, our work environments, and ourselves. This goal takes consistent, daily work to clear your mind, stand in your strength, and believe that you have all that is within you to step into the day and be your best. There’s a lyric from U2’s song It’s a Beautiful Day that says it well … “You’ve been all over … and it’s been all over you … what you don’t have, you don’t need it now … what you don’t have, you can’t lose it somehow … it’s a beautiful day … don’t let it get away.”


Janeen Shaffer is a PCC certified coach helping individuals and leaders with their internal development and external performance. If the article resonated with you, follow me on LinkedIn and check my other articles. Contact me at janeen@shaffercoach.com, www.shaffercoach.com, IG @janeen.shaffer, Pinterest Shaffer Coaching + Consulting.

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