Author: Donna-Marie Rowe
I washed my drapes for the first time recently (during COVID) and ended up with an extra valance when I was finished putting them up. How did that happen?
The truth is I dreaded cleaning those heavy drapes. I dreaded taking them down, getting them to the cleaners, lugging with them up the stairs and sorting them out. From afar, I tried to figure out the contraption with the rods. I just couldn’t do it. It was way too overwhelming and what was worse, I couldn’t do it on my own. I enlisted the verbal commitment of my husband who promptly told me how easy it was and that I can do it…alone…but he soon relented because of my protestations.
Then the day came and the windows were naked…and the moonlight danced unhindered on my bed linen.
Online school and work from home were in session and ramped up. For my lunch break I decided to try my hand at the drapes. I now saw it as a useful distraction from being seated at my laptop. The drapes themselves were easy to place on the rods. But the valance. I enlisted the help of my adolescent daughter who I knew would get a kick out of the challenge because she needed a break too. Soon we were engaged in rambunctious banter. Who would get it right? Should we look back at the pictures of how they were intertwined? How come I didn’t remember how I took them off? Ok, you go first! And so it was as we tried to figure it out. I ended up with an extra valance when I was through. She gave mine one look and went to work diligently. I admired her determination. And she did it!
What did I do? I reframed my situation. You can too. Here’s how:
- Acknowledge your ‘overwhelm’ in situations that you would rather not face and then…face them. Reframe the conversation in your head. Begin with the end in mind. This is not about how things actually are but what you want at the end.
- Ask for help as part of the preparatory process to face your mountain. Nothing is truly accomplished alone.
- If the need is not immediate, allow the passage of time to explore your strongly held thoughts (it is overwhelming etc) and strengthen your resolve that it can and will be done. Do not allow procrastination to set in and your accomplishment, nil.
- Build in healthy competition to help you complete your tasks. Consider competing against yourself or enlisting a willing competitor. It is not about who wins but that finishing well, is to win.
- Find the humour while pushing through ‘unpleasant’ tasks. Laugh at yourself.
- It is okay to do things a little differently because situations require flexibility, adaptability and creativity. Thanks to my sister, I felt comfortable with that extra valance.
These beacons are needed for your leadership journey especially on stormy seas. Which one will you commit to practising today?