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Be yourself!

When lockdown came into effect I slept on it and came out fighting.

Ding, ding! Round One: I quickly set to transferring my speaking career online. I registered for a Zoom course, I fired out all kinds of social media posts about starting lots of projects. I wrote and planned and…ran out of steam and that was all before coffee on day one.

Ding ding! Round Two: I spent hours browsing social media and in between hearing that COVID-19 was this and COVID-19 was that, I saw some of my contemporaries firing off new ideas, webinars, blogs, vlogs and offers which made me feel completely inadequate.

Ding ding! Round Three: I was beginning to get a little punch drunk. I waved my wife and daughter off to work at their respective schools and my son to his supermarket job stacking shelves, made myself a coffee and cried.

Having swung and missed so often in the first couple of rounds, I was feeling useless. I was house bound and not sure how I could put things right. I felt guilty at suddenly not being able to bring in a wage or even work out how? I felt a greater sense of guilt that, as a former educator and Head, I was seeing my family fight on the frontline and doing nothing of the same value myself.

Ding ding! Round Four: By now, I was very nearly ready to throw in the towel. I was trying to get to grips with the abstract of time and uncertainty. I was beginning to plan and replan, working out the variables and how long I could go without earning. I was driving myself crazy.

Ding ding! Round Five: Whether it was the smelling salts or the fact that the first contest had got to the final round, for the first time, I had rested well in my corner and started to feel something different, a sense of inner calm.

As I moved back to the middle of the ring I realised that I could only deal with the here and now. I didn’t need to ‘prove’ anything and wouldn’t win by firing off as many shots as I could or try to punch as hard as everyone else seems to be.

So having survived my first fight...just…

I’m training differently now. Preparing differently for what comes next.

I am just going to be me.

I am going to reach out to the people I know and work with, offer what I always try to: myself. I will help where I can, take opportunities as and when they arise. I will celebrate my authenticity, integrity and insight where I can.

I will provide for my frontline family by being there for them, by keeping our home clean, by cooking food to keep them nourished, by hugging and supporting them as I know I can.

I am not giving up or standing still.

I have loved speaking with people, recording videos and doing a little writing. I am not going to worry about the size of my next opponent. I am just going to do what it takes to be the best me I can be for right now and trust that I am the same me that has fought and won before and will do again.

Be kind to yourself. You can only do the best you can.

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