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How to Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Due to a forecasting change imposed by her overwhelmed and fearful boss, Mira’s annual sales target for next year is twice as big as she thought it would be.

Four months into her new job at a government agency, Amanda’s entire working life (and pretty much the rest of her life too) has been consumed with managing issues related to the COVID pandemic.

Commercial Real Estate agent Mike has seen his entire business evaporate before his eyes in the past seven months, and now he must recalibrate for a new reality.

Jack lost his father to the virus.

The year 2020 has brought many of us to our knees in many ways. Those affected are afraid and exhausted and have been living with intense uncertainty for so long, they no longer believe a return to normalcy is even possible. And perhaps they’re right. It’s conceivable that whatever lies on the other side of the pandemic, and the US election, and the impending recession, will be completely different than anything we’ve ever known.

It’s real. And it’s scary.

And from this place, it’s easy to allow our fear to whisk our imaginations off to a disastrous future of pain and deprivation. During a spell of unemployment a decade ago, I told a coach that I was afraid I’d end up one of those tragic, lonely old ladies who has to eat cat food because that’s all she can afford.

This kind of CATastrophizing (yes, pun intended), can be paralyzing. It can fog our vision. It can leave us feeling hopeless.

And that’s why we have to learn to put one foot in front of the other.

You have no idea what the future may hold. We are in general really, really bad at predicting the course of our lives. In the ten years since I predicted a future of cat food eating, I headed up a tech start-up, launched a successful consulting career, wrote three books and became a fully booked coach and trainer. None of those things were even remotely on my radar back then.

What to do:

First, acknowledge your fear, but not by thinking to yourself "I am afraid". Instead think "There is fear". Now there's some space between you and your emotions.

Then focus on what you have to do right now. And then do it. And then focus on the next thing. And then do it. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. And then tomorrow do the same thing.

Who knows where you’ll end up, but I guarantee it will be better than you thought it would be.


The Unstuck Leader book is now available.
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