We recently spent 6 weeks in South Africa. We visited family, we had some time to enjoy ourselves and we worked. A more beautiful location you would have trouble finding. We walked daily up the mountain, on the beach or looking for whales as we went along the cliff path. We immersed ourselves in family.
This time was packed full of things I’m still not ready to write about. They will, perhaps, emerge over the coming months. What I’m reflecting on today, is this:
Part of the idea in spending 6 weeks in South Africa, was to see what it was like to continue working while we were there instead of just being on holiday. Most of the time, I coach on Zoom. As I was preparing to do my first sessions, I realized that the internet in our location was probably not strong enough to do my coaching sessions with video. I must admit this had me worrying. Should I go ahead and assume I couldn’t use video and do the sessions by phone? Should I start with video and see if it worked? Should I just bite the bullet and use data which would be quite costly given the number of hours I needed? This was not like coaching at home. Added to the mix, for those who don’t live in South Africa, was load-shedding. (Definition: action to reduce the load on something, especially the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load on the generating plant.) There were weeks we didn’t have any load-shedding and others we had 6 hours a day. That meant 6 hours with no electricity and no internet.
These things were stressful, and they were all great opportunities for me to lean into being adaptable (which is not something I am particularly good at). What I realized, is that I couldn’t do what I normally do. Given the circumstances, I had to do something different. I had to let go and look for a different way. Without belaboring the point, I ended up renting an office in a co-working space that had fantastic internet and a backup generator they could use during load-shedding. It worked amazingly well!
As I sit here back in my office, at home in Canada, I realize that I don’t currently have the personal bandwidth to do what I normally do. Just like I didn’t have strong enough internet to do my coaching in the usual way while we were in South Africa, right now I don’t have enough personal capacity to continue all the things I normally take care of. Two different situations, but the worry and some of the stress feels the same. It requires the self awareness to realize I need to adapt and the commitment to find a different solution that works for right now.
Here are the things I’m asking myself as I work through my own process. Perhaps you will find the questions helpful.
Sometimes you just need to tweak something quite small and it makes all the difference!
Finding a Different Solution
- Assess the situation: What is working? What is not?
- Ask: What do I need? What do I need to let go of?
- Adapt: Let go of the plan. Make a new plan that considers my current capacity.
- Action: What’s the next step forward?
Coaching is mostly about developing self awareness by asking and answering questions like the ones above. It is also about taking different actions in order to get things to change for the better. The accountability of coaching helps you be more successful at achieving your goals.
I coach people who want something to change in their life. Sometimes they are clear about what needs to change, sometimes they are not. Both are okay.
You might wonder how you go about selecting a coach. First, you want to make sure they are qualified. (I am). Second, you want to make sure they have some coaching experience. (I do). Third, you want to make sure you can trust them and get along with them. Here’s what I offer to help you figure that part out. We have a chat for 30-60 minutes and get to know each other. You can ask me questions and I’ll do the same. After that, you get to decide if you think it will be a good fit. There is no high pressure sell and no obligation.
I have space to take on some new coaching clients in January 2022. If you’ve been thinking about coaching, now is the time to connect with me to see if it might be a good fit for us to work together in January. Reach out to me if you have questions.
Thanks for reading my blog. Is there anything you’d like me to reflect on and write about? Let me know.
4 thoughts on “Do Something Different”
This is one of your very best articles. I really like the list of the types of rest people can need. Living without steady electricity and internet is something that we don’t have here in Canada, but I think that is part of the problem in that people can be too busy and never have moments to pause and reflect. Your list gives some ways for people to focus on parts of their lives that need attention.
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Thanks, Rob. Glad you found it helpful. Love what Anne Lamott says, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” I’ve found that to be true.
My dear Sue
You always come up with the ³goods² Well done again and after everything you are going through and have been through I salute you.
With fond love Sal x PS I couldn¹t open the COMMENT page so hope you get this.
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Thanks, Sal. I got it!