Life Coaching Tip: If you have been defining 2020 in a way that has brought you disempowering feelings of sadness, hopelessness, grief, and fear, please consider redefining your year. Think about your year to-date in a new way and make a list of all the extraordinary things you might have missed. You always have a choice, and it makes sense to define the year in a way that inspires you and fills you with hope.
“It’s been a doozy of a year!”
I’ve announced this many, many times since the confetti fell on New Year’s Eve and 2020 rolled in.
And, I’ve listed all the unfortunate things that have happened in my life in the past eight months as I’ve told my sad story.
It goes something like this…
My elderly father was diagnosed with a terminal illness shortly before the beginning of the year. And, caring for my dad and his wife, who has health issues of her own, was a challenge that got progressively worse with time. There were months of navigating the health care system, organizing their home care, tending to their ever-changing needs, and all the other things that go into managing a household. My father died in July, and while I am grateful that he is finally at peace, my family was left with some complicated grief.
Also, at the start of the year, my youngest daughter was laid-off from her job and moved back home. Next, the pandemic hit, and more life adjustments had to be made.
And then sadly, my mother-in-law passed away last week, very unexpectedly, and this absolutely stunned our entire family.
Since then, even other people have been validating my “doozy of a year” story, saying things like, “2020 really has been a rough year for you, hasn’t it?”
Now I realize that I am not the only person who has had a difficult year.
The pandemic has affected all of us in one way or another. Many have battled COVID-19 or have lost loved ones due to the virus, and scores of people have been affected financially. And then, social unrest, polarizing politics, wildfires, and hurricanes have also been part of the story.
So, it’s no wonder that I am not the only one who has been talking smack about 2020!
My niece recently described the year as a “giant dumpster fire,” and one of my clients has been calling 2020 a “shit show”. I have also heard many people talk about the year as being “cursed”.
And this story has been retold in the mass and social media repeatedly since January. In a quick Google search, I found countless articles about how 2020 has been “the worst year ever” and “it’s only going to get worse”. There are also a myriad of memes on Facebook and Instagram about the plague of 2020, and “I HATE 2020” has been trending on Twitter.
So, if you have had even a slightly negative story in your mind about 2020, you certainly can find help all over town to validate your perspective.
Now, if you are coaching with me or if you have in the past, or if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you are probably familiar with the concept of confirmation bias.
To sum it up, confirmation bias is the natural tendency to perceive events or circumstances in a way that confirms our existing beliefs or stories. We subconsciously collect “proof” that supports our stories and ignore or discount all that does not.
The human brain is very ninja with this, as we typically don’t realize we are doing it. Our long-held beliefs appear to us as facts, and all the “evidence” we gather just solidifies our point of view.
And so it occurred to me, that if I continue with my story that “2020 is a doozy of a year” and tout all the “proof” to back up my statement, then that is exactly how it will continue to be!
So, here’s what I decided to do. I spent a few days thinking about and jotting down all the extraordinary things that have happened in my life in 2020, and the length of my list blew my mind!
Here are some of the highlights:
- The love and support I received from my family this year has been beyond measure. Adversity has just strengthened our bond. My husband, Jerry, has been my rock, and my daughters stepped up in countless ways. I couldn’t be more proud of them!
- In addition to our immediate family, so many other friends, extended family members and caregivers provided a wealth of support. It warms my heart to know that there are so many “good” people out there.
- It was also beautiful to see Jerry’s family pull together during a difficult time, each contributing in their own special way. As an only-child, I feel blessed to be part of his much greater clan.
- After a few months of unemployment, my youngest daughter landed a job that she is passionate about, and she has reclaimed her independence.
- I have been able to continue doing the work I love, coaching some of the most amazing people on the planet! The challenge of pivoting and revamping my coaching processes during a pandemic energized me, as creative planning and strategizing always lights me up.
- I hired an incredible marketing and business coach, who is helping me launch a new group program this fall. I am very pumped about this one!
- I joined a Coaching Mastermind Group with Master Coach Caryn Gillen, and I have developed a network of support and friendships with coaches who are leaders in our industry.
- And finally, Jerry and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary at the end of the month. We had originally planned on going away to celebrate, but the pandemic caused us to reconsider. So instead, we bought a boat this summer, something that has been on our vision boards for quite some time, and we are having a blast!
After spending a few days writing my new 2020 list, I must tell you, the mindset shift was powerful! It was helpful to take a few days to think about it, because it allowed me the opportunity to search for and ruminate on new thoughts that spark feelings of gratitude, warmth, joy, and excitement.
So, I want to encourage you to do the same.
If you have been defining 2020 in a way that has brought you disempowering feelings of sadness, hopelessness, grief, and fear, please consider redefining your year. Think about your year to-date in a new way and make a list of all the extraordinary things you might have missed.
You always have a choice as to how you want to define your experience, and it just makes sense to describe it in a way that ignites hope and inspiration!
So, as I was searching for a new word to define my year, I looked up the definition of the word “doozy”.
To my surprise, this is what I found: Doozy is often used to mean “troublesome” or “problematic,” but it can also be used with a positive meaning. It means “extraordinary.” (English.stackexchange.com)
Ha! And so, I don’t have to pick another word to describe my 2020 after all!
From today forward, if you hear me say, “It’s been a doozy of a year”, just know that I mean it in the most fabulous of ways. I have officially decided that 2020 has been an extraordinary year so far, and I can’t wait for all the wonderful things still yet to come!