From learning new technology to additional work responsibilities and more, the pandemic has been challenging for most of us in multiple ways. What’s compounded our problems, however, is that most of us are very well conditioned to live at the effect of our circumstances. So when our circumstances began to go haywire in March 2020, so did our already-tenuous sense of clarity and well-being.
Living at the effect of our circumstances allows blame, burnout, dissatisfaction, and worry to so easily take over. When living at the effect of our circumstances, we await permission from leaders and colleagues to be well and enjoy ourselves again. When living at the effect of our circumstances, we are living life from the outside-in.
None of us have ever been through a pandemic like this before. Our students and their families haven’t, our colleagues haven’t, and our leaders haven’t. Despite understanding that the pandemic has universally challenging aspects, it remains so temptingly simple to blame someone else for our experience, as if this would all be going so much better if our leaders were more competent, caring, and compassionate.
Except it’s not school leaders who are making this a tough time to be in education. It’s not our fault either. We simply haven’t yet learned how to thrive in the midst of a storm, to either dig firm and grounded roots or to lift off and soar.
Most of us adults tend to lack the foundational insight, grounding, and resilience to thrive in life no matter the circumstances, so it’s not hard to see why the last 18 months have been so challenging for some of us.
Burn out, frustration, and unhappiness happens at work when we allow our job to dictate our quality of life and sense of well-being. What if instead we elevate our quality of life and sense of well-being and then have that dictate our experience of our job?
It’s not a complicated process to live this way, but the first step is often quite daunting: be willing to take radical responsibility for your well-being and quality of life. Doing this gives us reliable access to living life from the inside-out and thriving no matter the circumstances.
We work too hard and we care too much to let circumstances continue to distract us from what really matters: our families, our friends, our students, our colleagues, and our own well-being. The people in our life deserve so much more than that, and so do we.
We don’t need anyone’s permission to transform our experience of life in this moment. We only need to be willing to try on radical responsibility to live from the inside-out right now. Trust me, once you’ve tasted it, I don’t think you’ll ever want to go back to an outside-in way of life.
I’m so grateful for you, my audience. Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a great Thanksgiving week. ❤️