At the start of the year I wrote an article about how to form your vision for your career or business and then work out a plan of how you’re going to get there. Simple, right? Well it seemed that way only a few short weeks ago. But what none of us foresaw was how this year was going to shape up, and the unprecedented situation we now find ourselves in, living through a global pandemic that not only puts our immediate health at risk, but our livelihoods and our future.

So what do we do? For now many of us are focusing on the day to day, just getting through a whole day of working and home schooling and childcaring seems good enough. And I agree, it really is. Others will be wondering whether there will be enough money in the bank to pay for the next grocery shop. But is it right to also be thinking about what your future may look like when all of this (hopefully) calms down again?

Some of you may have already addressed and this and assumed it’s going to be a bit of a mess, and again, I agree, it probably will be. But how do we salvage any degree of hope about our own personal future when all around us all we can see is despair and long term recession?

When all of this first kicked in a few weeks ago, I remember feeling really lost and gutted that all of those dreams that I was certain of and certain I was going to achieve, if I stuck to my plan, now seemed so far out of reach and something that I no longer had control of. The thought that even if I wanted and believed I could do it, how was that actually going to be possible if the world has fallen apart around us? But over the last few days I’ve come round to the realisation that anything is still possible.

My answer is this. Belief. When you believe in yourself and know what you are capable of, then knowing that you can apply that capability in any situation can be pretty strong stuff. Just look now at how people all over the world are rising to the challenge of adapting their businesses to an online model, pretty much overnight. How others are supporting each other like never before, reaching out and offering whatever ever help they can. How the parents amongst us are not only juggling demanding careers and businesses but suddenly we’re having to do it all at the same time, under one roof. We are being challenged to our limits but we are rising to those challenges and many of us will be so much stronger for it. I still believe in myself and I trust that things will happen as they are meant to, in their own sweet time.

So what has all that got to do with our vision? Well knowing our strengths is vital when we are trying to stick to achieving something in the future, because when things start getting tough (and it doesn’t come much tougher than now) then you need to really dig in and stick to your guns. The difference between having a vision and a goal is that there is no attachment to a vision, no definite time and no consequence if it doesn’t happen. This means that it’s just always out there, hanging in the wherever, until you get there or make it happen. This can be even more helpful in times like this when you really don’t know which way this whole thing is going to go. All you can do it to continue to work towards it.

Who knows what the future will bring? Who knows how bad it’s going to get for many of us caught up in the eye of the storm? But what I have learnt is that when all around us is chaos the only thing we can control is our reaction to it. 

So stay strong, keep going as best as you can, acknowledge the times that you can’t, and stick with your vision. Yes it may not take the same route as perhaps it might have done before all of this kicked off and it may take longer than you had imagined, but for me the vision remains the same. I will continue to serve and help as best I can during these challenging times and I’m going to trust that all of the good that comes out of this will carry those of us with a belief in ourselves all the way through.

Jo Oogarah – Women’s Career Development Coach

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