Knocked Off Kilter? Lean on Your Network

September 15, 2023

Before this year, most people could probably count on one hand the amount of times they’d been truly surprised. Like, completely knocked back by something totally unexpected. That all changed in 2020, of course, as society as a whole couldn’t seem to go a day without confronting at least one curveball.  

However, it can be argued that the handful of times everyone has been shocked by life’s twists and turns has prepared them well for the many jolts that came – and are still coming – this year.  

Most parents likely have a good handle on what a jolt can feel like. The mind starts racing, and it doesn’t stop, not even when the children are born. Not after they come home. Not after they turn 10. Potentially not ever, at least until the mind stops racing altogether.  

Anxiety and fear can be overwhelming. Is there enough love, enough fortitude… enough money… to raise a child? The pressure is overwhelming, and the associated nervousness can feel like it threatens to impact other aspects of your life. Friendships, advocacy and even your job.  

Most are feeling a similar sense of being off kilter now, being knocked back by something unexpected. For some, it’s results of the election, for others, cancelled holiday plans. It might be an illness, a job furlough, loss of a family member… or the addition of a family member.  

 Apprehension around these dropped bombshells can affect every part of life, not least of all, your professional life. If you’re someone experiencing the shock and awe of 2020 in acute ways, don’t be afraid to talk about it. If the workplace doesn’t feel right, look elsewhere, and don’t stop until you find an empathetic ear. Church, family, the neighborhood, an online support group, a therapy or counseling service – each of these are good options to explore.  

If you’re in a leadership position – heck, even if you’re not – be on the lookout for people in your circle that are struggling to dodge 2020’s thunderbolts. Reach out in whatever way makes sense for you and for them. Let them know they are seen, as is their pain, grief, fear or worry. Advocate for them.  

Compassion is hard for some to express, especially in a corporate environment. If you’re one of those individuals, challenge yourself to dig deep. Face the challenge of strong, servant leadership head on. Think of the ridiculous number of hurdles you’ve already overcome during the last eight months. Why not one more? Who knows… maybe one of the biggest surprises you’ll experience this year is yourself.