Look at 2020 like a dumbbell

We talk about 2020 being a bad year. Or a…

Dumpster fire.



But in comparison to what?

I’m not making light. It’s that I think perspective is helpful. History is chock full of $h!i storms. But even so, beyond gaining perspective, I’m not big on comparisons.

I’d rather we decide what to do with what we have. To decide how to look at it. Interpret it. And most of all, how to respond. When we choose how to think and what to believe about our circumstances, we are in control.

No, we don’t control the things (pandemic, elections, fires). We control our response.

I’ve just come through a very challenging few months (on top of the pandemic and all the other “stuff”). Going into it, I told myself I would use the experience as my leadership development training.

And I had to remind myself of it daily. Sometimes hourly. And you know what? It worked.

It’s not even about the outcome (although I’m happy with it).

It was about who I was becoming in the process. It made me stronger for the next round. Because there will always be a next round.

When I was in my 20s and 30s, I sincerely thought I could get to a place where most things were handled. Wasn’t that cute?

My biggest lesson is continuing to live with the $h!t storms and letting them grow me into who I want to be.

Several coaching clients have lost 20, 30, even more than 40 lbs. during COVID. Because they decided there was no better time to care for their health and well-being. They used the challenge of a pandemic to do what they’d always wanted to do, but didn’t know how.

In a day-to-day context, look at challenges like a dumbbell. When you pick one up and use it, you’re growing your muscles. You may get sore, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Until you pick up a heavier one. Which is the only way to get stronger.

In a day-to-day context, look at challenges like a dumbbell. When you pick one up and use it, you’re growing your muscles.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

We’re confronted with these “growth opportunities” constantly. For you it might be working from home along with everyone else in the household. Or dealing with a family member who drives you crazy. Or struggling to say no to another glass of wine at an event.

What is your dumbbell? Use each one to become the person you are meant to be. Want to be. Deserve to be.

2 thoughts on “Look at 2020 like a dumbbell”

  1. Of course, the lock-down of COVID did bring me many challenges, just like others. I had to stop and feel it finally; accept how I was really feeling, ALONE. Leaning into it, feeling the sadness, helped ALOT! Then I was able to realize how much progress I had made during this “lock-down”. I have been caring for myself by eating healthy and getting as much exercise as I can. I am in the process of writing a book, this time right now is precious; it feels like time is waiting for me to finish it! The most important lesson I learned is that “I” matter, and what I am doing right now, at this moment, will make a big difference in the future because I chose to do something positive for myself and others.

    • Such a beautiful acknowledgement of what you’re doing and what’s yet to come. Leaning into all the feelings is so important. It sounds like life is bursting with possibility.


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