How to Adjust Your Expectations During this Season of COVID
COVID is likely not going away anytime soon.
In our rush to return to “normal,” how do our expectations contribute to our frustration?
The key to being efficient and healthy in this environment is to be flexible. Easier said than done. But it’s true.
When we are rigid, when we have strong expectations, when we have an agenda, and it doesn’t go our way, it leads to frustration.
In the Marine’s we would work hard to come up with a plan. Sometimes it’s super detailed. But even as our leaders were communicating this plan, they were preaching flexibility. There is a saying in the Marines: “improvise and overcome.” We have to have the ability to improvise.
Look, things are going to happen. You’re going to make a plan, and it may go well for a week or two, and then there’s going to be an outbreak, and you’re going to go back to square one. Or you’re going to get some momentum and then you’re going to show up for an event and there’s going to be like three kids. You’re going to FINALLY put that winter event on the books, and then it’s going to get cancelled at the last minute . . . again.
Here’s the deal: we have to be flexible. We have to go in KNOWING that change is the norm. We have to roll with it. ETC
Find Joy In Small Wins
Theres nothing like the Sunday night feeling of a successful Retreat or Camp. When you’ve pulled off months of planning and you KNOW students have had an amazing experience. The exhaustion and exhilaration is hard to replace.
Guess what? Many of us aren’t planning for that big outreach, retreat, or trip this calendar year. We won’t necessarily get the feeling of the big wins. But you know what? A win is a win. Small wins rule too!
Adjusting our expectations means looking for small wins and celebrating them. Maybe the small win is that one particular student participated in your zoom small group (or heck, that they even showed up at all). Maybe a small win is that you were able to move small groups off campus and you’ve had a run of gatherings that weren’t cancelled. Maybe a small win is just simply taking joy in investing in your people. Looking for and celebrating small wins is an important part of getting through this season of uncertainty.
See Adaptation as Adventure
What if we changed our mindset from one that sees adaptation as a drain to one that sees adaptation as adventure? What if instead of being frustrated and drained when we have to change, we see it as an opportunity to flex our creativity? It’s a shift in mindset that can dramatically impact your ability to thrive in this environment. Experiment! Try crazy things. Some of your ideas will not work. HA! But some will!
Find Fulfillment in the Process Not the Results
Most of all, have fun.
Have fun. Embrace the chaos. Gallows humor!