One of my favorite ways to face a challenge head-on is to reverse storytell.
I pause and spend time considering the future and the story I want to be able to tell. I envision the desired outcome and how I will define success. Then, starting with that end point, I think backward and consider the incremental progress that will be needed to make my end goal a reality.
It isn’t enough to see the finish line, you need to consider each step that will move you towards the finish line. I imagine myself telling someone the story of the challenge, giving them the play-by-play for how I made it to the ultimate resolution.
This was something I had to do when faced with the reality of my kids finishing the rest of their school year from home due to Covid-19 and stay-at-home orders in Virginia. At first, I felt overwhelmed by the enormity of what was happening and then I realized I had pause, gather myself and proceed with intention.
When I had a reverse storytelling session with myself I decided that I wanted my family to look back on this surreal period of our lives and describe it as one of the best times in our lives! I have no doubt that someday, when my kids are grown, they will tell their family and friends what their Covid-19 experience will be like. I imagined hearing them tell the story and decided I wanted them to paint a picture of a season of life that was sweet, simple and slow. I imagined hearing them recount time together as siblings and a mom that didn’t seem stressed — even though there was the ever-present reality of the pandemic.
In order to get there, I realized I needed to be very intentional with how I structured my work-from-home schedule and how I planned activities for our kids. One specific and very “in the weeds” boundary I put in place was avoiding back-to-back Zoom calls while also caring for my kids. I found that by leaving margin in between meetings I was able to connect with them and meet their needs, while also staying productive throughout my workday.
There is no doubt that as life continues on we will all face challenges, whether they are related to Covid-19 or other life circumstances. When you are facing those challenges it is time to pause, look into your proverbial crystal ball, and consider what story you will someday tell. Then, it is up to you to make that story a reality!
This webinar excerpt is from a Women of the Chamber presentation I provided for the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce. It was a wonderful experience connecting with this amazing organization and its members! If you are seeking a speaker for an upcoming even please let me know! I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.